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Book on an information event

1. Book on an information event

We run monthly information events to tell you little bit more about adoption. You can come along at any stage of your thinking about adoption, be it in the early days or if you are ready to go.

The dates and venues are below if you would like to attend. If you would like to speak to someone before coming, please call 01494 586 349

2. Who can adopt - Myth busting

There are many myths around who can and can't adopt.  Here are some of the most common myths:

Can I adopt:

If I am over 40?

We do not operate an upper age limit, but you need to be fit and healthy enough to see your adopted child safely into adult life.

If I am under 21?

The youngest age at which you can adopt is 21.

If I'm not married?

Single people can adopt a child and in some cases this is a positive choice. However, it is important that you have a strong support network around you. Those in a long term relationship who aren’t married can also adopt, including same gender couples. We would usually expect that couples can demonstrate a strong and stable relationship to ensure security for the child. This would usually mean that you should have been in your relationship for at least 3 years.

If I'm currently undergoing fertility treatment?

We would expect you to have finished any infertility investigations or treatments before you can start your assessment. At the initial assessment stage, we would explore how resolved you feel about your infertility. We encourage people to take up the counselling offered by many clinics.

If I'm unemployed?

We approve people from every walk of life regardless of employment or financial status. An adoption allowance may be considered for some children who meet the criteria i.e. those with emotional or behavioural difficulties, those with a disability or children in a sibling group who need to be kept together. This is based on a financial means test.

If I work full-time?

As long as you can provide space and time to meet the child's needs. This is especially important when children are young and for all children in the early stages of an adoptive placement. We would usually expect one consistent carer available to care for pre-school children. Statutory adoption pay and adoption leave are available for adoptive parents. You can find out more from the Directgov website
 

If I don't own my home?

As long as you have a secure tenancy it doesn’t matter if you don’t own your home. You’ll need to show that you have enough room to care for a child or children, in a safe and secure environment, whether you rent or own your home.

If i'm gay or lesbian?

We are firmly committed to ensuring that no one is discriminated against because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion or disability.

If I have a disability and/or a health problem?

Everyone who applies to adopt will need a health assessment as part of the approval process to make sure that they are able to care for a child. If you are disabled or have a medical condition these factors are taken into consideration and recommendations made on your suitability. We need to ensure that a child will not experience further loss so you will be asked to show you have a healthy lifestyle.

If I smoke?

Yes - But it is unlikely you will be selected for a baby, very young child or a child with a medical condition e.g. asthma. You would be asked to consider your long term health and associated health risks.

If I have a criminal conviction?

You will not be considered as a prospective adopter if you or another adult in your household has been convicted of a “specified offence”. These are predominantly offences against children. If you have convictions or cautions for any offences, tell us and we will advise you whether they will prevent an application.

If I already have children of my own?

Yes -Your own children would be included in the approval process too. In adoption, we usually advise a minimum age gap of two years between any birth children and an adopted child. Your child would need to be at least 3 years old as most children available for adoption are toddler age and upwards. Although for some children, a wider age gap would be needed and there may be additional risks with the adoption.

If I don't live in Buckinghamshire?

Sometimes it is in the best interests of the child to be placed outside of our immediate area and therefore we will consider people applying from outside our county if we feel they will be able to meet the needs of our children.

We work in partnership with:

Milton Keynes Borough Council
Central Bedfordshire Council
Bedfordshire Borough Council
Cambridgeshire County Council

This helps us make sure we make the best possible matches of children and adoptive parents. We may also redirect you to your local adoption service if that is more appropriate.

If I don't live in the UK?

You must have lived in the UK for at least one year before applying to adopt a British child, or one of you must be a resident in the UK. 

3. The children who need adopting

Some of our children looking for families

The names have been changed, but the profiles below are true stories of children in Buckinghamshire who currently need a loving family.

Sarah (aged 7) and Jessica (aged 5)

Sarah and Jessica are sisters who have lived together since they came into care at the end of 2013.

Sarah is a happy and bubbly child, always laughing and likes a quick cuddle. She enjoys individual attention and can let you know what she likes and what she doesn’t. She is generally well behaved although she can sometimes have tantrums if she isn’t getting things her own way.

Sarah likes exciting activities such as playing on the trampoline, going to the park, feeding the ducks, going for family meals and watching Princess and Peppa Pig

Sarah is very popular at school and has many friends. She is very competitive and likes to win.

Jessica is a loving and happy child; she is calmer and quieter than her sister. She can sometimes get upset by Sarah’s dominant nature but she is learning to be more self-confident, and they enjoy playing together.

Jessica enjoys individual attention from her carers and thrives on this. She likes ‘dressing up’ play, play-dough, going to the park and having stories read to her. She also enjoys nursery rhymes and sing-songs.

Jessica started school last September and has settled well. She likes to play on her own, but she is being encouraged to join in with other children. Jessica is getting help with her fine motor skills (pencil skill) but this is improving. She likes going to school and is making progress. Her favourite food is pizza.

Sam (aged 6)

Sam is an adventurous 6 year old who has been in foster care since September 2011. He loves being outdoors, playing in the sand pit, riding his bike or going to the park. He enjoys imaginative play, pretending to be one of his superheroes.

Sam attends school which he enjoys and is doing really well academically. He is eager to learn and has lots of friends. Sam likes to learn about the world and enjoys having stories read to him. football and roller-skating. At school he is said to be above average for reading and he is always inquisitive to learn and take part in classroom activities. Toby has good friends both in and outside of the school.

Toby

Toby has a close bond and a trusting relationship with his foster carers, and we are looking to transfer this to his adoptive family. Toby has a condition which effects the heart rhythm and he is currently prescribed beta blockers. It is unclear at this time what further treatment Toby may require, if any.

Ian

Ian is a sociable little boy who is described by his carers as a cheeky little chap. Ian is also doing well in school and is meeting most of his targets, but requires a little more support with his concentration as he is more interested in what other children are doing!

Ian loves to play with his older brother and likes construction games and puzzles . There are no health and development concerns with regards to Ian, however he does sometime need boundaries to be put in place by his carers.

4. Next steps for adoption

If you call us we will take some basic details to keep track of your enquiry but we are here to answer your questions about adopting through Buckinghamshire County Council. We believe that adopters need information first to make a decision whether adoption is right for their family. This means that you will be offered information before we start learning more about you. We suggest you begin by coming along to one of our information evenings and then have a chat with a social worker.

  1. To start, call in and ask to speak to a Social Worker on 01494 586 349 (9am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday; Friday 9am to 5pm) we will book at time with you.
  2. If adopting still feels like the right thing for you then you can send in a Registration of Interest form. This will be given to you after speaking with a social worker. (Please note: if we decline a Registration of Interest we will always write to explain why; this may not be the end of your adoption journey)
  3. Adoption assessments come in two sequential parts, stage one (two months) and, if appropriate, stage two (four months)
  4. If we accept your Registration of Interest we will invite you in to plan stage one; there’s a lot to do in those two months, so make sure it is a good time for you. More detail on stage one is in the information pack
  5. Just before the end of stage one, we will meet with you and gather some information about you. We will advise you if it is appropriate to proceed to stage two or not.

Downloads

5. Families our children need

Always wanted a big family?

We need adopters who can take sibling groups (2 children or more)

Ok to be different?

We need adopters who can care for children with medical needs, enduring conditions and disabilities

Not fond of the baby stage?

We need adopters for children aged 3 to 7 years

Diverse family?

We need adopters who can meet the needs of children who have diverse cultural and ethnic heritage

We currently have enough approved families for young children. Please be aware that we will be unlikely to accept an application from a household that just wants to adopt a child under three.

Fostering for adoption

Sometimes we need adopters who can also act as foster carers for very young children; this is called Fostering for Adoption. Generally these placements are made when it is considered very unlikely a child will return to their birth parents but legal decisions still have to be made on the best outcome for the child. You can find out more about Fostering for Adoption on the First4Adoption website and you can decide if this is an option for you.