Caritas Care

Adoption: Reflections on 2023 – have things really changed?

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Adoption: Reflections on 2023 – have things really changed?

One-year ends and another one begins, but have things really changed?

Are we still saying the same things? 

Are the numbers of children waiting for adoption still the same?

Are we still looking for families to adopt brothers and sisters, children over 4 and children with varying levels of additional needs?

Sadly, the answer to these questions is YES!


  • 2,110 is the number of children currently waiting for adoption. For the past 5 years, there have been consistently in the region of 2,000 children waiting for adoption.
  • 60% of children come from specific groups that repeatedly face the longest delays in finding a home. These children wait, on average, 7 months longer to find a permanent home.
  • 48% of these having waited longer than 18 months since entering care to be placed with an adoptive family.
  • Of all the children waiting right now for families:
    • 42% are in a sibling group
    • 19% are over 5
    • 18% are from an Ethnic Minority
    • 4% have a disability
  • Children over five wait 17 months longer than children under five.
  • Children in sibling groups wait 13 months longer than children not in a sibling group.
  • Children with a disability wait 10 months longer than children without a disability.
  • Ethnic minority children wait 1 month longer than the average for all children and white children.
  • Black children wait 6 months longer than the average for all children.

12 months on… children are still waiting long periods and there continues to be a decline in the number of people coming forward to adopt.  We want to explore the reasons why this is so, and also attempt to encourage anyone who is or has been considering adoption to get in touch.


We can only speculate on this, as everybody’s case is different. It is without a doubt the cost of living, rising household bills and food prices will have affected and contributed to people making huge life changing decisions.

We ask that applicants are financially secure, but we also understand how the economic climate is right now and will work through this with you.  As part of the process, we will ask you to complete a budget planner to evidence that you are managing your finances and are able to provide for a child.


There still seems to be some misconceptions surrounding adoption that have discouraged some people from considering it.  We want to dispel some of those for you:

Same gender couples

You can adopt if you are a same gender couple. In fact, LGBTQ+ people play a key role in adoption with 1 in 5 adoptions in England being to same-sex couples (20 November, 2023). Caritas Care is an inclusive charity and have LGBTQ+ Social Workers within our teams. We ensure that each team member has undertaken training on all aspects of their work and promotes equal opportunities at all times for everyone we work with.

  • People living in rented accommodation

If you don’t own your own home, you can still adopt. All we ask that you have a spare bedroom so your child can have a space of their own.

  • Medical conditions and disabilities

Many people who adopt have medical conditions and disabilities. A disability does not necessarily prevent you from adopting a child.

  • There is no upper age limit on adoption

Some individuals may feel discouraged to enquire about adoption as they think they are too old. If you are over the age of 21 and can support a child into adulthood, are in good health and have the energy needed to care for young children, you can adopt.

  • Employment

You can adopt if you are employed or on benefits.  We will assess that you are financially secure and able to support a child.

  • Birth Children

Regardless of whether you have birth children or not, you can adopt. We believe it is important to include any birth children in the process and have a team of highly skilled social workers who can work with your children at an age appropriate level and pace.

  • Single People

We have a thriving peer support group for our single adopters here at Caritas Care. Our single Adopters have had many successful placements – many children really thrive on the one to one attention.

These are just a few misconceptions, but we have a dedicated Frequently Asked Questions page to help you find the answers you are looking for.  Click here

  • Perceived Complexity of the Process

We understand that potential adopters might find the assessment process intimidating or overwhelming. It does involve a number of meetings with your allocated social work and includes a number of visits and interviews.  To put your mind at ease, we have created a step-by-step guide on the process, click here

We also hold information events, which take place online fortnightly; you can book your place on one of these events here

 Fear of Rejection or Judgment

We are not here to judge you. Of course, our main priority is that we find the right people to provide children with a safe, permanent home. We understand that fear of rejection or judgement can have a significant emotional impact on a prospective adopter and might be a barrier to you making that initial contact.  We will be open and honest with you throughout your journey and will discuss any recommendations with you. What we don’t want is for you to rule yourself out before you have even started.  The chances are you could change your life forever, so take a chance and give us a call.

If you have any questions about adoption or thinking that 2024 could be your year to grow your family, than please get in touch.  We’d love to hear from you.  No obligations, no pressures, just a chat.

Get in touch by completing the contact form opposite or call us on 0800 652 6955.

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