Thinking About Adoption?

What is expected from an adoptive parent?


What matters most is your ability to provide a permanent, caring and stable home which will meet the needs of a child.


About half the individuals and couples approved to adopt by About Adoption have already had the experience of caring for children by birth or adoption.


We have no fixed age limits for adopters and have approved as many people over 50 as we have approved people under 30.


The greater the diversity of people and families wanting to adopt, the better our chances are of finding a family to suit each child’s needs. We welcome applicants from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Single people, married couples, cohabiting couples and same-sex couples can all adopt.


Although we want to help individual adults and couples to achieve the family life they desire, our fundamental purpose is to meet the requirements of children currently in need of adoption in the Isle of Man. Although there are younger children waiting to be adopted, very few of the children placed for adoption nowadays are babies.

Download the full job description for adoptive parents

If you are thinking About Adoption, you may want to have a look at the following useful links:

Applying to adopt: the process

If you decide to take your interest in adoption to the next stage – applying formally to adopt – we would expect you to undertake some reading during your home study – and after approval.

During the Home Study

The books listed below are available in our library – you may borrow books for one month at a time or you may choose to purchase your own copy.

  • What Every Parent Needs to Know (formerly The Science of Parenting) – M Sunderland (how small children learn – and the impact of poor early life experiences)
  • Adoption is a Family Affair – A Johnson (helping your parents and other relatives understand children placed for adoption)
  • An Adoption Diary – M James (adopters’ experience of adoption from application onwards)

After approval and before a child is placed

  • First Steps in Parenting a Child Who Hurts, Tiddlers and Toddlers – C Archer
  • Next Steps in Parenting a Child Who Hurts, Tykes and Teens – C Archer (helping a child overcome some of their earlier experiences)
  • When Love Is Not Enough – N Thomas (parenting a child with attachment difficulties)
  • The Primal Wound – N Verrier (the impact of the loss of their first mother on adopted children)
  • Real Parents, Real Children – H van Gulden (understanding the impact of early life experiences on family relationships)
  • Adoption Undone – Karen Carr

Adoption after miscarriage or unsuccessful fertility treatment

Adoption agencies receive many enquiries from people interested in adoption when they are undergoing, or shortly after fertility treatment. We often have to tell people to take more time to come to terms with their experiences before they embark on the adoption journey.


There are many reasons for this – the main and most important one is that adoption is for the child.


Adoptive parents need to have the ability to put this idea above all others, including their desire to be parents.


Adopting a child is very different to having a child through pregnancy and birth. The child who comes to an adoptive family has experienced many difficulties before they arrive, possible through neglect or abuse or their birth parents having drug or mental health problems. Therefore it is a differently type of parenting and cannot be seen as a ‘replacement’ for a child who has been lost or never conceived.


Whilst we appreciate this can be very difficult to take on board for many people, in our experience, we find that people who choose to adopt following miscarriage or unsuccessful fertility treatment are overwhelmed with their own loss and grief and would find a child in trauma very difficult to manage. Therefore, we always advise potential applicants to take, ideally, a twelve month period of time before they start their adoption journey. During this time they can seek counselling if required. This is also a valuable opportunity to spend time reading about adoption, loss and attachment and undertake additional childcare experiences which is such a useful skill in going forward into adoption.


There are many articles on the Adoption UK website that might be helpful in preparing you for the adoption journey, including forums used by people at the same early stage as yourselves.