National Adoption Week 2011 31 October 2011 - 6 November 2011Wednesday 19th October 2011
The purpose of national adoption week is to raise awareness of the need for people to come forward and make a space for a child in their lives.
By adopting a child you are giving a loving home to a child who can no longer be brought up by their birth parents. Adoption confers legal rights and responsibilities for the child and is a lifelong commitment. It is not always easy, but it can be extremely rewarding.
Who can adopt?
Contrary to what you may hear, you do not have to be married or in a relationship to adopt a child. You do not need to be heterosexual - nor do you need to own your own home, have a job or be under 40 to be considered. You do not have to be a parent already, and having a disability it is not necessarily a bar to becoming an adoptive parent.
You do have to be over 21, have patience, be flexible and, most of all, be committed to providing a child with a lifelong home.
The adoption agency will check whether you have a criminal record and when initial enquires are made when you first apply to be considered to be an adoptive parent you should be honest about any criminal convictions or cautions you may have, even if they are dated many years ago. Just because you have a caution or a criminal conviction does not mean you will be automatically excluded from adopting, although people with certain types of criminal convictions or cautions, such as specified offences against children or certain sexual offences against adults, cannot adopt.
There is ongoing support for adoptive families and the services available include advice and information, counselling, financial support and help with getting benefits.
What to do if you are interested
If you are interested in making a space in your life for a child you will have lots of questions and lots to consider. It will help to speak to those who are involved in and have been through the process. National adoption week sees events taking place throughout the country that will give you the opportunity to meet adoption teams and, in some cases, meet adoptive parents.
Wednesday 2 November 2011 - Torbay Council Adoption Team Recruitment and Information Event 10am - 4pm at Drake Circus Shopping Centre, Plymouth
Friday 4 November 2011 - Gloucestershire County Council Adoption Information Stand 10am - 4pm at Sainsburys, Gloucester Quays
Saturday 5 November 2011 - Gloucestershire County Council Adoption Information Stand 12 noon - 2pm at Farmers Market, Stroud
Tuesday 29 November 2011 - Plymouth Adoption Information Evening 7.30pm at Windsor House, Tavistock Road, Plymouth
Ashfords has experience in advising on adoption issues. For more details, please call Lesley Powell on 01884 203009.
Ashfords LLP is Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The information in this note is intended to be general information about English law only and not comprehensive. It is not to be relied on as legal advice nor as an alternative to taking professional advice relating to specific circumstances.