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We are looking for adoptive parents who can accommodate children aged over three and for sibling groups who want to stay together. We also need families who could parent a child with disabilities.

All our children have had a rough start and deserve a loving and stable family life. They need a home where they can have fun, learn to laugh again and just be children. They will need consistency, boundaries and unconditional support to develop to their full potential.

Why you should adopt with us

We will support you through the process and continue to support the child or children living with you.

Very few of our adoptions break down compared to other agencies. Our experienced workers match children to adopters very carefully and offer outstanding support. A testimony to our adoption service is that many people who adopt with us come back when they are ready to expand their families.

Where needed we provide in-house supportive therapeutic help. This service means we are able to respond quickly to needs without making referrals. This contributes to our low break down rates.

There are a lot of myths about adoption. Adopters can be:

  • childless couples
  • couples with children
  • single people with or without children
  • people over 40
  • people who are gay or lesbian

However, you do need to genuinely want to be a parent and you will have to enjoy having a child or children in your home. You need to have ‘stickability’ and be able to go the extra mile.

Adoption stories

Donna, Teah and Mark

Watch the stories of our adopters Donna, Teah and Mark.

James and Miranda

“We chose Barking and Dagenham for two reasons:

  1. It was our local borough and we felt that this was a good choice
  2. We felt more welcomed and embraced at the very beginning of this process from Barking and Dagenham than we had from some other places that we had contacted

We wanted to adopt for so many reasons but the main two were:

  1. because we had encountered problems ourselves in getting pregnant, we had been told by doctors that it was highly unlikely that we would be able to have children
  2. adoption was something that we had already been considering as I  have personally been working with children and young people for many years including those that live in care and so I had always had a desire to adopt and help those that may not have the same opportunities that we had

We found the adoption journey enjoyable, but at times challenging but we always felt supported and encouraged both by our fantastic social worker and also our friends and family. It was not always easy but as we always kept our eyes on the long term hope and we were always able to keep smiles on our faces. The journey is not meant to be easy as we have to make sure that every child is getting a parent that is not only emotionally stable but also as prepared as possible to make a difference in that child’s life.

The journey really was eye opening and a reality check for us and really did help us to understand more about ourselves, the need to adopt and the children that are looking for a family. We would have liked it if it could have been a bit quicker as it ended up being over 2 years [the process is now much shorter in line with government guidelines] but when you first meet your child then that does not matter any more.

Our lives have changed in almost every was possible, not always easy, but positive in every sense. We became much more aware of ourselves as people and what we needed to do and be in order to make a positive impact in our kids lives. We have learnt to be selfless, giving and to treat each other as a couple with the upmost respect. Our daughter and son have changed our lives more than we have ever changed theirs.”

Special guardianship

Special guardianship is a formal court order which allows parental control over a child by individuals other than the parent. These could be grandparents, close relatives or even family friends. It allows children to remain within the family unit or with another significant person and to have a sense of normality.

It is important to note that not all children under special guardianship have been in care or looked after by the local authority or social services. A parent may allow a child to live with a family member for a number of reasons. For example, they may have not bonded with the child or they have to work abroad and do not want to disrupt the child’s education.

Any one who is over 18 years old and is significant in the child’s life can apply. You could be:

  • grandparents
  • an aunt or uncle
  • a brother or sister
  • another relative
  • a family friend
  • a foster carer who the child has lived with for at least one year immediately before the application
  • a couple making a joint application (do not have to be married)

When making an application for a special guardianship order, consent is needed from the person with parent responsibility which may be:

  • the parent
  • a person with a residency order
  • the local council

If consent is not given, the court can accept the application and grant a special guardianship order if it is deemed to be in the child’s best interest.

Special guardianship support

Families with children on special guardianship orders are entitled to an assessment of need. They may be able to access a range of support services in addition to the continuing support of their social worker. These may include:

  • financial support
  • support in managing contact with birth parents or family
  • respite support
  • training

Find out more about the support and guidance available in our special guardianship guidance.

Special guardianship guidance (DOCX, 668.01 KB)

If you wish to speak to someone about special guardianship, call the Special Guardianship Team.

Special Guardianship Team

020 8227 5491

Apply to adopt

Complete our form to apply to adopt.

Apply to adopt

Contact us

Adoption Team

020 8227 5555

Adoption enquiry form