327 children matched through Adoption Register Wales
April 2014 - March 2021
51 children matched through Adoption Exchange Days
14 children matched through Adoption Activity Days
9 children matched through Online Profiling Events in 2021/22



As an online family finding tool and data service the Adoption Register Wales is fully embedded in services across Wales and continues to identify adoptive placements for a large number of children. Over the past year 59 children found permanent families through the register and many more prospective adopters are now signed up. 

Adoption Register Wales is the national statutory linking and family-finding register hosted by the National Adoption Service for Wales for the Welsh Government.  It provides a unique service to support Welsh adoption agencies in their family-finding for children and prospective adopters. 

Adoption Register Wales is run by an experienced and dedicated team who has developed collaborative working relationships with all Adoption Agencies across Wales to tackle delays for children waiting for an adoptive family and raise awareness of the importance of proactive and timely family finding for children.

We manage the Adoption Register database; details of children that need families and of people approved to adopt are kept on this. Our experienced team identify potential matches between children and prospective adopters through close and regular communication with agencies to ensure children and families are given the best opportunity to be successfully matched.  We search for links for all children and adopters on our Register at least once a week, both through our matching database and through looking at all profiles of available children and adopters. Alongside this we also work closely with Adoption Agencies, practitioners and adopters, this includes linking through discussion with practitioners as well as other activities such as hosting Adoption Activity Days, Exchange Days and Online Profiling Events.


Legal background

The Adoption and Children Act, 2002 (Joint Adoption Arrangements) (Wales) (Amendment) Directions 2019 require both Local Authority and Voluntary Adoption Agencies to provide a child’s and adopter’s details to the Adoption Register Wales within one month of the date on which the local authority was authorised to place a child for adoption or within one month of the approval of the adopter.  


Our history

An Adoption Register service has been offered in Wales since 2014, in order to provide a wider pool of prospective adopters for children in need of an adoptive placement and whose local authorities were unable to find a placement locally.


In 2015, the National Adoption Service (NAS) was commissioned to host an Adoption Register on behalf of the Welsh Government.


The Adoption Register Wales (ARW) was launched in June 2019, which replaced the previous Wales Adoption Register. ARW uses Link Maker, a bilingual, secure online system which allows direct adopter access. The Register aims to provide suitable matches for children with plans for adoption and to reduce their waiting time.


Family Finding Events

We hold a range of innovative family finding activities. These events provide opportunities for prospective adopters to be more proactive and gives adopters direct access to information about children waiting to be matched. We also work closely with adoption agencies to provide best practice guidance on profiling children.




What people say about Adoption Register Wales

“I think the activity day was absolutely fantastic, the staff were super helpful and engaged the children in a therapeutic and exciting way”
Social Worker,
Adoption Activity Day 2021


"He loved every minute of it - a really lovely way to find families for children."
Foster Carer,
Adoption Activity Day 2021


"We had a great time. It was really enjoyable and we were able to really see the children's personalities"
Adoption Activity Day 2021


"Very Useful & Informative Event – thank you"
Exchange Day 2020


"A very informative, well-run event"
Online Profiling Event 2021


"I thought the event worked really well and provided plenty of information for us. It was great to see the videos, hear from the foster carers, and hear from the social workers/family finders."
Online Profiling Event 2022




We collect vital Wales-only statistics in relation to children and adopters. By running in tandem with the National Adoption Service’s Performance Management Framework, we are able to map current adoption practice and activity.


The overview data and trends’ analysis provided by the Register are the building blocks for strategic planning at regional and national level. Not only does this provide information for targeted marketing and recruitment campaigns but also informs the required resource and capacity management to ensure life-long adoption services.


Other information

Adopters' Helpline

We offer an Adopters' Helpline operated by Register staff five days a week between 9.00am and 1.00pm. Out of hours calls are captured using voicemail and responded to the next working day.

The telephone number is 029 2087 3799.


Arrangements with other UK Registers

Adoption Register Wales maximises opportunities for children and prospective adopters, through referral to other UK Registers where this is appropriate through the Inter-Register Referral Protocol with England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, which has been designed to enable the Registers Managers of each region to accept and make referrals.  




Contact Us

Contact us:

Adoption Register Wales

029 2087 3799




Family Finding Events

21st May 2022
Adoption Activity day
17th July 2022
Online Profiling Event
4th October 2022
Online Profiling Event
26th November 2022
Adoption Activity day
21st March 2023
Online Profiling Event

Practitioner Meetings

Next meeting: 7th February 2022
All adoption agencies are represented; to share good practice, profiles and to family-find for all children waiting on the Register.

Online Adoption Register Wales

Online Adoption Register

Please click to access the Adoption Register through Link Maker.

Taking the next step

View the FAQs about adoption Frequently asked questions
Speak to an adoption advisor Find your nearest adoption agency

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