Step 2 – finding out about adoption
If you decide you would like to consider adopting with us, you will be invited to an adoption awareness seminar. This is an informal event where you will find out about –
- what adoption is
- the children who need adopting
- the adoption process
- the support we provide to adoptive parents
You will also have the opportunity to meet adoptive parents and listen to their experiences. This event will help you decide whether you would like to adopt.
If you decide you would like to adopt, a social worker will arrange to visit your home to talk about your personal circumstances and motivations to adopt. At this stage we will make a decision on whether to support your application to adopt. If you are unsuccessful feedback will be available.
Step 3 – you are assessed
You will be assigned a social worker who will compile an assessment report. The assessment includes a detailed study of your home life and references from your friends and family.
You are required to undertake a medical examination and references from the Criminal Records Bureau, local authority and probation service are also picked up.
We also ask for references from previous long term partners, particularly when there have been children to the relationship. You will see the report before it is finished and submitted and you will have the opportunity to comment.
The government standards say the adoption approval process should take around eight months, although sometimes it can take longer depending on your personal circumstances.
View more information about the Adoption Agency Regulations on the department for children, schools and families (DFES) website (link opens in a new window)
Step 4 – preparing to adopt
You will attend pre-adoption training over three days and you will also have the opportunity to attend support groups. This training will help prepare you for when you adopt a child or children.
Step 5 – approving you to become an adoptive parent
Your assessment report is submitted to the adoption panel who will make a recommendation for approval or not. You will be invited to this meeting. If recommendations are not made then you have the right of appeal through the Independent Reviewing Mechanism. This process will be explained to you after the meeting.
Step 6 – matching you with a child or children
After you are approved, your adoption social worker will search for a child or children for you. When a potential match with a child or children is made your social worker will discuss their situation with you. If you decide to proceed with the match then your social worker will organise for you to see photos and DVDs of the child or children.
Step 7 – meeting the child or children
Once a match has been approved, your social worker will arrange for you to meet the child or children. The child or children may be living with a foster carer, so the first meeting will be at the foster carer’s house. The meetings then progress on to outings and visits by the child or children to your house, sometimes this may include an overnight stay.
The meetings help you and the child or children get to know each other, build up a bond and relationship in preparation for when they move into your home.
Step 8 – moving in
The start of your new lives begins now your child or children move into your home.
Step 9 – making the adoption legal with an Adoption Order
If the placement is successful an Adoption Order will be made, meaning you are now your child’s legal parent.
Step 10 – your life together
Your decision to adopt is life changing and extraordinarily rewarding. Like all other families there will be both good and hard times. As well as supporting you through the adoption process, we are here for you whenever you need support throughout your adoption journey.