At ARC Adoption North East we are committed to exploring different routes to adoption. ARC Adoption offers an early permanence route, often referred to as fostering for adoption or foster to adopt.

Fostering for adoption, also referred to as 'foster to adopt' means that young children, usually babies, are placed at a young age with approved potential adopters, who would also be approved temporary foster carers, whilst the family court decides on the child’s future.

Where there is a low chance of the child being rehabilitated to their birth family, fostering for adoption enables approved potential adopters to provide early permanence for babies and young children.

Assessments will be completed prior to the child’s birth or in their early life to establish the best long-term plan for the child.

Foster to adopt is a route to adoption that may not be an option for all adopters. Your social worker will discuss and explore this option with you as you work through the best route for you.

Advantages for the child

  • The child will benefit from stability and continuity of care from the earliest possible stage in their life with fewer moves to cope with, avoiding the possibility multiple placements and placement breakdowns for the child.
  • Fostering for adoption enables early bonds to be made and early attachment needs to be met.
  • It allows for a permanent home to be found for the child as early as possible, research shows that risks of developmental and behavioural difficulties lessen the earlier the child is placed with permanent carers.
  • Fostering for adoption enables the early development of forming a secure attachment to their primary care giver.

Advantages for you (as a foster to adopt carer)

  • You may have a very young baby placed with you, possibly even straight from hospital.
  • You will gain a better understanding of a child’s birth family and history and be able to talk more meaningfully with the child about their birth family.
  • You will get to know the child sooner and if you do go on to adopt them you will have already established a bond and will be able to share early memories with them.

Being a short term foster to adopt carer does not suit all prospective adopters, there will be a number of things that you will need to consider:

  • Due to the young age of the child there could also be some uncertainties around their development.
  • You will need to be emotionally resilient, flexible and manage uncertainties.
  • You will need to be able to work with professionals and attend/be available for regular meetings and visits to your home.
  • You will need to support and be comfortable with the child maintaining contact with their birth family until the court makes its final decision about whether the child should be adopted.
  • The court may decide to return the child to their birth parents or a family member, so you need to be able to deal with the uncertainty whilst the court makes its final decision.
  • You will need to think about how you, your immediate and wider family will cope if the court does not agree with the plan for adoption.
  • If you already have a child you will need to prepare the child for the period of uncertainty in the fostering phase.

The team at ARC Adoption will support you through this process and beyond. However, it is also important for you to think about what support you might need, what support you have access to and how you typically deal with challenging, upsetting or painful situations.

If the court agrees that the best plan for the child’s future is to be adopted and the adoption agency approves the match between you as a foster to adopt carer and the child then the placement becomes an adopted placement and the child will legally become your child.

If you would like to find out more about fostering for adoption then please call the team at ARC Adoption on 0191 516 6466 or click Adoption enquiry and a member of the ARC Adoption team will contact you as soon as possible.