• Danielle Daggett


A group of Voluntary Adoption Agencies across the UK, including Leeds based Adoption Matters, have joined forces to encourage potential adopters to consider adopting children who wait the longest.

Studies have shown that brothers and sisters who need to stay together, children aged 4 and over, children with additional needs and children from a diverse range of backgrounds, cultures and religions wait the longest for adoption. Voluntary Agencies like Adoption Matters, have a wealth of experience in adoption and offer a friendly, outstanding service in supporting you through the adoption process and beyond.

Adoption Matters Chief Executive, Norman Goodwin, CBE commented: "We place children with a diverse range of needs and from a diverse range of backgrounds. What they all have in common is the need for individuals and families to put their needs first and to offer them a safe, nurturing and loving home so they can flourish.

“We have always offered lifelong support to our children and families from their first weeks of placement through to support as an adopted adult. We are here for them as long as is needed and we know that this vital to the success of any adoption".

There are still many myths around adoption. To adopt in the UK you can be single, LGBTQ+, over 50, working, unemployed, own your home or rent. There isn’t a huge amount of criteria that restricts you from adopting. You do, however, need to be over the age of 21 and be able to offer a child (or children) their own room. Full medical assessments are also carried out by your own GP. Having a disability does not exclude people from adopting and it is widely recognised that people with disabilities can provide a very loving home.

Adoption Matters also welcome and encourage enquiries from people who have other children. The needs of the children placed is always paramount and people need to consider that sometimes a child awaiting adoption has needs, and their emotional age can be very different to their chronological age.

What matters most is that you have the time, commitment and love to give a child or children, everything else your adoption agency can help you with, offering full training and support.

The adoption process takes around 6 months. In general, 2 months from your initial ‘registration of interest’ to formal application and 4 months from application to approval as an adopter. The length of time it takes for a child to be placed varies depending on individual circumstances.

The latest statistics from the Department of Education show that of the 2,030 children currently waiting for adoption across the UK:

  • Nearly 50% (890) are brothers and sisters

  • 1050 children waiting have been waiting 18+ months

  • The average number of days spent waiting to be placed for adoption since entering care was 647 days at the end of September 2020 - an increase of 77 days from September 2019

Furthermore, black children wait longer to be placed with an adoptive family. 46% of all children wait 18+ months, but a study released 31st Dec 2019(2) revealed 69% of Black Caribbean children had an average wait of 28 months, 61% of Black African had an average wait of 24 months and 60% of White/Black African children waited 21 months on average.

Children waiting for adoption are placed in foster care, which provides them with a nurturing, safe and loving home on a temporary basis. Foster care can also sometimes involves multiple placements and moves for children. For a child of any age, entering care is a traumatic experience. Waiting, with the uncertainty of their future, for nearly 2 years is a shocking statistic.

Adoption Matters aim is to find families for these children and reduce this waiting time. Working in partnership with Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs) across the whole of the UK, the organisation have placed thousands of children with their forever family.

If you have thought about adoption, please consider this group of children and how they too deserve a stable and caring forever home through adoption.

For more information visit: www.adoptionmatters.org now.

Data Sources:

  1. Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board latest data September 2020: https://coram-i.org.uk/asglb/data/

  2. Children looked after in England including adoption: 2018 to 2019 – https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-lookedafter-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019


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