Every year, around 4,00 children have to be adopted, and thousands more fostered. Many have physical and emotional problems, due to their traumatic start in life. Therefore, deciding to adopt a child can be the most challenging decision a person, or couple, can make.
A major criticism of the system has been the length of time it can take to adopt a child. However, in July 2013, the government introduced a new two-tier new adoption system to approve people far more quickly – it is hoped within six months – which should encourage more prospective parents and result in far less children being left in care.
There is a wealth of new information on adoption on the NHS Choices website – from what the process involves and how to prepare people, to accessing local services and post-adoption support, both for children with complex needs, as well as parents. There are also advice and case histories from those who have been down this road. You can access the website at www.nhs.uk/Livewell/adoption-and-fostering/Pages/adopting-or-fostering-a-child.aspx