A young woman in a session with a support worker who is holding a red notebook and pen

Before your child is adopted

If social workers are making plans for your child to be adopted you may be upset, angry or confused.

You may want to talk to somebody independent or want advice about what is happening.

PAC UK and Family Rights Group offer independent information about adoption and operate a helpline.


If you want advice about your child being adopted

If you’re unhappy about your child being adopted, you should seek legal advice straight away. Your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau may know some names of solicitors who specialise in adoption cases.

Your child can only be adopted if you consent to their adoption or if the Court agrees that adoption is in your child’s best interest. Your solicitor will advise you about this.


If you want your child to be adopted

If you live in Birmingham and you want your child to be adopted, you should contact us. We will then arrange a visit for you with a social worker to talk through your options. During this visit we will make sure you understand the legal impact of adoption.

If you would like to continue with your decision, we will then pass your information to Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS).

CAFCASS will become involved after your baby is born and is at least six weeks old. They will also ask if you’re willing to sign a formal document to consent to your child being placed for adoption. The form will say that you agree to your child being placed with adopters and for the Court to make an Adoption Order.

What about the father?

If the father is not named on the birth certificate and you are not married, his permission is not needed for the adoption to take place. A social worker will ask to contact him to find out about his family background and medical history. This may help your child’s adoptive parents and your child make important decisions in the future.

If you are married (and your husband is the father), or if the father is named on the birth certificate, he must formally agree to the adoption. If your husband is not the father, the law will consider him the legal father and ask for his consent for the adoption, unless he has signed a declaration stating that he is not the child’s biological father.

If the baby’s father doesn’t agree with adoption and wishes to raise the child himself, the Court may be asked to decide what is in the child’s best interests.


How we find an adoptive family for your child

We need to know as much as we can about your child’s current and potential future needs. This is to ensure we find the best possible match for your child.

We learn as much as we can about our adopters to understand what sort of family home they can offer your child. A lot of thought goes into choosing a suitable family.

Please let us know if there is anything special you would like us to remember when choosing a family for your child. For example, you may wish for them to have a particular religious or cultural lifestyle.

We can’t promise to do as you wish, but we will take your wishes into account.

You may be able to meet your child’s adoptive parents and it may help you to meet the person, or people, who will care for your child.

Please discuss your wishes with your social worker.


Adoption Order

Once an Adoption Order has been made by the Courts, your child cannot be returned to you. Before this point it may be possible, although the Court may need to be persuaded that returning the child into your care is in the child’s best interest.

Once the Adoption Order has been made, you have no legal responsibility or legal relationship with your child.