Fostering for Adoption refers to the situation wherein the local authority places a child for whom they believe that adoption is the right plan with foster carers who are also approved adopters before the final decision has been made, with a view to that child being then subsequently adopted.

If the family court agrees that the child should be adopted and the adoption agency approves the ‘match’ between the carers and the child, the placement then becomes an adoption placement.

The aim is to provide continuity of care for the child and reduce the number of moves they experience before achieving a permanent home. There are many things for prospective adopters who wish to consider this route to adoption and these are further explored in this carers leaflet commissioned by UK children’s charity Coram – found via

The terminology ‘Fostering for Adoption’ applies to England only, however in Scotland placements may also start on a fostering basis.

In Northern Ireland most prospective adopters choose to become “dual approved”. This means that they are approved as both foster carers and as adopters, so that a child can be placed with them as early as possible in the legal process, on a fostering basis and then adopted when this is agreed in court.

In Wales, as the current proposal stands, prospective adopters, who are also approved foster carers, will have to be matched with the child before the child can be placed with them as foster carers.