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Types of adoption

Discover which type of adoption is right for you:

Concurrency and Foster to Adopt


Concurrent carers provide care for babies and young children whilst the court decides whether their birth family can safely care for them in the future. Concurrency minimises the number of transitions for the baby, which is of huge benefit to them.

There are training workshops available during the process to help you explore concurrency further.

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Foster to Adopt

Foster to Adopt means that the local authority has chosen adoption as the best care plan for the child. They will class you as their foster carer until court finalises the adoption process.

This process benefits the child as it minimise transitions between caregivers. This allows the child to develop secure attachments and helps them to feel safe enough to explore and grow.

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Special Guardianship and Child Arrangements Order

Special Guardianship

A special guardian handles the day to day decisions about caring for a child or young person, and his or her upbringing.

A Special Guardianship Order gives the guardian parental responsibility. The child’s birth parents also keep parental responsibility, but the guardian is able to use their responsibility to exclude that of the birth parents.

Special guardians cannot change a child’s surname or consent to adoption for the child. The birth parents keep the right to consent or not to adopt, and may apply through the courts for contact with the child.

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Child Arrangements Order

The holder of a Child Arrangements Order shares parental responsibility jointly with the other people who have parental responsibility (e.g. the birth parents). The birth parents retain parental responsibility as well as the right to consent to adoption or not. They can also apply for contact through the courts, or ask for a variation of the Child Arrangements Order. The order will normally expire when the child turns 18. The family may have regular and frequent contact with their child.

For further information, read the Adoption and Permanence Support Statement of Purpose 2017-2018 (PDF, 536KB).

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Step parent adoption

If you are the partner of a parent with a child from a previous relationship, you can adopt your stepchild. This gives you formal parental responsibility.

For more information, read our Step parent adoption information booklet (PDF, 120KB).

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Arrange to speak to a foster carer or adoptive parent 

Call us: 01473 264800

Email us: fosterandadopt@suffolk.gov.uk

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