Adoption and Permanence
020 8583 3437


Finding the Right Child

Once you are an approved Adopter your social worker will start trying to match you with a child/children. Initially they will look at the children who are in the local authority’s care who have a Placement Order and see if there is a child whose needs match your ability to care for them. You will also be placed on the National Adoption Register to see if that generates any matches.

Where do Children Come From?

Looked-After Children come from all manner of backgrounds: what they have in common is that at some point their parents have been unable to care for them and, as a result, they have come into local authority care. Some of these children will be placed for adoption.

Your Social worker will discuss with you the needs of any child for whom you may be interested in providing a stable loving family. You will be shown Profiles of children in our care as a starting point.

Contact with the Birth Family

Once the court makes an Adoption Order confirming you as the legal parent(s) for your child the legal rights of birth parents cease. However, it may be in the interests of your child to maintain contact with birth relatives: this will be discussed prior to the Pronouncement of the Adoption Order (which may include details and conditions of contact.)

Contact may be:

  • Direct: face-to face contact
  • Indirect contact: such as by Letter Box; the Adoption Team will arrange this.

The Adoption team will support you with all contact.


This is a means by which you may exchange letters with birth-relations at intervals during the year. It is arranged and managed by the Adoption team.

Any child who needing adoptive family has a unique set of needs. Many are pre-school aged at the time they join their new families, others are older. Many are placed as a single child although they might have siblings living somewhere else, and some need placement with their siblings. Virtually all have experienced some form of neglect or abuse.

We aim to match children with new families within 6 months of the decision to place for adoption. If we cannot find a family for a child locally we extend our search, talking with other adoption agencies to see if they have a suitable family.

Some groups of children risk waiting longer than 6 months, so we are always keen to hear from families who might be able to offer a home to a child from the following groups.

Older children

Most adopters who adopt children of school age speak very positively about their experiences but there are simply not enough of them to ensure that this group do not wait. If you are wishing to be considered for an older child we would love to hear from you, especially if you have good levels of childcare experience and sound support networks.

Children from minority ethnic backgrounds

Increasingly children can have many elements to their backgrounds and these are taken into account with all their other needs when seeking a match. Consequently we recruit adoptive families from a wide range ethnic minority backgrounds to reflect this.

Here in Hounslow we recognise that Adopters are often the best solution to providing our looked-after children with a permanent, secure and above all loving home which gives them the opportunity to develop their full potential. We believe that this is true nationally as well. Consequently we want to give anyone considering adoption the best service possible both in

  • providing them with information so that they can make an informed decision whether or not to adopt and
  • professional support should they chose to proceed.

Adoption is an amazing journey: we will be with you all the way.

Cllr Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services