Steps to Adoption
If you want to discover more about adoption just call our enquiry line 0800 731 0171 and speak to our enquiry officer. During your telephone conversation you will be asked a few questions – and you will also be sent some information about adoption.
You are welcome to come along to information events which are held regularly. We will also offer you a phone call with an adoption social worker, where you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions that you have and discuss your situation.
Registering your Interest
and Initial Checks
After we have had some in-depth conversations with you and decided if this is the right time for you to begin your journey, you will have the opportunity to register your interest in entering Stage one. Stage one includes;
Checks & References
You will be asked to provide references and undertake some statutory checks, a criminal background check (DBS) and medical checks. We may also require a housing reference if you live in rented accommodation, a reference from your employers and the schools attended by any children in your family. If you have previously been in a significant relationship and had child/children with them or if you have cared for children with a previous partner we will also contact them for a reference.
Preparation workshops and training
These are to give you a better understanding of what is involved and also a time to reflect on your own life experiences. You will have the opportunity to meet other adopters to hear their views and also the views of an adopted child.
Gaining more experience
We encourage you to get as much experience with children as possible, this could be by volunteering at local schools, nurseries and other activities such as rainbows, beavers, cubs, brownies etc. If possible we would recommend you seek voluntary experience with children within the age range that you are considering adopting. We ask that you complete at least six sessions of voluntary experience before commencing Stage 2 and that you continue volunteering during Stage 2 of the assessment.
Stage 1 usually takes no longer than two months, dependent on your personal situation, and once completed we will then discuss with you and agree the next stage of your adoption journey. If you need to you may take a break of up to 6 months before proceeding to Stage 2.
“The assessment allows you to acknowledge habits you didn’t even know you had, and work out how not to pass them on to others. But you also come to realise how much you already know that’s valuable and useful. By the end of home study, you won’t need your mentor, because you’ll be ready and feel ready for the real test – becoming an adoptive parent.”
An adoption social worker will conduct a full assessment that involves a series of interviews. By getting to know you really well we will be able to complete your prospective adopters report (PAR) with you which will be presented to the adoption panel. If you have any worries or concerns or we have anything we need to explore in more detail then we will make sure there is the opportunity to do that. The aim is for stage 2 to be completed within 4 months.
Either towards the end of the assessment or afterwards, you will be invited to attend a parenting skills course, which will help you be more prepared and also give you the opportunity to spend time with others who are going through the same process.
Being approved by the adoption panel
You will be invited to attend our adoption panel and a recommendation will be made as to your suitability to becoming an adopter, the final decision is then made by the agency decision maker.
Matching you to a child
Now we have had the opportunity to get to know how you see your future family we will be working with our family finding team to find the children who are right for you and who you are right for.
Once a suitable child or children have been identified, you will be given full information about their background and, if you want to proceed, the link is presented to panel. After a period of introduction, your adoptive child or children will come to live with you and become part of your family.
The Adoption Order
When your adoptive child has successfully settled with your family, you will be able to apply to the court for an Adoption Order to be made. Once the order is made, you will have full legal responsibility as the child’s new parents.
If you wish to apply to become an adopter or ask for more information, you can complete an online form.
If you would like to find out more or are ready to begin your adoption journey then we would love to hear from you today.
When you are newly approved to adopt, you will be invited to attend a parenting skills course, which will help you be more prepared for the adoption task.
Follow your progress, upload essential documents and keep in touch with your Social Worker with our Members Area.