What is adoption?

If a child can't be looked after by his or her birth parents, they will be fostered or adopted. Fostering a child is temporary whereas adoption is permanent.

Adoption transfers all legal parental rights and responsibilities to the adoptive parents. The birth parents of the child lose all legal access to their child once an adoption order is approved by the courts. Adoptive children may keep in contact with some of their birth relatives if agreed during the adoption process – but the child’s safety and wellbeing is our first priority.

The child becomes a new member of the adoptive family and receives the same rights as if he or she were born into that family. We aim to find the right adopter for each child based on their needs and past experiences.

Adoption is permanent - only on very rare occasions have adoption placements been reversed.

At Barnardo’s, we have over 100 years’ experience of finding families for children in need.

Your decision to adopt has the potential to change a child's life - and yours.