Why are we waiting?

Many individuals and families have been approved to adopt, but are now waiting for their match. Why is this?

Over the past few months we’ve been having more and more conversations with individuals and families who have already been approved to adopt, but are now in the process of waiting for their match. Whether these conversations have happened on our enquiry line, during an online chat or email exchange, or in person at an event, we have heard the frustration, disappointment and sadness that many people are feeling and we recognise this is an issue that a number of our supporters are currently facing.

A lot of reports have explained why this is occurring, such as this article in the Telegraph, this from the Independent and, most recently, this from the Guardian, and the primary reason given is that over the last eighteen months or so, less children have been put forward for adoption. As the team at Adoption Link explain, there are currently more adopters waiting than there are children waiting to be adopted.

Since 2013 there has been a significant rise in Special Guardianship Orders (SGOs) being granted, which mean that a child will remain in the care of a member of their extended birth family or perhaps a family friend. A government report released in August explains more about this process and why this shift has occurred, and some individuals and organisations have offered their response to this and shared some concerns – such as this article from Children & Young People Now and this statement from Adoption UK.

Home for Good is aware of these ongoing debates and we will continue to advocate for the best possible outcome for every child wherever we are able, with the aim of seeing every child in a safe, stable and loving home. We believe that in many cases it is in the best interests of a child to stay with a family member or family friend under an SGO, where that person is able to provide the appropriate level of care and protection, but we also believe that in many other cases adoption is the best option.

Ultimately though, we know that while explanations might help ease some of the frustration for those families waiting to adopt, it doesn’t remove the tangle of feelings that each individual and couple will be feeling as they wait for their children.

We can’t comprehend the extent of these feelings and understand that from day to day your experiences will vary to encompass disappointment, sadness, loss, anger, and weariness. Please know that we are committed to praying for you as you wait and we hope that you are able to share these feelings with those in your support network as they stand with you. You may feel encouraged to read these thoughts from another approved adopter who is waiting.

Although the number of approved adopters may have increased over the past year and, generally, less children are being put forward for adoption, it is still the case that there are thousands of children waiting for their permanent home and forever family, and many of them have been waiting for a long time. For this reason, Home for Good will continue to raise awareness of the need for people to adopt, as we have been doing.

What is important though is that we recognise the specific characteristics of the children who are waiting and we clearly communicate the need for people who feel able to adopt older children, those with additional needs, children who have health issues or disabilities, and children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

This is why we are intentionally partnering with five excellent adoption agencies on our Pathway to Adoption, as these agencies not only offer a faith-friendly service to potential adopters, but they are committed to seeking homes for children who have been waiting a long time, and they will provide high quality after-adoption support for life.

We know that to adopt a child or children is a huge decision and we are delighted that many people feel able to make this choice.

If you are waiting for your child then we hope you are able to keep persevering and have faith that they will be matched with you in time. If you are considering adoption then we encourage you to explore it and hope that we can help you through our web resources – and you are always welcome to contact us on our enquiry line or via email – but the reality is that adoption is very hard at times. The waiting is one aspect of the many challenges that adopters will face.

But we believe that adoption can also bring great joy and be part of an incredible process of transformation and restoration for some of the most vulnerable of children. It will not be easy but we hope that whatever stage of the journey you are in, you are able to see the bigger picture, and believe that what is currently happening for you – be it assessment, waiting for a match or parenting your adopted child – is deeply significant and can be truly life-changing.

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Home for Good


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