The adoption process

Step 1: Choose the adoption agency. Decide on an agency you would like to approach. This will either be an approved voluntary adoption agency, or the adoption team in your local authority.

Step 2: Potential adopters request an information pack. This explains the adoption process in more detail.

Step 3: Potential adopters attend information evenings. This gives them the opportunity to meet experienced adopters and to speak individually with a social worker.

Step 4: Your chosen adoption agency gathers references and health checks. These will be requested if potential adopters have expressed an interest in the agency and would like to proceed further with the process.

Step 5: Potential adopters’ preparation groups and social worker assignment. Preparation groups are opportunities for potential adopters to consider adoption in more depth. When completed, a social worker will be assigned to them who they will work with from beginning to end.

Step 6: Home study. The social worker will meet with the potential adopter to learn about their life and compile a written assessment of their suitability to adopt. The home study is an essential process in order to best prepare potential adopters.

Step 7: Potential adopters attend the independent adoption panel. An independent panel of experts will consider potential adopters and their home study and make a recommendation about their suitability to adopt.

Step 8: Matching to a child. Adopters will be given information about a child (or children) to decide if they meet their needs.

Step 9: Introductions & Placement. Adopters will meet the child or children, who will join the adopter’s family with 24-hour dedicated social work support.

Step 10: The Adoption Order. Once the child is settled, the adopter will apply to the courts for an adoption order to be made. Upon completion, it is a permanent state and all parental responsibilities are transferred to the adopter.