[Skip to content]

Nottinghamshire County Council - Proud of our past, ambitious for our future
You could foster or adopt

Alternatives to adoption

Fostering for Adoption

Fostering for Adoption places a child during the period of temporary local authority care with foster carers who are also approved as adopters. 

If the court agrees that the child should be adopted and the adoption agency approves the ‘match’ between the carers as adopters and the child, the placement becomes an adoption placement. This provides more stability for children as they are with carers who may become their adopters, giving permanence at an early stage.

Initially, as a foster carer you are caring for the child under the direct supervision of the local authority so you’d need to consider whether this is something you’d be comfortable with.  It is likely that you would go on to adopt the child but you would have to deal with the uncertainty of this outcome. 


In the main fostering provides temporary care for children while parents get help sorting out problems or to help children or young people through a difficult period in their lives. There are a number of schemes offering different services such as long term, emergency and short break fostering.

Often children will return home once the problems that caused them to come into foster care have been resolved and that it is clear that their parents are able to look after them safely.

Others may stay in long-term foster care, some may be adopted, and others will move on to live independently.

See more about fostering in Nottinghamshire.

Special Guardianship

Special Guardianship is a formal court order which allows parental responsibility over a child by someone other than the parent. This could be a grandparent, close relative or even a family friend. 

Special Guardianship means the child is no longer the responsibility of the local authority and the carers have parental responsibility for them until they are 18. 

This can give children stability without legally separating the child from their parents and the chance to remain within their extended family network. 

By using this site you are agreeing to our terms and conditions (including using cookies to collect anonymous usage statistics). If you do not agree you may either stop cookies in your browser settings or stop browsing the site. Find out more about how we use cookies.. Close