Fertility and adoption

PACT is one of the largest adoption charities in England and was rated as Outstanding by Ofsted in 2014 and 2017. We recruit, prepare, approve and support adoptive parents to create loving, safe and secure homes for children waiting in care.

PACT has extensive experience of helping to create families with people who have explored alternative routes to parenthood first. We understand that many people also explore fertility treatments, surrogacy, sperm or egg donations as a way of having children.

For some people they would like to look at all of their options and approach PACT for information to include adoption in their considerations very early on. For others they think about completing their family through adoption once they have investigated other avenues. Our enquiries team are happy to discuss what adoption may mean for you and answer any questions you may have, at any stage in your thinking, and help you clarify adoption as a possible route for you.

From our experienced enquiries team to our committed social workers and our dedicated family finding team our staff understand that these conversations are highly personal, unique to each person and sensitive. Adopters often feedback that they were reassured to speak with our staff who acknowledge challenges around fertility can be very difficult, and if treatments are not successful, very sad. 

Coming to terms with other options closing as possibilities for growing a family can take time. PACT, like many other adoption agencies, recommends people allow six months after the last treatment, fertility tests or fertility counselling before embarking on the adoption process. This is to give time to the healing process and for people to gently look after their own wellbeing and process the loss they may experience. The adoption process is robust and requires a level of commitment and focus and we believe that for many, the transition from other routes to adoption is easier with this time period in place for people to take a pause for themselves.

However, we understand that each person is different so please do speak with our enquiries team about your circumstances and they can advise and help you navigate what may be right for you.

Here at PACT we know that families are made in many different ways and each of them is special. We understand the challenges that there can be when hopes to have a child do not happen as first planned and it takes time to think about another way of growing your family. 

We are here ready to listen to your story and consider with you whether those hopes to be a loving parent could happen through adopting a child or children who need a family.  We can put you in touch with other people who have already done this and you can be assured of sensitive and understanding social workers to support you through your exploration of whether adoption is right for you.

PACT is here to talk to you about adoption, whenever you are ready, and we will work alongside you, at your pace. You can speak with our enquiries team, attend a free information event or ask to speak with one of our adopters.

PACT offers support for life to its families and will support parents and children every step of the way. Our support services include our Strengthening Families Team, the Children And Trauma Community Hub , our Adopter Champions team, support from our Education Lead, our Family And Children Therapeutic Support (FACTS) service and a range of training and support events.

We recommend you download our Guide to Adoption as a first step and get in touch with our team and speak to one of PACT’s Enquiries Officers. They can give you some more information, answer any questions you may have and book you onto a  PACT Adoption Information Event where you will hear a bit more about the adoption process from PACT social workers and a PACT adopter will share their story.

Our Enquiries Line is open 10am-5pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10am-8pm on Tuesday and Thursday, and 10am-1pm on Saturday. You can also fill in our enquiry form here.

We welcome enquiries from people across the south of England. We have teams located in Reading, Oxford, London, Milton Keynes, Brighton and Devon.

Adopters Lily* and Alex* began their adoption journey with PACT after one failed round of IVF and a subsequent round which unfortunately ended in miscarriage. Their gorgeous daughter Cassie* came home to live with them in 2020.

Speaking about why they considered adopter after IVF, Lily said,

“We just didn’t want to wait any longer to start our family; we knew from experience that biological connection is in no way essential for strong and loving familial relationships to flourish. We decided to give ourselves some time to recover emotionally from the IVF process so we could start our adoption journey the following year.”

*Names changed for confidentiality purposes

Ruth and her husband Oli adopted their daughter in 2018 after many unsuccessful cycles of IVF and a miscarriage. They said meeting their daughter for the first time was one of the best moments of their life.

“We hardly slept the night before. As soon as we saw her little face, she became the love of our lives. “

Their story was featured in The Sun’s Fabulous magazine.

Read about some of our families who adopted after exploring fertility treatment