Adoption process

Your adoption journey begins the moment you decide to enquire about becoming an adoptive parent. From that first step, through to the day you welcome your child or children into your home, and beyond, we’ll be by your side, with all of the support and guidance you need.

Below we've provided a brief summary about each stage of the adoption process, with estimated timeframes, to help you understand what to expect.

For more information about any of these stages of adoption, please get in touch with one of our team. You can also find out more about adoption here or visit our FAQs page.

 

1

Get in touch 
and talk to us

Contact us to start your journey and find out more about the adoption process. We hold information events where you can hear from our staff and adopters. We’ll then organise a more in-depth conversation so we can get to know you, find out more about your personal circumstances and answer any questions you may have.

2

Initial assessment visit

A social worker will come and visit you at your home to discuss the adoption process in more detail. We will need to ask you some detailed questions regarding your background, health, home and work life. If you decide to proceed further and we are able to invite you forward we will ask you to complete a Registration of Interest.

3

Preparing you for your adoption journey

This phase of the adoption process is known as ‘Stage 1’ and typically takes up to two months. During Stage 1 we’ll conduct a series of checks, consult your referees and provide you with training and preparation materials. A decision will then be made about whether we feel we are able to invite you forward to Stage 2.

4

Home assessment

This phase is known as ‘Stage 2’ and typically takes up to four months. Your social worker will meet with you a number of times to have more in-depth conversations with you to assess your suitability to adopt. A Prospective Adopter’s Report (PAR) will be completed by your social worker and will contain a recommendation to our adoption panel about your suitability to adopt.

5

Adoption Panel and approval

The Adoption Panel is made up of adoption experts. Their job is to consider all of the information gathered by your social worker and recommend on your suitability to adopt. You’ll be invited to attend part of the panel meeting but it’s not a requirement to attend. The panel will make a recommendation to the agency and our Agency Decision Maker will make the final decision about whether you are suitable to become an adoptive parent.

6

Finding your perfect match

Congratulations – you’re almost there. Your social worker will work with you to find a child you truly connect with. You’ll get lots of information about the child and you will also meet the child’s foster carer. The Adoption Panel from the child’s local authority will then meet and make a recommendation whether to approve your match, and the Agency Decision Maker will again make that final decision.

7

Welcoming 
your child

A moving in date will be agreed and introduction meetings arranged so that you can get to know one another better. Once your child moves in your social worker, and the child’s social worker, will continue to visit and support you until you become the legal parent of the child via an adoption order. The earliest you can apply to legally adopt the child is after the child has been in your care for ten weeks.

8

Adoption support

Our ongoing support services for adoptive families are vast and varied. Families are welcome to attend our targeted and specialist support groups, as well as our workshops, which cover a range of topics. We can also support you on a one to one basis and give you access to additional therapy through the Adoption Support Fund if we decide collectively that it’s the right option for your family.