#WorldAdoptionDay is held on the 9th of November every year to celebrate blended families.

It’s a day to raise awareness for adoption. Both Darran and I are well and truly behind this amazing day.

How to Get Involved

We are inviting you to a global celebration of adoption and everyone touched by adoption. This year, we’re asking you to share a meal with your family, friends and community!

By drawing a smiley face on your hand and posting on social media you’re raising awareness for the 19 million children in the world who are waiting for their forever family.

When did #WorldAdoptionDay Start

#WorldAdoptionDay started back in 2000 in the US by a coalition of national partners which included Children’s Action Network, The Alliance for Children’s Rights, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Freddie Mac Foundation.

Adoption in the UK

Looked After Children

On 31st March 2018:

  • 75,420 children were in the care of local authorities, up 4% on 31 March 2017
  • the rate of looked after children per 10,000 children under 18 years was 64


On 31st March 2018: 

  • 73% (55,200) of children looked after were living with foster carers
  • 11% (8,530) were living in secure units, children’s homes or semi-independent living
  • 6% (4,700) were placed with their parents
  • 3% (2,230) were placed for adoption
  • 4% (3,100) were with another placement in the community
  • 2% (1,230) were placed in residential schools or other residential settings

Foster Placements

On 31st March 2018, of the 55,200 children in foster placements:

  • 34,160 (62%) were placed inside the council boundary
  • 9,720 (18%) were being fostered by a relative or friend
  • 420 (1%) were in placements where the carer is also an approved adopter (fostering for adoption) or where they were subject to concurrent planning

Legal Status

On 31st March 2018:

  • 55,240 (73%) children looked after under care orders
  • 14,500 (19%) children looked after under voluntary agreements under Section 20 of the Children’s Act 1989
  • 5,360 (7%) children looked after under placement orders


Adoptions from Care

3,820 looked after children were adopted during the year ending 31 March 2018

Awaiting Adoption

4,020 children had an adoption decision but were not yet placed at 31 March 2018

2,630 children had a placement order for adoption but were not yet placed at 31 March 2018

Waiting Times

420 – the average number of days between a child entering care and moving in with its adoptive family during the year 2017-2018 (Adoption scorecard indicator A1)

171 – the average number of days between an LA receiving court authority to place a child and the LA deciding on a match to an adoptive family during the year 2017-2018 (Adoption scorecard indicator A2)

Adopter Characteristics

During the year ending 31 March 2018:

  • 89% (3,420) of children were adopted by couples and 11% (400) by single adopters.
  • 12% (460) of children were adopted by same-sex couples (either in a civil partnership, married or neither).


Department for Education: Children looked after in England including adoption: 2017 to 2018

The Department for Education Children looked after in England statistics include tables providing a breakdown of children in care by age, gender, ethnicity, legal status, reason for being in care, reasons for placement changes for children who moved placement in the year, fostering for adoption and concurrent planning, special guardianship, duration of latest period of care, adoption placements and care leavers activities, accommodation, children looked after who were missing, offending and substance misuse by looked after children, development, health, emotional health

ASGLB: Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board quarterly data reports: 2017 to 2018

The Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board data reports on how local authority adoption agencies and voluntary adoption agencies are performing. Data covers children waiting for adoption, progress through the adoption process, characteristics of children waiting, characteristics of children adopted, child timeliness, adoptive families progress through the adoption process, prospective adopters waiting and adopter timeliness.

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