Adoption is a way of finding a new family for a child who, for all sorts of reasons, can't live with his or her family.

Adopt London East

From 1 October 2019, Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, and Tower Hamlets Local Authorities have joined together to form Adopt London East.

It’s part of a national initiative for a Regional Adoption Agency to pool resources and expertise.

Adopt London East aims to speed up matching, improve adopter recruitment and support, and reduce costs.

Adoption London website

01708 434547

Why do children need adopting?

There are lots of reasons why children need adopting. Some children cannot live with the family into which they were born due to a parent’s ill health, family problems or because they have been neglected or abused. If returning the child to their family is not possible, finding a new, permanent family may be the best option.  

Adoption means that a child becomes a legal member of your family, as if he or she had been born to you. Once an Adoption Order is made it cannot be reversed and the child’s birth parents have no legal rights or parental responsibility from that point on-wards.

Who can adopt a child?

We aim to place children with responsible people who can meet their needs and care for them until they reach adulthood.

We are looking for people who:

  • can provide love and security and be committed to a child
  • are patient and flexible and able to support a child with whatever challenges may lay ahead
  • have good health and the energy to care for a child long term.

We welcome enquiries from anyone who thinks they can offer the above qualities. We do not discriminate on the grounds of age, gender, religion, ethnicity, religion, culture, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.

Due to the complexities of placing a child with their new adoptive family, we prioritise application to adopt from individuals or couples who live outside of the borough.
If there’s a lot of change going on in your life, we recommend waiting for things to settle down before applying.

Who can't adopt a child?

Your age

You need to be aged 21 or over to legally adopt a child in the UK.

Where you live

To adopt in England you must be legally resident in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, and have been so for at least 12 months. UK citizens living abroad cannot adopt from the UK.

Criminal record

If you or a member of your household have a criminal conviction or caution for offences against children or for serious sexual offences you will not be able to adopt. Other criminal offences will not automatically exclude you but will be taken into consideration during the assessment process, so please be open with us from the initial telephone interview.

Tell us you would like to adopt

If you are interested in finding out more about adoption fill in our adoption online enquiry form or phone us on 0800 0130 393.

Post adoption support

We give support to everyone involved with an adoption, including:

  • adopted children
  • adoptive parents
  • birth child/ren of adoptive parents
  • birth parents and relatives
  • inter-country adopted children and parents
  • adopted adults and their relatives.  

The support can be:

  • counselling, advice and information
  • help with contact arrangements, including mediating with birth families
  • support groups for adoptive families
  • training and workshops
  • financial support
  • therapeutic services for adopted children.

We give support for three years after the adoption order has been granted. After three years, it is the responsibility of the local authority where the adopters live to provide post adoption support.   Phone the Adoption Team on 020 3373 7299 if you have any questions about adoption support.

Adopting a stepchild

If you want to adopt your spouse’s or partner’s child, you need to apply for an adoption court order. This gives you parental rights and responsibilities for the child.

However you must first write to us to give three months notice that you wish to adopt. This is because we need to write a report for the court about your suitability to care for the child. The court cannot make the adoption order without this report.

Your letter needs to include:

  • your full name and date of birth
  • your partner and the child’s full name and date of birth
  • the length of time the child has lived with you
  • information about the child’s birth parents
  • when there was last contact between the child and the other birth parent
  • whether the other birth parent knows about, and agrees to the adoption.

Post your letter to:

The Carer Recruitment Team
Children and Young People’s Service
London Borough of Newham
Newham Dockside
1000 Dockside Road
E16 2QU.

After we receive your letter, we will tell you what to do next. 

Adopting a child from overseas

The adoption process is similar to a UK adoption, and will be carried out by a UK adoption agency. You may be able to adopt a child from overseas if:

  • the child can’t be cared for in a safe environment in their own country
  • adoption would give the child a better future
  • you have been assessed and approved to adopt from overseas by an adoption agency in the UK.

If you want to adopt a child from overseas and you live in Newham, you should contact us on 0800 0130 393.

Be aware that there are charges associated with adopting a child from overseas.

Last updated: 11/11/2019

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