Adoption and fostering

Has anyone had experience of either applying to adopt or foster after a breast cancer diagnosis?
I’ve just been given the wonderful news that my sister in law is expecting her second baby, I’m so happy for her but it’s really brought home to me the fact that I won’t get to be a mum myself. I thought I’d dealt with this but having spent much of the day in tears I clearly haven’t!
Several months ago I read in the paper that a couple who had gone through the year long adoption process were told at the very last stage that because she had been treated for breast cancer they wouldn’t be considered for at least five years. My husband is very keen to apply in the new year but I don’t want to if it’s going to be a futile excersise.
Would really appreciate to hear from anyone who has tried to adopt or foster or has any information on this subject.
Thanks xx

Hi jpangel

i havent got personal experience of fostering or adopting but a very close friend who has a long term condition called bechets disease has just failed to adopt through her local council because she has a medical condition and her husband is too fat!!!

there are other councils she can try so she hasnt given up hope yet, but the process is very long and apparently you can only apply to one council at a time.

she lives in london where there are lots of local councils quite close by where as other areas of the uk you may not have so much choice… perhaps you can contact your local council and see what their procedure is.

just want to wish you lots of luck


My husband and i came quite close to fostering just after my treatment for bc ended a year ago. The fact i had had breast cancer did not pose a problem for the social work adoption team. There are also a number of private organisations like Swiss who place children in families. Although we contacted a few of these we decided that if we were to foster, we would stick with the local authority rather than a private organisation, despite the fact that financial benefits would have been substantially more outwith the local authority. Had we gone down the fostering route we were going to offer respite care first and see how that went. In the end we backed out For a few different reasons - partly because my work commitments increased, partly because we didnt have enough space in our house ( we have 2 children already and were considering converting our attic for extra room space but we subseqently chose not to do this) and partly because both my husband and i work with children and vulnerable adults and we were told by the social workers we met and by other foster families that false accusations of abuse against carers are not uncommon. This was a risk we were both worried would affect our jobs. Good luck. Do lots of research and find other families who have fostered / adopted and pick their brains. By the way my limited experience of this isbin Scotland and things may vary in other parts of the UK.


Like you jpangel I am really finding it hard to deal with accepting I may never be a mum, after my diagnosis in April and needing chemo. And, there seem to be so many family and friends being pregnant at the moment…

I had read conflicting stories regarding adoption and breast cancer, so decided a few weeks ago to ring a local adoption charitable agency to enquire. I spoke with a social worker, and she said that a breast cancer diagnosis would certainly not be an automatic no. She said it would depend on medical reports - from my ONC and their medical team in terms of prognosis etc. Obviously she could not make a judgment just from that informal chat (and as she does not have a medical background), but overall she did appear cautiously positive. As I have just finished chemo a couple of months ago, it isn’t something that I was planning to pursue straight away (and she did say that it would be considered too soon too in terms of my dealing with my diagnosis and infertility anyway) but I just needed to know that it wouldn’t be an outright no. Like you, I didn’t want to be building up my hopes if it was not going to be a possibility. An additional complication for me is that I am single (and struggle to see that changing now I am bald and post-mastectomy!) but she said that would not exclude me either so long as I could demonstrate adequate support networks. So the fact that you are married would also support your application.

So I would suggest making contact with a local council or agency, and having a chat with one of their team as I found them very helpful. The social worker I spoke to was also helpful in terms of how to prepare for application, and has sent me an information pack.

I hope this might help, and let me know if you want any other info. Wishing you lots of luck, and really hope it all works out for you.


Do lots of research and find other families who have fostered / adopted and pick their brains.

fostering agencies