Committee agrees to assist families considering adoption to come forward

Continuing support for recruitment of families living in Aberdeenshire seeking to adopt and assistance all affected by adoption was agreed by the council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee today (Thursday, August 27).

The Adoption Service’s Annual Report for 2019 showed that up to 2015 the service had received high levels of interest from families considering adoption. However, between 2015 and 2017 there had been a significant drop in referrals. In 2015 the service successfully recruited and assessed 13 families whereas two years later this number fell to just four.

However, a proactive recruitment campaign targeting the media and social media over 2018 and 2019 saw eight families come forward, with a further two returning for a second adoption and one fostering family wishing to adopt too. The number of enquiries about adoption rose by ten from 24 in 2018 to 34 a year later.

The service offers support every step of the way to families and individuals considering adoption through Preparation to Adopt courses, from the team including the very able Family Support Workers, social workers and legal advisors. The level of support is regularly assessed and agreed between the family and service and often experienced workers offer support over the long-term if there is a need, resulting in continuity for all involved.  

Those who have been adopted often contact the service for assistance with accessing their birth records. The service also helps with tracing and uniting birth family members and assists with birth family members tracing ‘lost’ relatives who were adopted as children.

Aberdeenshire’s Letterbox Scheme was designed to make transition for adopted children easy by keeping in touch with birth families via the scheme’s administrator with the support of an experienced social worker. There were 104 letterbox agreements in place in 2019, in comparison with 65 in 2018, and 17 new agreements made in 2019.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “Can you provide a stable and loving home for a child in Aberdeenshire? Our fantastic Adoption Service would love to hear from you. They are warm, friendly and approachable and will talk you through all the steps you need to take to start your adoption journey. I would urge anyone considering adoption to get in touch to make a real difference to a child’s life.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “Our Adoption Service has every right to be proud of what it has achieved. They offer a friendly, warm, welcoming, innovative and bespoke service that has routinely achieved good inspections from the Care Inspectorate.”

The service received “very good” ratings for the quality of care and support and quality of management and leadership in its most recent inspection in June 2019.

If you are ready to start your adoption journey or for information please contact 01467 532800 or

The report is available in full by visiting

You can also watch a webcast of Education and Children’s Services Committee by visiting