Independent adoption agencies from across the UK have joined forces to highlight the choices available to people considering becoming a parent through adoption. 

ARC Adoption North East is one of 12 adoption agencies taking part in the #AdopterChoice campaign, launching on 11 April 2022.

Supported by the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA), the campaign aims to raise awareness of the options available for anyone thinking about adopting a child or children.

People wishing to adopt can choose to apply through their local authority, a Regional Adoption Agency or a Voluntary Adoption Agency (VAA). 

Voluntary Adoption Agencies (VAAs) are independent, not-for-profit organisations which are smaller than most statutory agencies and offer a personalised service to adopters from all backgrounds.

VAAs work in partnership with local authorities and Regional Adoption Agencies across the whole of the UK to find families for children in care who are unable to stay with their birth relatives.

As part of the #AdopterChoice campaign, adoptive parents have spoken of the reasons why they chose to adopt through a VAA.

Adoptive dad Tom said:

“We looked around at a few different agencies, both local authority and voluntary agencies but it was from the voluntary agency that we got that sense of personalised support and the interest in us. It felt like our social worker was entirely in our corner and they didn’t have any agenda or priorities of their own, they were just solely focused on making the best match they could for both the children and also for us.”

Mum of one Zoe said:

“A VAA is able to work with children from across the country because they aren’t bound like a local authority is for their region, so as a result, they were able to match me with my son. He was from a different area of the country, and it was a perfect fit!”

Adoptive dad of three, Kevin said:

“With the voluntary agency you work with people who befriend you. They become someone who is interested in you as a couple, interested in making sure that you are going to be matched with the right children, and the right children are going to be matched with you.”

Adopter Rhi said:

“One of the great things about a voluntary adoption agency is that they often focus on children who wait longer for a placement. As we were looking at adopting an older child, we thought that was really useful.”

Mum of three, Amy said:

“Our experience has been fantastic! It’s been really personalised, it's been really supportive. It’s been fundamental to where our family life is now. The key factor in that has been the support from the voluntary agency from our first contact with them up until today and the support we are still receiving.”

Watch a film featuring the experiences of all five adopters below:

The CVAA champions and supports Voluntary Adoption Agencies from across the UK, of which there are 36 in total.

CVAA CEO Maggie Jones said:

“Voluntary Adoption Agencies have the advantage of being rooted in their local community while also being able to search across the country to link children with the adoptive families which are best for them.

“VAAs are genuinely welcoming of adopters from all walks of life and offer really high-quality support for the whole of the adoption journey.”

ARC Adoption North East is a Voluntary Adoption Agency based in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, actively working to find families for children, and thoroughly preparing them for life as adoptive parents. As an independently managed agency it is able to provide a holistic, often bespoke, forward thinking and adaptive service to its adopters, delivering a level of support not always possible from other types of agencies. It’s dedicated Therapeutic Adoption Support Service provides extensive ongoing support for adoptive parents and their children, available for life.  

Director of ARC Adoption North East, Terry Fitzpatrick OBE commented:

“We are delighted to take part in this initiative to raise awareness of Voluntary Adoption Agencies across the country and highlight the valuable contribution they make in finding families for children in the care system. Choosing to adopt is a life changing decision and commitment, and therefore it is important that prospective adopters are aware of the types of support and guidance available to them from different adoption agencies, and that they can choose the agency that provides the best fit for them and their needs.”

Anyone considering adoption as a route to grow their family is encouraged to contact local adoption agencies to find out more about the process and the support they are able to provide.

ARC Adoption North East hosts regular virtual information events for people to find out more about adoption in a relaxed and informal environment, and the team is also available to provide advice on a one-to-one basis - simply click here to arrange a call back.