Adoption in Camden
Frequently asked questions
What is adoption?
Adoption is the way in which children who cannot be brought up by their own parents become a permanent member of a new family. Adoption transfers all legal rights and responsibilities for the child from the birth parents to the adoptive parents.
Adoption is a serious, lifelong commitment to provide a child with a new family and a safe, secure future.
Why do children need adoption?
Some children are given up for adoption as babies because their parents cannot manage the responsibility of caring for them. Other children experience abuse or neglect within their birth family and cannot remain living with their parents safely.
Can I adopt in Camden?
Every year in Camden, there are many children in need of a loving adoptive home. These children come from a range of ethnic and religious backgrounds that reflect the population of Camden. The children’s ages range from under five to 11 years old. Many of them need to be placed with their brothers and sisters.
We look at every application individually, and we need to hear from all families and individuals who want to consider adoption, to find out what they can offer our children.
What type of people can adopt?
- childless couples and couples with children
- single people with or without children
- people over 40
- lesbians and gay men
Do I have to be from a particular racial or religious background?
The children in Camden come from different ethnic and religious groups and some children have a mixed heritage. It is important that children are raised in a family which closely reflects that of their birth family. We need people from all sections of the community to apply to adopt children, so they are able to grow up in a family that can promote their racial identity.
We particularly need to hear from black African, African/Caribbean and mixed heritage families and individuals who want to adopt.
Can I afford to adopt?
When you adopt through Camden, we will look at whether you need support to make the adoption placement successful. This can include regular financial payments, help with legal costs or providing furniture or specialist equipment if the child has special needs.
You can adopt if you are unemployed, and you don’t need to own your own home, but you do need enough space to care for a child.What matters most is that you are able to make the changes, as any parent does, to care for your child for life.
Am I too old to adopt?
You may think that if you are in your 40s or 50s you are too old to adopt. This is simply not true. There is no legal age limit to adopting a child. What we do ask is that there is no more than 45 years between the age of the child and the adoptive parent, or the youngest parent if a couple applies to adopt. You do have to be over the age of 21.
Can I adopt if I am having fertility treatment?
You should have finished your fertility treatment for one year before you apply to adopt. This is because we feel that people need time to finish this and then be able to make the full commitment needed for adoption. It is important that you are focussed on building your family in only one way.
What would stop me from being able to adopt?
Few circumstances automatically prevent someone from being able to adopt. People who have committed offences against children are the exception to this.
What are the rewards?
Watching a child who may have had a difficult start in life begin to thrive can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. Both adopted children and their adoptive parents tell us really positive stories about their family life. Adoption is filled with many joys that can significantly change both the child’s life and your own life.
Why do some children need to be adopted?
Many of these children will need a new family because their birth parents cannot look after them in a safe and caring way. These children may have been physically or sexually abused or neglected.
Some children come from families where a parent has mental health difficulties.
Many of our children have birth parents with chaotic lifestyles because of drug and alcohol misuse.
For any of these reasons, we may have become involved in the child’s life, and with the courts, made the decision that the child needs adoption to secure a new family life.
How do these children respond to their new life?
Every child is different and will express their feelings differently. It can be difficult for a child to separate from their birth family and begin life with a new family.
The children all need understanding to deal with their loss. They need to be able to live with adoptive parents who can offer this understanding and provide a warm and stable family life. Children will need help to come to terms with what has happened to them, and throughout their lives will need support to understand their early life and experience of separation.With the right support, children can do very well and settle successfully into their adoptive families, bringing a lot of happiness to their new parents.
Are babies available for adoption in Camden?
Occasionally babies are available for adoption. These babies will live in foster care whilst plans are made in the courts about their future. Sometimes children are given up by their parents for adoption. Some of the babies available for adoption have also had complications in their lives and may have been affected by drugs or alcohol before birth.
What kind of children need new families?
- black Caribbean children
- black African children
- black and white children from other parts of the world
- children of dual heritage
- white children from the United Kingdom
- white children of Irish heritage
- sibling groups
- children over five years old
- children with special needs and disabilities
What happens to the birth family?
A child's birth family will always remain a part of a child’s life, but once an Adoption Order has been granted they will have no legal rights over the child.
Adoption can be helped when there is some contact with a child’s birth parents. Contact is important to help children to settle and remain settled in their new families. Contact is usually done by exchanging letters and is managed by Camden so that addresses remain private. For some older children, there may be face-to-face contact, which is also managed by Camden. Brothers and sisters cannot always live together and contact between them is encouraged.
Should children be told they are adopted?
Children need to be told that they are adopted and the earlier you start to do this the better. As your child grows, the details you will share with your child will change. They need to grow up understanding their history, so that adoption is part of their normal life.
Is adoption right for me?
- Do I have the time to bring a child into my life?
- Can I make the changes that will be needed?
- How flexible can I be with my lifestyle and work commitments?
- How much can I cope with uncertainty and not knowing how my child is going to settle with me and develop over the years?
- How do I feel about caring for a child who may have difficulties in becoming a new member of my family?
- Can I cope with a child who may need special support at school or with their behaviour?
- How do I feel about becoming the parent to a child I didn’t give birth to?
Page last updated Apr 11, 2013 2:17 PM
Today I want to...
Request services online
Families First newsletter issue 9 (PDF 1,233KB)
Families First newsletter issue 8
Families First issue 7 (PDF 1,145KB)
Families First Issue 5 - Autumn/Winter 2010
Adoption information pack
Adopted children in education
Adoption statement of purpose 2010-11
- Contact the fostering team
- Contact the adoption team
- North London Adoption consortium website
- Be my parent website
- North London Fostering Consortium
- Backchat website
- Contact Housing and Adult Social Care Directorate
- Youth services
- Children and young people's partnership
- Family information
- Camden care choices