Adoption is a legal procedure which means you will become part of a new family, called an adoptive family. Usually adoption happens because it is not possible for you to live with your biological parents as they may not have been able to provide you with good enough care.

If you are not able to live with your birth family, usually it will be a judge who decides whether you should be placed for adoption. It is the job of a Social Worker to find an adoptive family who is a good match for you. You will have a chance to meet your adoptive family and get to know them before you move in.

How long will it take to find an adoptive family?

It may take a while to find a family which is exactly right for you so it is unlikely to be a quick process: the process may take as little as a few months to a few years.

What if I don’t want to be adopted?

You can speak to your Social Worker or Children’s Guardian. It is their job to listen to you and tell the judge what you want. Although a decision may be made which you do not want, the decision will be made with your best interests in mind. You may also have an advocate to help you express your wishes. An advocate is an adult who will talk with you and speak on your behalf.

Can I have contact with my birth parents/wider family?

Letterbox contact is a way that you can stay in contact with birth parents by exchanging letters or photos. Talk to your Social Worker and/or advocate if you want to change how much contact you have with your birth parents.

How will I find out information about my birth family?

You will receive a life story book which includes information about your history, your birth family and your life before you were adopted. When you are 18 you can also find details about your birth family. For more information, see Adoption – finding birth parents and siblings.


Find out how you can access support with this issue by contacting the Coram Voice free Advocacy Helpline for Children and Young People on 0808 800 5792 or visit