Adoption process

The adoption process is a two stage assessment process with a timescale of 6 months , during which time you will be provided with training and guidance to become the best adoptive parent you can be.   

Here is a taster of the process from the first day of your enquiry through to how we place a child with you.

First step, give us a call and we’ll take an initial enquiry and answer your questions

We look to get in touch with you within five working days of your first contact with us.  We’ll have a chat with you, ask some questions and answer any queries you may have.  From here you will be invited to meet with a social worker at the office, or at your home if you are unable to get to us.  This will be a chance for us to take more detailed information from you, as well as give you more information about the adoption process and the children who are waiting to be adopted.  Following this meeting we’ll make sure you have all the information you need and provide a registration of interest form if you are ready to proceed.

Register your interest

If you decide that you are ready to adopt, we’ll ask you to complete the registration of interest form. This is your application to adopt

Stage one – Adopter led

Once we have received your registration of interest form our Team Manager will review your information and we’ll contact you to confirm if we are able to accept your application.   

This is where stage one starts and we’ll carry out checks and references such as a criminal background check (DBS), employment, a medical, personal references and a few more which we’ll discuss with you.  During this stage we’ll be here for you every step of the way, providing information and guidance and directing you to all the relevant resources you need to decide if adoption is for you. 

You’ll be invited to attend our information evening and to meet with a social worker from our team to talk more about your adoption application.  We encourage you to be open, honest and ask as many questions as you like, we want to help you to decide if adoption is right for you and your family.

Stage one should take no more than two months to complete and at the end of this stage the Adoption Team Manager will write to you to confirm if you are able to progress to stage two. 

Stage two

The home visit assessment

At the start of stage two you’ll be allocated a social worker who will complete your assessment with you.  The assessment explores your life experiences and history, your capacity to be a parent, your strengths and any vulnerabilities we can support you with.  We’ll also ask you to attend our adoption preparation training – this is a great chance to meet other people considering adoption and gather more information about the children who need adoptive families and the process.   

Stage 2 should take no more than four months, sometimes it may be longer if there are exceptional circumstances.  

Adoption panel

The information we gather in stage one and two is used to complete something called a PAR – Prospective Adopters Report.  We’ll invite you to attend our Adoption Panel where the PAR is shared and your suitability to adopt is independently considered .  You’ll meet the Adoption Panel who will review your information, have a chat with you and recommend your suitability to become an adopter.  The final decision is then made by the Agency Decision Maker.

Matching you to a child or siblings

Once you are approved we can now start to think about the children needing adoption and who together, we think will be a good match.  We’ll provide as much information as possible about the child / children, their needs and their background.  If you are ready, we’ll return to the Adoption Panel and ask them to formally match you with the child. 

Placement planning meeting

Once you have been matched with a child there will be a placement planning meeting which is attended by people involved in the child’s life.  This could be their foster carer, social worker, yourselves and your social worker.   This is to plan your introduction to the child, how she/he will be moved into your home and how we can make sure we supported you the whole way through and beyond.

The final stage – The Adoption Order

The courts make the final decision about adoption. Once the child has been living with you for ten weeks, the adoption application can be made. When the Adoption Order is granted, the child legally becomes a full member of your family.

After adoption – adoption support

We will remain to be here for you and can provide an adoption support service to people who have adopted or who are adopted.  Our established team of highly experienced and skilled social workers are friendly and approachable and focussed to support you as best they can.  If you adopt a child, you can ask for an assessment of the child’s needs until that child reaches 18 years of age. For the first three years after your Adoption Order your support is provided by the Local Authority that placed your child.  Following this the support will be provided by your own Local Authority that you live in.  

Start your adoption journey today and get in touch

Telephone: 0300 300 8090

“We were allocated a social worker, who was perfect for us, she really ‘got us’ and we built a really strong relationship with her, she supported us and was our advocate. The best part of the whole process for us was the support of our social workers (especially when I worry about things) and the perfect match of our children – we couldn’t have asked for better.”