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Join us at our Adoption Information Event on 19/6/24

Find out more
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  • Book on to an Information Event
  • Download the Information Guide
  • The Children who need Adopting
  • The Application Process
  • Types of Adoption
  • Preparing for Adoption
  • FAQs
  • Adopter Stories
  • Ask the Adopter
  • Being an Adoptive Parent
  • LGBTQ+ Adoption
  • Early Permanence
  • Support and eLearning
  • Pre-Adoption
  • Post-Adoption
  • Adoption Support Fund
  • Education Support
  • Life Story Book
  • Talking About Adoption
  • Support for Adopted Children
  • Support for Adopted Adults
  • Support for Birth Families
  • Adoption Support Training Hub
  • Leicester
  • Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire and Rutland
  • North Lincolnshire
  • Northamptonshire

Being an

Being An Adoptive Parent

adoptive parent

Our adopters tell us that 90% of the time, parenting an adoptive child is exactly the same as parenting a birth child. Love, patience, support, discipline and understanding all feature highly in the parenting handbook.

For the additional 10% we offer all of our adoptive parents a comprehensive package of support so that they are well-equipped even before they are actually approved for adoption to meet these additional needs.

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As an adoptive parent, you need to be able to

  • Accept and understand the child’s past history
  • Support and help the child to understand their background and life story, no matter how difficult.
  • Be resilient and patient
  • Work collaboratively with social workers and other professionals
  • Therapeutically Parent (full training provided)
  • Take 12 months adoption leave
  • Parent someone else’s child whilst acknowledging that they are the birth family
  • Be resilient and patient
  • Work collaboratively with social workers and other professionals

Children’s contact needs

In the past, when children were placed for adoption it was believed that they needed a ‘clean break’ and ties with their birth family were cut. This view has now changed. Research shows that many adults who were adopted as children said they would have liked more information about their birth family as they were growing up to help them to have a better sense of their history and identity. As a result we have changed our training and practices to accommodate this development.

All adopters must be prepared for some form of ongoing contact after adoption between a child and significant people from their birth family. The level of contact may vary and can include direct and indirect contact.


The Letterbox system facilitates indirect contact between the birth family and the adopted family and child. This usually takes the form of an exchange of written information via the adoption agency and could be once or twice yearly. This safe and secure system ensures the confidentiality of adoptive families.

Direct contact

For some children, direct (face to face) contact is appropriate. This could be with a brother or sister who has been placed with a different adopter, a birth parent or with a grandparent who has cared for the child. Birth families are not given the address of adopters and we will support you and the child if direct contact is planned. Part of our role involves mediating between adopters and birth families where, over time, a child’s need for contact may change or difficulties arise.


During the process of preparation to become an adopter you will be given more information and the opportunity to ask questions about contact. It is important that after learning more about adoption you are honest with yourselves and us, about the level of contact that you can accept.

Further sources

First Steps is a free and online adoptive parenting resource with a variety of short courses and tutorials. Check out their website for more details.

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The love and happiness our children have brought us has been the best thing we have experienced. Adoption changes both your life and a child's life for the better.