What is adoption?

Adoption is a way of providing a new family for children who cannot be brought up by their own parents.

It's a legal procedure in which all the parental responsibility is transferred to the adopters.

Once an adoption order has been granted it can't be reversed except in extremely rare circumstances.

An adopted child loses all legal ties with their first mother and father (the "birth parents") and becomes a full member of the new family, usually taking the family's name.

What is the difference between adoption and fostering?

Foster carers share the responsibility for the child with a local authority and the child's parents.

Fostering is usually a temporary arrangement, though sometimes foster care may be the plan until the child grows up. This longterm or "permanent" fostering cannot provide the same legal security as adoption for either the child or the foster family but it may be the right plan for some children.