A child-centred service

Adoption is primarily a service for children. It is about meeting the needs of children and not about meeting the needs of adults wanting to adopt. By deciding to adopt you are making a challenging, yet very rewarding decision.


Our priorities

Today in Cumbria, most of the children requiring adoption will have complex family backgrounds and the courts will usually have been involved in the decision that they cannot safely return to the care of their birth families.

The children are likely to have been living at home with family for some time before there were sufficient grounds or concerns to remove them.

Some children have an adoption plan from birth due to the difficulties known in the family.

Some children who need adoptive families will need to be placed alone, some in families with their sibling or siblings, some children will have health or medical problems and/or developmental delay, while others may have physical and/or learning disabilities.

Cumbria Adoption's recruitment strategy for prospective adopters reflects the current priorities in relation to the range of children who need adoptive families now and the predicted future need, within the two new unitary council areas of Cumberland and Westmorland & Furness 

We actively recruit adopters who are likely to meet the needs of those children who need an adoptive family.

Complex backgrounds

The complex family backgrounds of most children requiring adoption will often involve one or a combination of the following:

  • Misuse of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Mental ill health difficulties
  • Domestic violence
  • Parental learning difficulties
  • Criminality

Consequently, the children are likely to have experienced some or all of the following:

  • Effects of drug/alcohol misuse by parents during the pregnancy or in the child’s early years
  • Neglect and/or physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse
  • Inconsistency, poor parenting, chaotic home environment, many moves, and changes of caregiver
  • Special needs arising from disability or uncertainty about future development
  • Lack of a secure attachment with their main care giver

These factors are likely to have impacted on their emotional and behavioural development and may well have long-term implications for their future development, intellectually, socially and/or behaviourally.

They may lack trust in adults and find difficulty in forming lasting secure attachments to their caregivers.

Some of the children will have developed greater resilience than others – depending in part on other significant relationships in their lives – for example, brothers and sisters, other adult relatives or friends, foster carers.

A perfect match?

The children needing for adoption both within Cumbria and nationally will reflect the racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds of the population within the area from which they originate.

When placing a child, we will try initially to identify appropriate adopters who will reflect the child’s culture, language, and religion.

However, we are mindful of the damage that can be caused to children by the delay in achieving a permanent placement.

Children will not generally be kept waiting in order to achieve an ideal match where a family can be identified who can meet most if not all of the child’s identified needs.

This reflects Government guidance.

Who are the children?