A national week of action is shining a spotlight on adoption through the generations in a bid to highlight how it has changed and in turn how it can change the lives of children! 

National Adoption Week (16th – 22nd October), backed by Northwest Regional Adoption Agency, Adoption Now is celebrating the life stories of different generations of adopted people to encourage potential adopters to come forward to change the lives of children who are still waiting for their forever home.  
The campaign showcases a powerful set of portraits captured by royal, fashion and portrait photographer Philip Sinden - who was adopted himself in the 1970s. The portraits show striking imagery of eight different people who were adopted between the 1960s-2010s.  Each individual portrait features a backdrop of emotive and poignant words that bring to life how adoption has shaped, and continues to shape, their life and highlights how adoption has changed over the years. The portraits have been released alongside a new short film captured during the photoshoot and hears firsthand the group’s different experiences – challenging misconceptions about what adoption looks like today.

Through these powerful stories of adopted people across age groups, the week aims to highlight the positive impact adoption has had on the individuals’ lives, and the strides made in the sector to put children and their sense of identity at the heart of the adoption journey. Whilst recognising the challenges they have faced along the way, the new campaign brings to life the transformational power of a permanent family home. There is still a huge need for more people to come forward to adopt, with a 23% decline in the proportion of children leaving care via adoption over the last five years - last year (2022), 2,950 children left care via adoption, 900 less than in 2018.  

Katrina Williams, Deputy Manager at Adoption Now, said: “Adoption has really changed over the years from being secretive and hidden to being an open and supportive way of finding forever families for children who really need them. We understand the importance of helping children form a positive sense of identity by providing them with information about their pasts and the chance to maintain connections with their birth family in a safe and supportive way. I am excited about the future of adoption and urge anybody who can, to join us on our journey to do all we can to help our children live the lives they deserve and to reach their full potential.”

The latest data shows in 2022/2023, there were 2110 children waiting to be adopted from care. The majority of children waiting for adoption (60%) come from specific groups repeatedly facing the longest delays in finding a home. These groups include children aged five or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from an Ethnic Minority background (excludes White minorities). Compared to children without these characteristics, children from these groups wait an average of 7 months longer than other children. 


The Adoption Process

The process of adoption aims to take around six months to approval, and involves the following 3 stage process:

Stage 1 (Approx 2 Months) Involves:

• Registering interest in adoption and submitting paperwork.

• Training and preparation.

• A medical examination.

Stage 2 (Approx 4 Months) Involves:

• Adoption Now will discuss with you your current situation along with what sort of children you will adopt.

• Number of meetings with your social worker.

• The Adoption Panel. Stage 3 (Approx 6 months) Involves:

• Matching you to a prospective adoptive child.

• Activity and Exchange Days

In 2018/2019, the average time between placement order and match for children was 6 months.

Common Myths About Adoption

FALSE: You Can’t Adopt Until You’re 25

28% of people believed that you must be 25 or older to adopt a child. This is false. You must be at least 21 to adopt a child. So long as you are financially secure and able to support a child. Every child needing adoption has a story, but you could be the one to pathe the way for a better future for them.

FALSE: People Over 50 Can’t Adopt

There really is no upper age limit on adoption. However, your eligibility is based on your health and ability to take care of a child up until adulthood.

FALSE: You Can’t Adopt If You’re LGBTQ+

You can adopt regardless of your sexuality and/or gender identity. In fact, 1 in 7 adoptions in England were to same sex couples in 2019.

FALSE: You Can’t Adopt If You Have a Disability

There are many adoptive parents with medical conditions and disabilities. A disability does not necessarily rule you out from adopting a child so long as you are capable of taking care of them into adulthood.

FALSE: You Can’t Adopt If You Rent Your Home

You are able to adopt whether you own or rent your home.

FALSE: You Can’t Adopt If You Are On Benefits

24% of people believe that you cannot adopt if you receive benefits, however, this is false. So long as you are financially stable enough to support a child, you will be able to adopt.

FALSE: You Can’t Adopt If You Are Religious or from a BAME background

You can adopt regardless of your religion and ethnicity. We strongly encourage potential parents from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds as children from the same backgrounds tend to wait longer to be matched with a new adoptive family. At Adoption Now, we focus on achieving the best we can for our children so having adopters from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures is essential to us.

FALSE: You Can’t Adopt If You Are Single

17% of people believe single people aren’t eligible to adopt. This is incorrect and 12% of adopters were single in 2019. Children’s needs vary and all sorts of people are needed to adopt. You can be single, married or in a long term ‘live in’ relationship.

FALSE: You Can’t Adopt If You Already Have Children

You can adopt if you have children, if you don’t or if you have adopted in the past.

A Word About Adoption From Celebrity Adopters