ARC Adoption North East is among 21 VAAs from all over the UK, who have together created a guide for people considering adoption, containing helpful information and advice from parents who have already adopted children with additional needs.

Children with additional needs wait an average of 11 months longer* in care than their peers and voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs) are urgently looking for people who can offer them a permanent and loving home. 

The ARC Adoption team would like to thank all of the adoptive parents that contributed to this guide. You can download a copy of the advice guide here.

Terry Fitzpatrick OBE, Director at ARC Adoption North East said:

"It may sound daunting for people thinking about adoption to consider a child with additional needs but our adoptive parents who have done so say it is incredibly rewarding. It gives a child the chance to flourish and to grow up with the love and security that every child deserves.

All children can have additional needs at times. These could be to do with their development, learning, communication, behaviour or emotional wellbeing. There are also children with physical disabilities.

We are excited to be part of this project sharing first hand, heartfelt experience and advice from families who have already done this incredible thing of adopting a child with additional needs."

A special family finding appeal for sisters

ARC Adoption North East recently launched a regional appeal with regional adoption agency, Adopt Coast to Coast, for an adoptive family for two sisters, one of whom has additional needs including a form of cerebral palsy and epilepsy. We are urging people to come forward who may be able to offer the stability, care and attention that both children need after a difficult start in life, and almost two years spent in foster care. 

It is hoped that the advice guide, will give people who have seen the appeal or are thinking about adoption generally, an additional insight into adopting a child with additional needs.

Click here to read more about the sisters and watch a video featuring their foster carers. 

Parents, Kevin and Deb, went through the adoption process for a second time after Deb met a little girl by chance at an adoption activity day where she was helping. They had this to share about adopting a child with additional needs, which has also been included in the guide:

"We learnt about her cerebral palsy straight away and started to research the implications. We got lots of information from the Social Work team and were supported well by ARC to consider the implications for us. We decided that, to be honest, why would we not want to adopt this bundle of joy with such a spirit for life!

Since adopting again, the best things for us have been having a little girl grow in our family and be the best she can be. Seeing her incredible progress, constantly achieving more than people thought she would. Looking at her character and not her disability. We would 100% recommend adopting a child with additional needs – the rewards and pride are a million-fold more than health appointments and worries."

VAAs such as ARC Adoption are specialists in finding families for children who wait the longest in care, working in partnership with regional adoption agencies and local authorities to find families for children waiting for a permanent home. At ARC Adoption, we specialise in offering a wide range of informal and therapeutic support which is available to our families for life. 

If you are interested in finding put more about adopting children with additional needs, we'd love to hear from you. Please complete our enquiry form and our team will be in touch at a time that is convenient for you. 

* The latest data shows in 2022/2023, there were 2110 children waiting to be adopted from care