Coram Adoption joins campaign to find more families to adopt children with additional needs

  • 16 April 2024

Voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs) across the UK, including Coram Adoption, have joined forces to find more adoptive parents for children with additional needs who are waiting for a family.

Coram is among 21 VAAs from all over the UK who have together created a guide for people considering adoption containing helpful information and advice from parents who have already adopted children with additional needs.

Children with additional needs wait an average of 11 months longer* in care than their peers, and voluntary adoption agencies are urgently looking for people who can offer them a permanent and loving home.

Caroline Keane, Head of Adoption at Coram Adoption, said: “It may sound daunting for people thinking about adoption to consider a child with additional needs but our adoptive parents who have done so say it is incredibly rewarding. It gives a child the chance to flourish and to grow up with the love and security that every child deserves.

“All children can have additional needs at times. These could be to do with their development, learning, communication, behaviour or emotional wellbeing. There are also children with physical disabilities. Many of the thousands of children waiting in care who have additional needs, wait nearly a year longer than other children. We want to change that.

“We are excited to be part of this project sharing first hand, heartfelt experience and advice from families who have already done this incredible thing of adopting a child with additional needs.”

Rita**, a single parent who adopted her daughter through Coram, said: “Initially in my adoption journey, I had some reservations about caring for a child with additional needs. But as I learned more about Victoria** and her conditions, it became less of a barrier. Everything I thought I couldn’t cope with at the beginning, I have managed to cope with. My daughter is so much more than I could ever have hoped for. My expectations have been exceeded a thousand times over. We talk about how she found me, and I found her. We couldn’t imagine a better match. She’s just a really special person.”

VAAs are specialists in finding families for children who wait the longest in care. They work in partnership with regional adoption agencies and local authorities to find families for children waiting for a permanent home.

VAAs are independent, not-for-profit organisations who have intensive services to provide families with vital support both when the children are placed and into the future.

Satwinder Sandhu, Chief Executive of the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA) which represents VAAs across the country, said: “We are so grateful to the adoptive parents who have contributed to this new CVAA advice guide to share their personal experiences of the reality of adopting a child with additional needs.

“What is clear from their advice is that there may be challenges but they are far outweighed by pride, joy and love. And so prospective adopters should not rule themselves out of being able to achieve the same in their own families.

“The voluntary adoption sector are specialists in finding families for children who wait the longest to be adopted and being there for them with bespoke, lifelong packages of support.”

* The latest data shows in 2022/2023, there were 2110 children waiting to be adopted from care

**Names changed to protect anonymity