Having your children adopted

Adoption is when someone's child or baby is given to someone else to look after forever. It can be a really hard decision to make, so it's important to get the help and support you need.

deciding to adopt

Deciding to have your child adopted is your decision. And it's important you're 100% sure it's the right one.

If you decide to give your baby up for adoption, first you'll need to speak to an adoption agency. Adoption agencies are people in charge of making all the arrangements for new parents to look after your baby or child.

Once everything has been agreed, the courts make this arrangement final with an adoption court order. This is a document that gives the new parents all legal rights and responsibilities for your child, and the adoption becomes permanent. Your child will take the surname of their new family.

Some things to bear in mind:

  • your baby has to be at least 6 weeks old before you can make your final decision
  • once an adoption order has been arranged by the courts, it can't be undone. This means that you no longer have any legal rights over the child, and the adoption can't be taken back. Even if you change your mind
  • there's lots of help and support available for anyone going through adoption. You can ask your local adoption agency who can help you to find out where from.

4 reasons someone might have their child adopted:

  • not being ready (emotionally or financially) to have a baby
  • not having a strong support network
  • not wanting to abort the baby
  • not wanting to have a child outside of marriage.

Whatever your reason, remember that it's your choice, and your right to decide what you want to do.

how to know
what's the

It's difficult to know what's best but we can help

how adoption works

When your baby is born, they'll be placed in the care of a temporary foster carer, or the new parents if they have been chosen.

Who will adopt the baby? 

There are lots of people who want to be parents in the UK. And anyone wanting to adopt will go through interviews and checks to make sure they're able to provide the best care for a child.

You can choose to be involved in deciding on the parents. Or, you can let the adoption agency decide. It can be difficult to decide on the right thing to do, but it's important to consider how this might affect you in the long run.

Can you still see your baby after they've been adopted?

When you decide to give your baby up for adoption, you can sometimes specify whether you would like to remain in contact. This can be face to face or through letters.

It can be helpful talking to your social worker about this decision, as they can offer guidance and support.

where to get support

Adoption is a big decision, and there's no right or wrong answer. So it's important to talk about how you're feeling during this time.

Going through the adoption process can be really tough. And after the baby is born, even though you may feel it was the right decision, you might feel relief, guilt, sadness or grief.

It can be a big change to get used to, so you can talk to a counsellor in confidence about how you're feeling at any time.