Adopting through early permanence


What is Early Permanence? 

Early Permanency (EP) is a route to adoption which involves fostering a baby or child prior to legally adopting them.

Early Permanency allows children to be placed with carers who are approved as both foster carers (for that child) and adopters, while the court considers plans for the child. Early Permanence Placements seek to prevent changes in placements for children at a sensitive time in their development and growth. These types of placements are particularly suitable for newborn or very young babies but can be considered for older children too. The prospective adopter provides the short-term fostering placement and will then go on to adopt the child if the court agrees the plan for the child to be adopted.

Early Permanence carers are offered additional training and receive a fostering allowance during the period in which the courts are deciding the plan for the child.

Laughing little baby boy playing with bricks on the grass

"You do have to remember that with EP your child could be returned to birth family so you need to prepare yourself for this and protect yourself, just in case.”

Early Permanence adopter

Mum comforting baby

The advantage of EP is that the child already has a secure attachment to their carers and is settled with their growing up family early on, which is better for their long-term emotional development. For adopters, there is the opportunity to bond with a baby or child, enabling them to be part of the child’s life as early as possible and share key stages of their development.

Carers in this route to adoption need to be happy to be approved as foster carers, as well as adopters, as they will be fostering the child for the first phase of the placement when care/court proceedings and assessments of birth family are ongoing. The carers also need to be able to accept the uncertainty associated with this and be prepared to return the child to their birth family if the court decides that is the best plan for the child’s future.

If you are considering EP as a route to adoption you just apply in the normal way. Your first step is to come along to an information event. Your interest in EP will be discussed further and support and training will be provided.

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