The Adoption Process

Adoption is a now a two stage process, set up by the Government, so that prospective adopters can be approved to adopt a child more quickly.

In order to become an adopted parent you will be assessed by your chosen agency. This process assesses and prepares you for becoming an adopter, ideally within six months.

During the first stage of the process, which is expected to take two months, you'll learn about what is involved in adopting a child and we start to obtain references and checks for each applicant. You will also be expected to undertake preparation training.

The second stage, which is expected to take four months, involves more intensive assessment and preparation as well as further training so that you are ready to be recommended for approval to adopt a child.

Because the process may seem quite daunting, we've put together this handy guide below to explain it. If you have more questions please don't hesitate to contact us.

Enquiry and information sessions

The first step is to call us (0800 0832227) or complete our enquiry form. We will send you further information and you will be invited to attend one of our information sessions. If you would like to proceed with your enquiry, we will arrange a phone call to discuss your individual circumstances, and if appropriate, arrange to come and visit you in your home.

Registration of Interest

After you have received our information you can submit your 'registration of interest' form. We will notify you within five working days upon receipt of your registration of interest if we are able to accept it or not. Once your registration is accepted you move into ‘stage one’.

Stage one

Stage one lasts two months and is adopter-led. Adopters will be expected to do lots of research into adoption and complete an adoption journey log. We will ask for references from your family members and friends as well as completing police (DBS), local authority and medical checks. At the end of stage one there will be a mutual review where you decide if you wish to continue and vice versa.

Take a break

Prospective adopters are able to take a maximum six month break between stage one and two (agencies are also able to recommend that you take a break). If the break is longer than six months, you will be required to re-start stage one.

Stage two

When you progress into stage two you will be allocated an assessing social worker who will visit you on average six to eight-times and write a report called the “Prospective Adopters Report”. You will also be expected to attend an adoption preparation course. Stage two takes four months, and at the end, your social worker will present you and your report to an adoption panel.

Finding a family

Once you have been approved as suitable to adopt, your social worker will work with the family finding team to identify children whose needs you could meet.

Finding a family for a child with an adoption plan is a huge responsibility and we have specialist social workers who spend their time working with adopters, their social workers and the social workers of children with an adoption plan to find and match children with adopters who can meet their needs.