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Are you a birth parent?

If you are a birth parent and your child is being considered for adoption, learn about your options, your rights and how the Islington Adoption Service can help. You can contact us before or after your child is born. All enquiries are treated in the strictest confidence.

We offer advice and guidance to birth parents and adoptive parents, but our main focus is always on the needs of the child.

If Islington Children’s Services intends to place your child for adoption against your will, you should speak to a legal adviser as soon as possible. This is to make sure that your feelings and wishes are taken into account when your case is decided upon. The Family Rights Group offers free and confidential advice and support. Call them on 0808 801 0366 or visit the Family Rights Group website.

Your options 

If you want to place your child for adoption, you can call us and meet with a social worker. They’ll be able to answer any questions and will advise you on what will happen based on the decisions you make. They can also suggest how we can help you if you decide that you want to try and raise your child yourself - linking you with council services and outside organisations who specialise in supporting birth parents, including single parents. 

What is adoption? 

Adoption is a way of legally giving a child new parents. This means that their birth parents stop being their legal parents. This can only happen when a judge agrees that adoption is in the best interests of the child. 

You and your child 

Before the adoption process starts your child will go into foster care, where your child will be looked after and cared for while a permanent placement is found. At this time, one of our social workers will speak with you about your life, your family and your child’s other birth parent. This information helps us when speaking to people who may be suitable to adopt your child, and it will be shared with your child when they are old enough to understand. 

If you are voluntarily placing your child for adoption, you are still completely free to change your mind, and raise your child yourself at this point. 

The future 

Once a family has been found, your child will leave the foster carer and will live with their new family. Social workers will visit the child and their new family regularly and eventually the new family will apply for an Adoption Order. If they are successful, they will become the child’s legal parents, and the child will take on their surname. At this point, you will no longer be their legal parent.  

We understand that this may be a very emotional time for you, and we’ll do all we can to help. You may be able to stay in touch with your child, either directly or indirectly. We can also provide counselling and other support – your social worker will have more information.  

New families are encouraged to keep the memories of each child’s birth family and past alive, and their culture and religion.  

When they reach 18, an adopted person can view their birth records file. This will contain information about you, your life before they were adopted and the reasons why they were adopted. They can also trace their birth family – you need to be aware that your child may try and trace you in the future.

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Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.