Different types of adoption

Find out about the different types of adoption and which one is suitable for you.

“Looking at our kids asleep every night makes our hearts soar; we look at each other, smile and still can't quite believe how lucky we are to have two such gorgeous children.” Andy and Paula, Crawley

Adoption is a way of providing a new family for children who cannot be brought up by their own parents. It's a legal procedure in which all the parental responsibility is transferred to the adoptive parents. This is the key difference between adoption over fostering and Special Guardianship Orders.

An adopted child loses all legal ties with their first mother and father (the 'birth parents') and becomes a full member of the new family, usually taking the family's name. 

If you have full legal responsibility for an adopted child it means that the child is also recognised as having the same rights as a birth child within their adopted family.

In West Sussex we can support you with the following types of adoption:

  • Agency adoption - adopting a child from a registered adoption agency (the County Council’s Adoption Team is registered for this purpose)
  • Private adoption - where an application for adoption is made directly to the courts by prospective adoptive parent/s for a child they already know
  • Step-parent adoption - where a partner's child from a previous relationship or marriage is adopted by a step-parent
  • Inter-country adoption - where a child is adopted from another country (we are currently working with The Centre for Adoption (IAC) to undertake these assessments on our behalf - contact us using our enquiry form to find out more)
  • Fostering for Adoption - find information about our early permanence scheme.
Last updated:
27 September 2019
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