You can now adopt a child via two additional routes, Fostering to Adopt and Concurrent Planning.

Fostering to adopt

Where a local authority decides that a child/children cannot live within their birth family and the plan should be adoption, fostering to adopt schemes allow the child to be placed with approved adopters who are also approved as foster carers.

If the court decides that the child shouldn’t return home and adoption is in the child’s best interests, the foster carers will then adopt the child. 

Advantages of fostering to adopt

  • Children are placed with carers who may become their adopters, giving permanence at an early stage.
  • The child will be able to put down roots and bond with their parents from a very early stage.
  • Adopters get the chance to care for the child from a very early age, first as foster carers and then as adoptive parents. 

Is fostering to adopt right for me?

There will be a number of things that you will need to think about as a fostering to adopt carer.

Initially, as a foster carer you are caring for the child under the direct supervision of the local authority so you’d need to consider whether this is something you’d be comfortable with. The child is likely to be having contact with birth family members during this stage.

If you are in work, you will need to consider the implications of fostering to adopt for your job in terms of finances and taking time off work. You would need to discuss this with your employer.

Whilst you are fostering a child you will receive an allowance.

As a fostering to adopt carer you will have to deal with a level of uncertainty. Children are only placed in fostering to adopt families where it is highly likely that you would go on to adopt the child, but you would have to deal with the uncertainty of this outcome. You would need to think about the possibility of the court not agreeing the adoption plan and the child leaving your care. Your wider family will need to understand this too.

For many people thinking about fostering to adopt, the attraction will be the opportunity to look after a child from an earlier stage than under the traditional adoption route.

Contact

If you are interested in becoming a fostering to adopt carer, please call 0161 770 6605 or complete our 'Ask about becoming an adopter' online form: 

  • Ask about becoming an adopter

Further information is also available from the First 4 Adoption website:

Concurrent planning

Concurrent Planning is for babies and young children under two in care who are likely to need adoption, but who still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family.

Through concurrent placements, children who are taken into care when they are born or soon after are placed with concurrent carers. This reduces the number of times a child will have to move between families as their foster family will also become their adoptive family, if the child cannot return to their birth family.

Concurrent carers are assessed and trained both as foster carers and adopters. When a child is initially placed with concurrent carers, they act as foster carers for the child whilst plans are being decided and supporting contact with birth family members while the court decides the child's future.

It is important that carers work co-operatively with the child's family and the professionals involved.

If the court decides that the birth family are able to meet the needs of the child, the concurrent carers would help the child to return to them. Concurrent carers will have given the child the love and security that they need as well as helping them to settle back with their family

Should the child be unable to return to the care of their birth family, then concurrent carers adopt the child and become the legal parents.

Could I become a concurrent carer?

To be a concurrent carer you need to be resourceful and emotionally mature, able to put the needs of babies and young children first, and respect and work with a child’s birth family in the early months.

You will need support and you should discuss the implications with your family and friends. They need to understand the nature of the task you are taking on. The advantage is that you will potentially adopt a child under two who you have cared for since they came into care or shortly after.

Contact

Oldham Council commissions its concurrent planning scheme in conjunction with other local authorities from Caritas Care and Adoption Matters Northwest. They recruit and approve concurrent carers on our behalf.

If you are interested in concurrent planning please call: 0300 123 1050

Further information is also available from the First 4 Adoption website: