An Adoption Exchange Day is an event for approved prospective adopters looking for a child and adoption agencies who are trying to find a family for a child or sibling group. The aim of these days is to try and ensure children don’t have to wait unnecessarily for a suitable adoptive family. Exchange Days have been a very successful method of finding families for children – 98 children had families found for them as a result of the exchange days from April 2014 to March 2015.
Exchange days tend to feature the profiles of children who have been waiting for a lengthy period or who are likely to prove more difficult to find a family for. At events organised by the Adoption Register for England we are unlikely to feature single, white children under the age of three years who have no special needs.
Exchange Days were developed by Berkshire Adoption Advisory Service in 2000 so that the agency could promote the placement of children where adoption was the plan. These events are now held by many agencies throughout England. The Adoption Register works in conjunction with many Local Authorities and Voluntary Adoption Agencies to organise large national events and attend agency run events.
Dates for Exchange Days
If you are an approved adopter who is interested in attending one of the following events then please get in touch with us.
- Thursday 12th May 2016 - London. NB. This event is now fully booked.
- Wednesday 6th July 2016 - Leeds. Booking opens on 13th May.
What happens at an Adoption Exchange Day?
You will need to be invited to an Exchange Day because of the sensitive nature of the information about the children. You should discuss the possibility of attending these days with your social worker if you think it is an option you’d like to explore.
Exchange Days can be exhilarating - you might find information about your future son or daughter on the day – but they can also feel a bit overwhelming. There is a lot of information about children needing families. You are likely to be given a time slot to help manage the flow of people so that you have the best chance to review all the information about the children.
There will be lots of other people in the same situation as you. Some people may be comfortable going round the different agency stands themselves and trying to find children whose needs they could meet, others may prefer to be accompanied by their social worker. At each agency stand there will be opportunities to talk with social workers about children they are family finding for and to give them your details if a child appears to be a possible match for you. Some of the agency stands will have short videos of the children for you to watch too.
What are the advantages of attending an Exchange Day
- Adopters are given a realistic view of the children waiting for adoptive families. This may lead to adopters wishing to be considered for a child outside of the range they had been considering because something in a child's profile has attracted them.
- Enables adopters to have more of a direct involvement in the process of matching
- Provides an opportunity for professionals to look at profiles of adopters and children as well as networking with other colleagues.
What are the disadvantages of attending an Exchange Day
- The experience of attending the event can be very emotional for adopters being faced with the reality of the numbers of children waiting for families.
- Adopters may be disappointed if they express an interest in a particular child and they are not the preferred choice of the social workers concerned.
- It may feel that time is moving very slowly after the event. It may take the social workers concerned a number of weeks to gather all the information they need in order to make a decision about which family will be best able to meet the child's needs.