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Who are the children who need adopting?

Every year in England there are a number of children waiting for loving adoptive families. They are children of different ages and from a variety of backgrounds but what they all have in common is that they can no longer be brought up by their birth families.

These children are all in need of a loving and stable, happy home.

"It was the best decision we had ever made, and we are now enjoying the adventure of watching our two beautiful girls grow and develop." (Bury adopters).

Babies and toddlers

Baby and toddler

We will always need adoptive families for the groups of children who wait the longest; older children, sibling groups and those with specific needs. There have always been relatively few babies and toddlers waiting to be adopted and in recent years this number has decreased further. This is due to changes in court decisions as well as the success of national media campaigns, resulting in the approval of record numbers of adopters. We do however need adopters for some babies and toddlers. We would welcome interest from people living outside of the Bury area as we often need to place young children outside of the borough. Ideally, we would like to hear from people living within about an hour's drive from our offices in Whitefield, as it is important for us to be able to visit and support you and the child.

When placing babies and toddlers we strive to reduce the number of moves they have and give them the best possible chance of forming secure attachments to their new carers. For this reason we make use of the fostering for adoption scheme for babies and toddlers. See below for further information and find out if you could foster to adopt.

School age children

Schoolchildren with balloon

There are a number of children aged between 4-8 years old waiting for families. There aren't as many adopters coming forward for children over 6 years old and it can be hard to find suitable adoptive families for them.

Children over 6 are still little boys and girls who want to play silly games, sing songs and have lots of cuddles with their mummy or daddy. With a lot of time, attention, patience and love you can help a child catch up the developmental steps they have missed and support them to heal emotionally.

We would be interested in hearing from potential adopters who live outside the Bury area whom we could place Bury children with. Those who live within about an hour's drive from our offices in Whitefield are ideally placed to provide a secure home for a child and access our excellent adoption support service. It is especially important for adopters of school-aged children to be able to link in with our training and groups so that you feel well informed and supported throughout your adoption journey.

Sibling groups

Around half of all the children needing to be adopted in England are part of sibling groups. Nurturing sibling relationships is really important. Siblings who stay together can benefit from a lifetime of comfort and support from each other, as well as a strengthened sense of identity.

Of course parenting a sibling pair or 3+ children comes with additional challenges as you have to meet the different needs of each child, but you may find that you have the experience, skills and confidence needed.

Children who are disabled or have special needs

Boy in a wheelchair

Some of the children waiting for adoptive families have special needs such as physical or learning disabilities, emotional or behavioural difficulties and developmental delay. These children require a very stable routine, dependable carers and firm boundaries in order to thrive.

We are always looking for adopters who can parent children whose birth family history suggests they may or may not go on to develop a specific illness or disorder. It can be hard to manage uncertainty like this, but if you are able to see the child above their needs or symptoms you could be the right parent for a child we are struggling to find a forever home for.

Children with different ethnicities, religions and cultures

In Bury the children we are currently looking for are predominantly White British. However nationally there tends to be a particular shortage of people coming forward to adopt children who are of Black Caribbean and Black African heritage.

You may be able to consider a child whose ethnic, cultural or religious background you do not directly reflect. You will need to show that you are able to actively develop a child's understanding of their identity. Bear in mind that the make up of your support network and local area may be important in helping a child to feel like they belong.

Descriptions of some of the children needing adoptive homes

Here are descriptions of some of the children who we may need adoptive homes for:


Ellie was only a few weeks old when she was placed with a family under the 'Fostering to Adopt' initiative. This meant that the family were 'dual approved' as both foster carers and adopters so that they could care for Ellie as foster carers whilst the courts decided whether or not she could be adopted. During that time they brought her for regular contact with her birth mum. Her new family were able to care for Ellie whilst understanding that it wasn't certain what the courts would decide. However, they were delighted to be able to adopt her as soon as the legal decisions were made. This gave Ellie consistency and security and enabled her new mum and dad to enjoy lots of firsts with her.


Clare was four years old when she was placed for adoption. Her birth mother's involvement with drugs and chaotic lifestyle meant that she could not look after her, and Clare's birth father was unknown. Clare experienced significant neglect in her early life and we were unsure how she would grow and develop. However, Clare formed a good relationship with her foster carer, which helped her go on to bond with her adoptive mums. Clare found the first few months hard as there was so much change, but her mums were patient and supportive. Everyone is proud of how well she has settled in and how quickly her speech is progressing.

Gemma and Michael

Gemma and Michael were six and two years old when they were placed for adoption. They went to live with a couple in their mid-40's who already had teenage birth children of their own. Michael has some learning difficulties and needs extra help in school. His forever mum and dad enable Gemma and Michael to keep in contact with three older birth siblings who are being looked after by their grandmother.

Jason, Kelly and Kyle

Jason, Kelly and Kyle were five, four and two years old when placed for adoption with couple in their 30's. The children experienced neglect and witnessed domestic violence in their birth home. They were meeting all their milestones but struggled with their behaviour because they were used to a chaotic home environment. Their birth father had a mental illness and birth mother had mild learning difficulties. The couple had lots of experience through their work and in caring for their disabled nephew, and worked with therapists to improve their skills.


Marie was three years old when she was placed for adoption. She had additional health needs. Marie was placed with a single adopter who was able to attend Marie's appointments and continue her physiotherapy at home.


Simon is two years old and we think he will suffer from Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, which is a life-long condition which affects his concentration and behaviour. He was placed for adoption with a dad who could put in place the good boundaries, routine and techniques that Simon needed to help him manage his emotions and reach his potential at school.