What is adoption?
Adoption is when you legally become the new parent to a child or
young person. Adoption is a permanent arrangement. A number of
children in Guernsey need the stability of adoptive parents.
Why are children placed in care and what happens to them?
Guernsey's Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) is
responsible for and meets the needs of children who come into care
on the island. At the moment there are over 70 children in our
care. Many of these children will have been abused but some will
have come into care for other reasons. Broadly speaking they come
into care because their birth families are unable to provide
appropriate care for them. There are three normal outcomes for the
children who come into our care:
- They return to their own family or to other relatives
- They move into long-term foster care
- They need the long-term security offered by adoptive
People consider adoption for a variety of reasons. Some people
are unable to have children of their own and have decided that
adoption is a better way of creating their family. Others may wish
to have a second family, perhaps following remarriage, and do not
wish to have any more birth children. Others simply choose not to
have their own birth children or wish to share their lives with a
child or group of children who need a family life. Sometimes people
have adopted children out of a strong desire or sense of
responsibility to care for a child with special needs.
Why adopt in Guernsey? What do we offer?
We will support you at every stage of the adoption process and
after adoption. Our aim is to assist and guide you and for the
young person to thrive in the new family. From your initial enquiry
we will provide information about adoption and invite you to
consider carefully whether this is the right route for your family.
We provide a course held over a number of evenings that gives you
additional information that will allow you and us to consider
whether adoption is appropriate for you. If it is, then you will
complete an application form and we will complete the necessary
checks. If all is satisfactory we will undertake an assessment over
a four-to-six month period. Your allocated worker will complete
this with you and then remain your worker through the panel process
and, if approved, through to any potential match of a child(ren)
with you. We aim to ensure that you keep the same worker who will
then support you post placement through to when you are ready to
make an adoption application to court. They will remain your worker
until an adoption order is granted.
What is the difference between fostering and adoption?
Foster carers share the responsibility for the child with HSSD
and the child's parents. Fostering is usually a temporary
arrangement though sometimes foster care may be the plan until the
child grows up especially for older children. Long term or
permanent foster care does not provide the same legal security as
adoption for either the child or the foster carer, but it may be
the right plan for some children.