Children needing families | Oxfordshire County Council

Children needing families

The kind of children who need to find an adoptive family.

Holding hands

We have lots of different children that need adopting: all of these children have experienced losses and disruptions, some may have been abused, neglected or suffered some trauma. These experiences can impact on their behaviour and development but with extra care, support and help these children can reach their full potential.

The majority of children placed for adoption will have been removed from their parents through the court system. All of these children will have had their plan for adoption approved by the court. These children come to adoption with their own identity, background and family history, all of which will impact on their adoptive home and require understanding and acceptance by their adoptive families.

Profiles of children

The following are example profiles of children, to give you an idea of the types of children that you might adopt. Current profiles are available at information meetings.

Samuel(5) and Lucy (3)

Let us tell you about ourselves

Samuel “I like art and building things”
Lucy “I love animals, especially dogs”

And here’s what others say…

Samuel (aged 5) is quiet and thoughtful. He is very creative and loves building things with Lego and whatever else he can find. He enjoys art and is always asking to get the paints out. He is sometimes shy and anxious when meeting new people, but once he gets to know them is lively and enjoys talking about his interests.

Samuel has made a lot of progress with his carers on developing ways to show them how he is feeling and what he is thinking using picture and word cards, as he can find this difficult to express. Samuel can be very protective of his sister Lucy and is learning that in the safety of the foster carers home he no longer has to be responsible for looking after her.

Samuel is really enjoying the lessons at school and art is his favourite! He has a small group of friends and is trying hard to develop his social skills. He has made great improvements recently with his maths and reading. He has discovered a love of books and enjoys going to the library regularly to get new ones.

Lucy (aged 3) is charming, energetic and inquisitive. She loves to talk and ask questions about all sorts of things and her clarity of speech has greatly improved with the support of her carers. She likes to eat all sorts of foods and sleeps well at night. Lucy loves to be read books about animals and would love to have a pet!

Lucy can get cross with people if she does not get her own way, but is working hard on this with her carers and is much better at following instructions and playing with others. Lucy needs lots of praise and encouragement and is very proud of herself when she learns something new.

If we could have our own special wish: "We would like a forever family who will play with us and read us bedtime stories"

Sophie (3)

Let me tell you about myself...“I love splashing in water and playing with play dough!”

And here’s what others say...

Sophie, aged 3, is a delightful and happy little girl. She enjoys meeting new people and has developed a good attachment to her foster carer who describes her as a “delightful and affectionate little girl who loves to laugh”.

Sophie’s development is delayed in all areas and particularly with relation to her fine motor skills, speech and communication. Sophie needs support with eating meals and is developing ways with her carers to help her communicate using signals and pictures.

While she has no official diagnosis, it is thought that Sophie’s mother drank alcohol during her pregnancy, so there is a possibility of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder.

Despite this, Sophie throws herself into every activity and loves attending play group and nursery with other children. She is making slow, but steady progress in her development and Sophie loves sensory activities such as playing with play dough, splashing in water or watching all the lights at Christmas. She also enjoys television programmes and her favourite is ‘In the night garden’.

If I could have my own special wish: "I would like a forever family who can explore the world with me"

Charlotte (7)

Let me tell you about myself…..

“I love singing and dancing”

And here’s what others say…..

Charlotte (aged 7) is lively, inquisitive and thrives on one-to-one attention. Her foster carer describes her as a "very confident, charming little girl". Charlotte can be shy and reserved when meeting new people, but when you get to know her, she is very outgoing and bubbly.

Charlotte loves dressing up, particularly as a princess. She especially loves jewellery and anything pink. She is also very active and enjoys going on bike rides, swimming and bouncing on the trampoline.

Charlotte can be wary of adults, especially males, but she is learning to trust adults and has gained the trust of the male foster carer. Charlotte is now very good at communicating with her foster carer, and she gets on well with the foster carer's son. She sometimes needs lots of reassurance and thrives on encouragement and praise.

Charlotte is in the school choir and has a beautiful voice. She loves singing, dancing and gymnastics. Charlotte is also very creative and enjoys arts and crafts, and building things with Lego. Charlotte enjoys attending school and is making good progress, particularly with her reading and writing. Charlotte has made lots of friends and school, and they enjoy playing together, particularly pretend play. Charlotte's foster carer has said that she is making great progress and is a delight to care for.

If we could have our own special wish…“We would like our own family who will take us swimming”

Ashley (6 months)

Let me tell you about myself...

“I love cuddles and music!”

And here’s what others say...

Ashley is a 6 month old baby of white British and black Caribbean ethnicity. He has brown hair and brown eyes and a beautiful smile! Ashley is a happy and content baby and enjoys his feeds. He generally sleeps well but can be a little unsettled during the night at times.

Ashley loves smiling when people talk to and play with him and her favourite thing is currently a musical bunny which he enjoys playing with over and over again! He really seems to like music and kicks his legs, smiles and laughs when he hears music on the radio and television.

Ashley likes his feeds and is just beginning to try solid foods. He really enjoys splashing in the bath and loves being cuddled and rocked to sleep by his carers who describe him as “a pleasure to care for.”

Ashley is currently meeting his developmental milestones, however he was born withdrawing from illicit drugs and there is a strong family history of learning disabilities, therefore there is some uncertainty about his future development.

Ideally, we are looking for a family for Ashley who can broadly reflect his ethnicity.

We are currently searching for a family for Matthew

Matthew, age 6, is a happy, delightful little boy with a quiet and friendly disposition. His foster carer describes him as a well-behaved, polite little boy and a pleasure to be around. Matthew has a big smile, beautiful bluey/green sparkling eyes and shiny chocolate brown hair.

Matthew is a very kind and sensitive child. He is helpful and very caring towards younger children and animals. Matthew loves playing with his trains. He enjoys riding bicycles, playing outdoors and engaging in forest school. Matthew also likes towers, particularly Big Ben!

Matthew gets on well with other children and enjoys going to school. He is open to trying new things and shows a lot of pride in his accomplishments. Matthew particularly loves it when people praise him for things he's done.

Matthew was exposed to neglect and physical abuse whilst in the care of his birth family. Since coming into care, he has come on leaps and bounds. 

Matthew is a generally healthy little boy. Matthew has made great progress since being placed in his foster care placement. Matthew has a good attachment to his foster carer. He will look to her for reassurance and is now showing and accepting physical affection from her.

Matthew has global developmental delay and a learning disability. Matthew is delayed with his speech and language and with his fine motor skills but is making great progress. For support, Matthew has an Education and Health Care Plan to help him at school. This support will be put provided for him in any future placement as well.

Matthew is a happy little boy who is growing with confidence and flourishing in his foster care placement.

Babies and toddlers

We do place a number of younger children under the age of 3 years, however they are likely to be babies whose development is uncertain. This may be because their mothers have misused alcohol or drugs during pregnancy or because of mental health conditions in one or other of the parents.  It is not often clear how these things will effects the child's development.

We hear from lots of people who want to adopt babies and toddlers.

What about the children that wait?

  • Older children - children of school age need adopting too, children who are aged 5 and older wait longer
  • Sibling groups - it's not unusual that we have sibling groups of 2, 3 or 4 who need an adoptive home.  We want to keep brothers and sisters together but this means they may wait longer
  • Children with special needs - we always need adopters who can adopt a child with a physical disability, or a child with special needs or a child with a learning disability.  We welcome all applicants who are open to meeting the needs of these children
  • Children from different ethnicities. Our children can come from a diverse range of ethnic, cultural or religious background. We therefore try as much as possible to find adopters for these children so that they feel connected to their backgrounds this means these children may wait longer

Adopting children aged five and over

Children over the age of five sometimes wait longer in the UK for an adoptive family because most prospective adopters are keen to adopt very young children. We are particularly keen, therefore, to hear from families who currently have no children under the age of 10 years and who could be just the right parents for one of these children. Find out more about adopting older children.

Children with a special needs

Some of our children have special needs, ranging from health conditions, learning or physical difficulty, or emotional or behavioural difficulties

We need to recruit more prospective parents who can relate to a child’s special needs. The child's development may be uncertain and it can be more difficult to find an adoptive family because we do not know the impact for their future development. We do know, however, that they need just as much love and care of dedicated adoptive parents as any other child.


Did you know almost half the children waiting for adoption need to be placed with their brothers and sisters?

Being placed with a brother or sister can help a child settle into a new family and have a positive sense of who they are.

Some of the younger children that need adopting may have an older sibling or may have a sibling in the future who will also need adopting. We are therefore looking for families that will consider taking a younger child with older siblings or who will consider a sibling joining their family in the future. For most people their relationships with their brothers and sisters are the longest lasting relationship they will have, could you help to preserve that for children waiting adoption?

Ethnic minority children

Where we can, we aim to place children with families who have the same ethnicity or who have extended family members from the same ethnic heritage. Where this is not possible, we need families who can demonstrate a good understanding of the needs of a child who does not share their ethnic heritage. In Oxfordshire, the children we place for adoption who are not from a White British background, are often dual heritage children with White British and African, Caribbean or Asian heritage. It is important that their own cultural background is promoted and nurtured.

More information

If you want to find our more about any of our children who are currently wanting adoption or long term fostering then please phone the Recruitment Team on 0800 7835724.

Last reviewed
02 March 2017
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