Adopting a baby: early permanence

Babies who are in the care system from a very young age are often moved from foster carer to foster carer while the courts reach a decision about who will care for them in the long term. This is known as early permanence.

What is early permanence?

Early permanence (EP) is an umbrella term which includes both Fostering for Adoption (FfA) and Concurrent Planning placements (CPP). Both schemes enable a child in care under the age of two to find foster carers who are ready and willing to adopt them later if the courts decide they cannot live with their birth family.

Discover the experiences of Coram's early permanence carers in our short three-minute film. They talk about Concurrent Planning and what it meant for them.

transcript for our film is provided here for accessibility. Reproduction by third parties is strictly forbidden. Please contact our Press Office with enquiries.

The advantages of early permanence

Most babies and young children who are adopted have to manage several changes of carer and broken attachments. With early permanence, we avoid that and give a baby the best chance of a settled and secure life.

The great advantage for the children concerned is that, if the courts decide they cannot go back to their birth family, it will prevent them having to suffer the upset and loss of moving from a foster home where they have settled to an adoptive family.

Could you be an early permanence carer?

Early permanence carers need to be able to look after a baby through a period of uncertainty about his or her future. They will also need to bring the baby to Coram or a contact venue to see their birth parents regularly. Hard as this sounds, if an early permanence carer goes on to adopt the child they have cared for, they will be in a very special position. They will have helped their baby through the early, unsettling months when plans were still uncertain and got to know and love them from a very young age.

When we were told we could adopt Billy, it was a big moment; we were now 'Mummy and Daddy'. 

- Couple who adopted a baby through Coram Concurrent Planning

Support for you

We only work with babies where there is a probability that they will need adoption - but it is the courts which make the final decision and there will be occasions when the baby will be returned to the birth family.

We help you build resilience and support you with:

  • Specialist preparation,with tailored workshops 
  • Intensive, high-quality support throughout the process of fostering and adoption, and beyond
  • Help to access fostering allowances
  • Supervised visits with birth families at a neutral location

Coram's trusted service

Our Concurrent Planning service is validated by the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services (C4EO) a best practice hub for children's services used by local authorities across England.

Coram’s Concurrent Planning service received Outstanding in its most recent Ofsted fostering service inspection.

More questions about adopting a baby through early permanence? Read our FAQs