Types of Adoption

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Adoption is the legal process by which a child who cannot be brought up with their birth family become full, permanent and legal members of their new family.

There are three types of adoption in the UK, they are:

Domestic or Mainstream Adoption

In domestic adoption, children are mostly placed with foster carers by their local authorities before moving on to adoption. The child’s plan for adoption has been decided by the child’s local authority and by the courts. We may refer to this type of adoption as domestic or mainstream adoption.

The process is covered in detail in our process page here and fully in our information guide which is available to download here.

Early permanence

Local authorities have a duty to ensure that every child with a plan for adoption is placed in their permanent home as soon as possible. An early permanence placement must now be considered in every case where the child cannot be cared for by their birth family. Early permanence includes both concurrent planning and fostering to adoption placements.

Inter-Country Adoption

Inter-Country or International adoption is a type of adoption in which an individual or couple becomes the legal and permanent parent of a child who is a national of a different country.

Adoption Matters do not offer Inter-Country Adoption assessments.  If you are interested in Inter-Country Adoption, please contact  our colleagues at the Intercountry Adoption Centre on their Advice Line: 0208 447 4753

The Advice Line is open to members of the general public wherever they live if their enquiry is about intercountry adoption. The Advice Line is open every weekday from 10:00am to 1:00pm with call backs made by advisors up until 4:00 pm  You can also visit their website at: http://www.icacentre.org.uk/

We have not covered Step Parent Adoption here as all Step Parent Adoptions are handled by your own local authority, please contact your local authority adoption service for more advice, further advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/child-adoption/adopting-a-stepchild