Hundreds of children are adopted every year.
Like you, they are all children who for various reasons have not been able to live with their birth parents, so need a new family to take care of them until they are adults themselves.
What does being adopted mean?
Your social worker should have given you a book called 'Understanding Adoption' and you might have read this with your social worker and your foster carer. It will answer some of your questions but you might have loads more. Don’t be afraid to ask! The law says you are the most important person of all when you are going to be adopted, and everyone will want to help you as much as they can.
How do we find adoptive parents?
It takes a long time to decide whether adults will make good adopters. Anyone who asks to become an adoptive parent has to go to meetings to find out about adoption. Then they have to be seen by a social worker who will find out all about them and why they want to adopt. They have a medical examination and the social worker has to check that the police don’t know any reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to look after a child.
Once all this has been done the social worker has to write a long report and this is discussed by the adoption panel to decide whether people should be allowed to adopt.
Your social worker will be trying to find the right family for you. Your social worker will read the report about a family and will go to meet them.
If everyone agrees that the two of you are a good match, you will become part of this new family for good, but that doesn’t mean that you are expected to forget all about your birth family, or never see them again. They might still be in touch while you are growing up, either by exchanging letters or by actually seeing you once or twice a year.
Contacting your birth family
Once you are 18 and an adult in your own right, you might decide that you want to find out more about your birth family or even try to meet them. If so your adoptive parents will support you and you can ask the Support After Adoption team run by the council to help you.