Adoption Activity Days

Adoption Activity Days

What are Adoption Activity Days?

Adoption Activity Days are a way of adopters being more actively involved in finding children. The days are designed to be child-centred, relaxed days on which children can have fun.

Adopters can meet children and establish whether or not they feel an emotional connection. The children that normally attend Adoption Activity Days are those children that tend to wait longer for adoptive families.

You can find out more information from the short film ‘Adoptive Parents Discuss the Benefits of Coram’s Adoption Activity Days’.

When are they?

Please use this link to find out when Activity Days in England are held:  Activity Day Listings

The Welsh Register also organise Activity Days, find out more and contact them or call them for further information on 02920 873799.

How to book

In order to book a place at an Adoption Activity Day please contact the Adoption Activity Days team. Contact details are:

Adoption Activity Days team
41 Brunswick Square
London WC1N 1AZ

Tel: 020 7520 0302


What to expect

Adoption Activity Days usually have a theme and all attending will be invited to dress up. Popular themes include: my favourite character, superheroes, pirates and the circus. Children have a free choice of activities and there are opportunities for prospective adopters to join in.

When you attend an Adoption Activity Day, there will be a short briefing at the beginning of the day where you will be given more information about the event and the children in attendance. After the briefing, you will join the children and take part in various games and activities. There will be about two hours of free play and then there will be a break to get something to eat – followed by an entertainment show.

At the end of the Adoption Activity Day, you will be asked which children you are interested in finding out more information about and to complete a feedback form. You will also have the opportunity to leave positive written messages for the children you have met.

An Adoption Activity Day is an emotive event; you may feel excited, anxious and a little apprehensive. Meeting so many children who are waiting for a loving family can be an overwhelming experience. On the day if you have a question or feel a bit unsure, talk to your social worker, staff or volunteers.

Single adopters are welcome to bring somebody from their close support network with them and this will need to be included on the referral form completed by the adoption social worker.

Do’s and don’ts

At the Adoption Activity Day, please do:

  • Talk to the children and get down to their ‘level’
  • Get involved in the activities and help the children to join in
  • Give the children your full attention
  • Ask the children about their likes and dislikes
  • Introduce yourself to foster carers and social workers and talk to them about the children you are interested in knowing more about
  • Leave messages for the children you have met on their individual comment cards
  • Have fun

At the Adoption Activity Day, please do not:

  • Ask the children if they want to be adopted
  • Ask the children about their birth families and backgrounds
  • Ask the children where they live or what their surname is
  • Let the children see you reading their profiles or discussing expressions of interest
  • Make any promises to the children
  • Take any photographs or videos of the children
  • Give or promise gifts to the children

Who attends an Adoption Activity Day

Children who have a plan for adoption in place. The children that attend the activity days are a diverse group of children from a variety of ages.

Foster carers accompany children they are caring for to the Adoption Activity Day

Children’s social workers attend to talk to adopters about the children at the Adoption Activity Day

Adopters attend the Adoption Activity Day and may be accompanied by their social worker. Adopters may also bring their own children with them so as to involve them in the adoption process.

Volunteers who facilitate activities and support individuals.


The Adoption Activity Day Team have facilitated 20 events over the last financial year, including the first in Wales 457 children attended an Activity Day (up from 288 the previous year) 469 adopters attended an Activity Day (up from 393 the previous year) 120 children were matched with families

Activity Days are a unique means of family finding for children deemed harder to place. Of children who attended an Activity Day in 2016–17, 60% had a learning or physical disability, 43% were deemed older (aged between five and nine years old), and 60% were part of a sibling group wanting to be placed together.

A recent independent evaluation of Adoption Activity Days found that prospective adopters who attend an Activity Day are subsequently prepared to broaden their matching criteria, even if they are not linked to a child on the day. It was also found that 85% of adopters said it would be detrimental to not have Adoption Activity Days as part of their family finding journey.