What is Adoption?

When a Local Authority is planning to place a child for adoption

Adoption is a way of providing a new permanent family for a child, who cannot be brought up in their birth family. A Local Authority acts as an Adoption Agency and is legally allowed to arrange adoptions. Social workers arrange for children to be placed with adoptive families who can meet their needs through to adulthood.

The Local Authority however cannot make such an arrangement legally binding. Only the court can do this, by making an Adoption Order. This ends the child's legal relationships with their birth family and gives the child new legal parents. The child becomes a full member of the adoptive family, in the same way as if they were the adopters' birth child.

Adoption means the permanent transfer of parental responsibility. This is such an important thing to happen in a child's life, that the law requires Adoption Agencies and courts to make sure that they put the child's long-term welfare first when they make decisions about adoption. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead are responsible for recruiting, assessing, training and supporting adopters.

If your child is adopted, you will no longer have any legal connection to them. Sometimes it may possible for contact to be maintained via an exchange of letters between you and the adoptive family, indirectly through the Local Authority.

If you have any worries, doubts or questions your child's social worker will try to help you as much as possible with these. They will also arrange for you to meet with an independent birth relative worker, if you wish.

You should also talk to your solicitor if you have one. You may find it helpful to talk things over with your family and friends too.

We hope you find the information on these pages useful but if you have any further questions or any feedback on these pages then do please contact us:

E-mail: adoption-fostering@rbwm.gov.uk
Tel: 01628 683201 during office hours.
Fax: 01628 683192

Write to us at:
Fostering, Adoption & Respite Service
Children's Services Directorate
Town Hall
St Ives Road
Maidenhead
Berkshire SL6 1RF


If you are interested in services provided by the Fostering, Adoption and Respite Services (FARS) Team, or think you might benefit from any service provided by the FARS Team and you would like us to contact you by phone or email, please click the following link and complete the Learning & Care Contact Us/Self Referral Online Form and someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

The current OFSTED Adoption Agency Inspection Report is available here.


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Modified: 2014-01-13
Published: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 19:13:29
Author: Allison Helyer
Editor: Allison.Helyer
LGSL PID:
RDCMS ID: 466