The number of babies available for adoption has reduced significantly in recent years. Whilst this trend is reflected in our work there are still a few babies placed for adoption each year. Pact therefore continues to assess a small number of couples as prospective adoptive parents.
Adoption placements are now of a highly complex nature and couples wishing to be considered need to be flexible and to be willing to accept children from a wide range of backgrounds. Some referrals come from women who are of international origin. This has created a need for information and understanding of different cultures and ethnic groups.
Potential adoptive parents are met with on a number of occasions for assessment purposes. Couples are interviewed both individually and together in order to explore their family backgrounds and to discuss all aspects of adoption.
There is usually a meeting between birth and adoptive parents prior to placement.
Those coming forward need to be aware that our adoption practice has become much more open with most adoptions involving some contact. This can be open (face to face) where all parties meet occasionally by arrangement through the agency and/or letterbox, where there is contact by letters, photographs and presents exchanged through the agency. The type of contact is agreed between the parties taking into consideration the best interests of the child.
Ongoing contact provides birth families with the knowledge of how the child is developing. It also provides adoptive parents and the child with the assurance of the family’s continuing interest. This helps to give the child a sense of his/her own unique identity.