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Myths and frequently asked questions about adoption in Wokingham

Myths and questions

Many adopted children come from backgrounds of abuse and neglect. Or, for one reason or another, their birth family was simply unable to care for them.

Anyone can apply to adopt if they have the desire to provide care throughout a child’s life and want to extend their family. Your sexuality, ethnicity and marital status are of no consequence. In fact, we need people from as diverse a range of backgrounds as possible. Contact us today to talk informally.

It’s extremely important that we match children with the right adopted families. We appreciate all who are willing to adopt and do everything we can to make sure their commitment is supported and recognised. We do have rigorous selection criteria because we have the needs of our children at the centre of what we do, but we give you advice and help during every step of the adoption process. Contact us today for more details about the requirements of adoption.

We support and advise you during the adoption process and continue to support you once you have adopted. You will be assigned a social worker to help you for up to three years after the adoption. In some cases, this period of extra support can be extended. Contact us today for more informal advice about adoption.

No. All prospective applicants will need to be able to demonstrate that they can:

  • Provide a stable and secure family upbringing for a child 
  • Provide good physical and emotional care and age-appropriate opportunities
  • Manage their income in a way that enables them to meet their family’s needs
  • Provide a stable home base, child-centred and age appropriate child care arrangements 


Not necessarily. All applicants need to be fit and healthy enough to be able to appropriately meet the care and parenting needs of any child who is placed with them for adoption.

As part of the adoption process all applicants are required to have an in depth medical examination with their own G.P.

Potential adopters are expected to disclose all relevant information relating to their personal medical histories. This would include any prognosis of life threatening illnesses occurring or reoccurring, any known genetic condition(s) or psychological and/or psychiatric referral or treatment, concerning the applicant, a member of the household, or an immediate family member. Where an applicant is undergoing, or anticipating, a significant medical procedure (including major surgery) local authorities will not usually accept an application until the procedure is concluded. This will be concluded once sufficient time has elapsed to enable the applicant to make a good physical recovery and to psychologically adjust to their new situation. Adopt Thames Valley subscribes to this approach.

 As stated above all applicants must be fit and healthy enough to be able to meet the full range of care and parenting needs of any child placed with them for adoption. Adoption Agency Medical Advisors will consider each applicant’s BMI (Body Mass Index) when making a recommendation on his/her suitability to adopt from a medical perspective.

We do not want to place a child within a family, where there is a predicted and certain health crisis on the near horizon - this would be an additional trauma for a child and the need to avoid this.

No. The Adoption and Children Act 2002 was fully implemented in December 2005 and enables unmarried couples to jointly adopt children regardless of whether the partners are of the same or opposite gender. It will usually be expected that in the case of any couple, both partners will jointly adopt any child(ren) placed.

Most adoption agencies consider that the quality and strength of a relationship is more relevant to a couple’s capacity to jointly provide appropriate parenting to a child than the duration of their relationship. However, where couples apply to an adoption agency to be approved to jointly adopt, the duration of their relationship will be one factor that is taken into account when assessing whether the relationship is likely to provide the long term stability and commitment that an adopted child is likely to need. ‘Adopt Thames Valley’ subscribes to this approach.

Yes. Applications are welcomed from applicants who already have one or more biological or adopted children. However, where there is already a child(ren) in the family, it is generally considered advisable for any future adopted child to be at least 12 months younger than the existing child(ren). 

‘Adopt Thames Valley’ will consider each family individually and where there are specific reasons to suggest that the placement of an older child may be appropriate we will be open to discussing this.

Many applicants seeking to adopt will have been unable to have a birth child(ren) and some will have undergone fertility treatment. It is not a requirement that couples who have experienced difficulties in having a birth child(ren) have had fertility investigations or that any investigations or treatment have concluded. However it is widely recognised that it is preferable for applicants not to begin the process of being assessed as prospective adopters until any fertility tests/treatment are completed, and, if unsuccessful, until they have had time to come to terms with this. 

‘Adopt Thames Valley’ will consider each situation on an individual basis and will offer the opportunity to attend an Adoption Information Session to potential adopters who are still undergoing fertility investigations/treatment. However, when deciding whether to accept a Registration of Interest the Agency may prioritise applications from applicants who are no longer pursuing fertility options.

Yes. Where both applicants are, or the only applicant is, in full or part-time employment, one applicant will be expected to take adoption leave at the beginning of the placement. Many placing authorities require one or other prospective adopter to be available as a full-time parent for at least 12 months following a placement if the child is of pre-school age, however this may depend on the child and the family’s individual circumstances.

Not necessarily. Placing authorities recognise that many families need both parents to be in employment in order to financially provide for themselves and their families. However, given the history and life experiences of the children generally placed for adoption, consistency of care is essential if each child is going to have the best chance to develop secure attachment and to overcome any difficulties that he may have as a result of difficult early life experiences. Given this, all prospective adopters who will need to use substitute child care arrangements, will need to be able to identify a stable and consistent child-care arrangement that is appropriate to the age of the child and to be able to evidence the appropriateness of this arrangement to the placing authority.

Not necessarily. All applicants will need to be able to demonstrate that their lifestyle and family situation is sufficiently stable and harmonious to provide an appropriate family environment for a child from an In Care background. ‘Adopt Thames Valley’ will consider each situation on an individual basis, however, careful consideration will be given to the appropriateness of the Agency accepting an application where applicants are anticipating a significant change to their circumstances or where the composition of the family household is unsettled.

No, but if you smoke it will affect the age of child who you will be considered for. BAAF guidance states that: 

‘Babies and young children up to the age of five years and all children with respiratory problems are at risk from smoking. It is therefore not in their best interests to be placed in households with smokers when equally suitable non-smokers are available, unless there are exceptional reasons for doing so, for example when the prospective carer is a member of a child’s extended family’. 

Given this, prospective adopters who smoke are unlikely to be matched to a young child.  It is important to note that the BAAF (British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering) guidance also relates to applicants who use or who have in the recent past (12 months) used any nicotine related devices, including e-cigarettes and vaporisers.  If you have been a smoker in the past or if you are currently a smoker please discuss this with us at an early stage or your enquiry/application. 

 Quote start I'm so happy that I am adopted because I got to choose my mummy and she got to choose me.

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01865 897 050