Important considerations

Making the decision to adopt is a big step, and not one that anyone takes without thinking about it carefully. Right from the start, Parents for Children will be there to help answer your questions and offer you help and advice to help you decide whether adopting a child is the right thing for you and your family.

As well as reviewing our adoption checklist, there are a few very practical aspects of adoption that we ask you to consider.

Finance

We don't expect you to be wealthy, but raising a child is expensive and you'll need to demonstrate that you can support a child financially. There are adoption allowances available from some local authorities, but these are often quite small and you won't be able to rely on allowances to cover all aspects of your adopted child's care.

Your home

Your home doesn't have to be large or luxurious, but you do need to think about whether you have enough living space for a child. It's preferable for a child to have his or her own bedroom. Sometime adopted children share a room with other children, but this doesn't always work out – in fact, it could put a strain on the relationship between your own children and your adopted child from the word go. Certainly if your adopted child has suffered abuse in the past, its essential that they should have their own room.

Whether your adopted child is to share a room or not, they will need sufficient space to be able to have their own belongings around them. Moving in with a new family is a worrying time for any child, and most children will feel happier and more secure if they have familiar objects such as toys, photographs and books, around them.

Safety in the home

Parents for Children will give you plenty of advice about safe caring for children. A key point is that your home must be a safe place for a child physically. You may not have had a child living in your home before, or perhaps your own children left home some time ago, but you should take a good look round your home and think about whether it's safe for a child.

You will probably also want to make sure that a child couldn't easily play with and damage items that mean a lot to you, such as pictures and ornaments. Your new child won't know important a present from your grandparents is to you, so putting it out of harm's way will avoid any potential conflict.

  • Do you tend to leave sharp objects out where a child could get hold of them?
  • Do you have a stair gate fitted?
  • Is your garden child-safe, e.g. do you have a pond, or steps that a child could fall down easily?
  • If you have a car, do you have a child seat or child safety belts fitted?

Child protection

Child protection is complex and Parents for Children will talk to you in detail about it and give you training in the key areas. Although an adopted child may have suffered abuse in the past, the reason they need a new family is to give them the stability of a loving family life and a future without abuse.

The main thing to remember is that common sense plays a major part in safe caring for children. Parents for Children's post-adoption service will continue to be there for you, to answer any questions you may have about caring for your child.

Work

You will need to think about your work situation. Of course single parents can adopt, but if they work full-time, they'll need to plan for school holidays and make arrangements for a child to get to and from school each day. There are sure to be some days when a child is ill and can't go to school. Many employers offer flexibility for parents, but it's worth exploring this earlier rather than later.

If you're in a partnership, it may be that you can share responsibility for school runs and holidays, but again, this is something you should discuss at an early stage in your adoption plans.

 


If you have any specific concerns about these, or other issues that you'd like to talk to us about, please contact us at [email protected] or call 020 7520 2881 to talk to our adoption team.