However, children who are unable to return to their natural families, need alternative families to care for them until they are grown up. Sometimes these are single children, and sometimes two, three or four brothers and sisters - sometimes the group can include a pre-school child.
As a permanent carer:
Before an application to offer permanent care for a child can be considered, a Social Worker will meet with you to discuss the procedure to be followed during the next few months. This includes formal enquiries being made about health to your General Practitioner and the Health Board, and an enquiry to the Police Records Department to find out if you have been involved in any situations which call into question your ability to care for a child. Applicants are also asked to supply the names of four personal referees.
Further meetings between the applicants and the Social Worker will be arranged so that you can get to know each other and together can find out if permanent care is for you and if so what sort of child(ren) you might consider.
Opportunities are made available to applicants on both an individual and group basis to help them prepare for the impact the arrival of a child will have on their lives and the kinds of behaviour they could encounter in caring for a child who has already experienced instability and unhappiness.
When the assessment is complete it will be considered by the Fostering and Adoption Panel who will make a recommendation on the applicants suitability to become permanent carers.
Just as there is a range of children needing families, there is a need for a range of permanent carers for them.
Age: There is no upper age limit for permanent carers. The law, however, requires adopters to be at least 21 years old. In general, we would look to people no more than 40 years older than any child adopted. Whilst the minimum age is fixed, this upper age is not.
Marital Status: A single person or a couple can provide permanent care. There are additional laws about adoption. A single person or a married couple can adopt. Under Scots Law an unmarried couple cannot jointly adopt a child but one of them can.
Duration of Relationship: There are no set rules about this, but it is important that the relationship is a stable one.
Experience of Children: You may or may not have children of your own, but we would want to know about any experience you have.
The Fostering and Adoption Team is committed to providing support as required once a court order has been granted.
Once an adoption order is granted, information on the adoptee is stored in an adoption file which is then archived in a special secure cabinet for 75 years. The adoptee can have access to their adoption file at the age of 16 years.
Birth relatives can add letters / cards to an adoption file where the adoptee is under the age of twenty five.
Birth relatives who have decided to undertake a search for their adopted relative will be supported in the use of Birthlink who would undertake the search.
The report by the Care Commission is available - Dumfries and Galloway Adoption Service Inspection Report