Welcome to the East London Permanence and Adoption Consortium.

We are a group of six local authorities – Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and the voluntary adoption agency Barnardo’s. The staff in our adoption teams come from lots of different backgrounds and are well trained in being sensitive to people’s cultural and religious beliefs and life experiences.

We work closely together to find secure, loving and permanent homes for our children. We provide support throughout the assessment and support after a child is placed with you.

We are there for you every step of the way.

By working closely together we can help prospective adopters quickly through the training and assessment process and find the best families for our children without delay. We can give you support from the time of your first enquiry and throughout the time your child is growing up.

There are lots of myths about who can and who cannot adopt. Myths like “I am 40, is that too old to adopt”. The answer is “No, you are not too old to adopt”. Below is guidance about who can adopt.

Who can adopt?

You must be at least 21 years old to adopt, domiciled in the UK and been living here for at least a year. You cannot adopt if you or any other adult member of your household have been cautioned or convicted of serious offences against children.

And you can…

  • be married, in a civil partnership, single, divorced, or living with a partner
  • be from any cultural, ethnic, religious and social background
  • be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
  • live in or outside east London
  • be renting or a home owner
  • be a parent or someone with no children

You also need to…

  • have space in your life and space in your home for a child
  • be ready for the responsibility of caring for a child
  • be patient, flexible, have lots of energy and a sense of fun
  • want to make a real difference to a child’s life for a lifetime
  • be in good health
  • have support from those around you

Adopters from East London Adoption have said


Angela and Raymond

"After years of trying for our own children, our doctor suggested adoption as the next route for us. After a lot of discussion, we phoned and four days later we had our first appointment.

We had a bit of a wait from when we were approved until our children came to live with us. As our borough is part of the East London Permanence and Adoption Consortium we went to a small ELPAC exchange event where we saw a video about them. We had not really thought about adopting two children together when we started out, but we found we would like to and felt that with support, we could. They were also a little older than the children we had thought we would fall for but we just can’t imagine it any other way now. It was very tiring to start with but our lives have definitely changed for the better. We thought we’d never be able to have children but now we are a family and it is so rewarding. We had an anxious wait until the Adoption Order but our social worker was very supportive throughout the process.

Through ELPAC we have met lots of other adoptive parents and it’s great to talk together and support each other. It’s great for our children too as we do family things together with other adoptive families".


Gianni and Terence

"We recently moved to East London and love the diversity of this area. We had heard good things about adoption around here so we called our local borough.

We told them we are a gay couple. This was not a barrier at all. The assessment was quite hard as there are long intense meetings with the social worker, and we had to open up and talk about our lives. But it really helped us to find out about the differences in parenting through adoption and about the children who need to be adopted. We went to a preparation group in another borough in the East London Consortium. They work together on that and we were found the most convenient dates for us.

Once our son came to us we weren’t too sure how much to talk with him about his birth family but he has a lovely life story book we look at together sometimes and it has really helped to settle him down and explain things. We went to a workshop with other adopters in our area about this and it was good to hear what has worked for other adoptive families. All the children have different things in their background which can be hard for them at times.

Since our child came to us our lifestyle has changed dramatically, our friendship groups have grown. It can be tough but we love being a family together".

Who are the children that need adopting?

We know that adoption brings challenges as well as joys and we are committed to being realistic with you about the children. In the East London Permanence and Adoption Consortium we meet together regularly to consider all the children who need families and the adopters who are approved and those in assessment to make sure we can bring you together with children as quickly as possible.

Some of our children may have had a difficult start in life but go on to blossom with their foster carers. A loving and stable adoptive family will help them to thrive. We have children from a wide range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. Some have disabilities or learning difficulties. We need families for children between 2-9 years of age, and sibling groups of 2, 3 or more children. We occasionally have newborn or very young babies to place for adoption.

Come along to one of our information sessions to find out more.