Adopting a child or siblings in care

We know there are potential parents waiting to adopt the growing number of children in care

Devon’s children

At any one time, there are around 80 children in Devon who cannot be brought up with their birth family and need people like you to adopt them and provide a permanent and loving family home.

There are single children looking to be adopted as well as groups of brothers and sisters who need to stay together.

The children are normally aged 0-11. Although there are younger children waiting to be adopted in Devon, very few of the children placed for adoption nowadays are babies – many of the children placed for adoption are school age. Currently, there are higher numbers of younger children moving more swiftly through care proceedings, and therefore being made available for adoption earlier. Many of the children will have suffered some form of trauma or experienced significant abuse. This means they may show difficult behaviour and be reluctant to trust adults.

Older children

With an older child, we will have some idea of the effect any trauma may have had on their development or personality. The older child can often understand what is happening to him or her and can ‘buy-in’ to the idea of having a new family which will give them a caring home.

We are very keen to hear from you if you are considering adopting an older child.

Keeping siblings together

Where possible, and where it is in the best interests of the children, we try and keep brothers and sisters together. We know that taking two, three or more children is a big ask, which we will support from the outset, with an individual support plan that will enable adopters to meet the needs of the children.

Children with special educational needs

Parents of children with learning or physical disabilities need to have patience and realistic expectations, be flexible and creative and be good advocates. If you have some experience of caring for children or young adults with these difficulties, we would love to hear from you.  

Some children have birth parents with learning difficulties, physical disability or mental health problems. We don’t always know how these will affect the children as they grow older. Adoptive parents of these children need to accept that their children may develop similar problems to their birth parents. They may not. Likewise, children whose parents have abused drugs and alcohol may have been affected in the womb by their parent’s lifestyle. They all need adoptive parents who will accept uncertainty about their future and make sure they get the help they need throughout their childhood.


People who adopt one child often adopt again. They reapply and have a new assessment and approval, and the process is significantly quicker as there is no need to attend preparation workshops.

We are here to support and guide you through the different routes to making a child a part of your family. To find out more call 0345 155 1076.