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Adopting a child

Adoption is about making a real difference to a child’s life. When you adopt, you provide a secure, loving home to a child. More than this, you become their legal parent for life. Adoption is fun and rewarding, like all parenting. It can be challenging and emotional too, and we are here to help before, during and after your adoption journey.

The Islington adoption team work in partnership with adoption teams in neighbouring London boroughs: Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney and Haringey – Adoption North London. Together we provide the best possible service to children waiting for families and to people wanting to adopt. To find out more and to book your place at an information session visit Adoption North London.

Who can adopt?

We welcome people from all walks of life, but: 

  • you must be over 21 
  • you must be a UK resident 
  • you or any member of your household can’t have a conviction or caution for a serious offence against a child or a vulnerable person.  

All sorts of people make great adoptive parents. You can be: 

  • single, married, living together or in a civil partnership
  • gay or straight
  • from any background, culture or religion
  • working or not, and living in your own home or rented accommodation, as long as you are settled and have space for a child now and in the future. 

Is adoption for you? 

The adoption process is designed to help you decide if adoption is right for you, but you’ll definitely need: 

  • enough time to devote to a child
  • energy and patience - and a sense of fun!
  • to have a flexible and positive approach to life  
  • to be able to accept and understand  a child's past 

What we offer you 

We offer adoptive parents a range of adoption support where needed, designed to help you and your adopted child. This covers practical advice, counselling from specialist social workers and financial support if you need it. 

We also provide regular training events on topics such as:  

  • education, including moving schools 
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • contact with birth family members
  • telling your child difficult information 
  • preparing for an adoption placement
  • therapeutic play 
  • the teenage years 

You may be able to get extra help from the Adoption Support Fund. This helps pay for things like counselling, dealing with behavioural problems and training for you to help you meet the needs of your child. 

Adopting a child from overseas 

If you’re interested in adopting a child from another country, we can help. You must:  

  • be at least 21 years old
  • live in Islington  
  • be in good health 
  • prove you can support the child financially and care for them in a secure, loving home, now and in the future. 

You’ll need to decide which country you want to adopt a child from. Each country has its own rules and guidelines on who can adopt. The Inter-country Adoption Centre can give you information and guidance; they also complete any assessment on Islington council’s behalf. 

Contact us to talk with an adoption social worker. They’ll help you decide if adopting a child from overseas is right for you. If you decide that it is, they’ll explain what you need to do next. 

Fostering for adoption

Fostering for adoption is a way for families to foster a looked after child while decisions are being made about their future. A judge will make the final decision about whether the child should be adopted and grant a legal order, known as a Placement Order, or whether the child should be returned to the birth family.

As a foster to adopt carer, you will be assessed as an adoptive parent but also as a foster carer. You will need resilience and a commitment to be part of a process which carries a level of uncertainty. You and your family need to care and love a child whatever the outcome is. Whilst most children do go on to adoption, you will need to be prepared for all eventualities.

You can find out more about fostering for adoption by calling 0800 694 0101 or visiting the First4Adoption website.



Phone: 0800 694 0101; Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm


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