Steps to adoption
The adoption process
The information below gives an outline of the adoption process and has been taken from a leaflet produced by the Department of Health called “Adoption”.
Step 1 – express an interest
Contact us to make an initial enquiry.
Step 2 – the information meeting
After your initial enquiry, Simply Fostering will contact an agency in your area.
Step 3 – the initial visit
A social worker will arrange to meet with you, the social worker will also discuss what you want out of adoption and what you feel you can offer a child or children
Step 4 – making an application
If you decide to go ahead you will need to fill in an application form. You will be asked to give permission for checks to be made by the police and local authority. It’s worth remembering that agencies have to do these checks to rule out anyone who has committed a serious crime, such as violence or offences against children.
Step 5 – preparation, assessment and training
If your application is accepted you will begin a longer period of preparation, assessment and training.
This preparation period is a time when you find out about adoption in a lot more detail, and the impact of making a lifetime commitment to a child.
While you are learning about adoption, the agency will begin to assess your suitability to adopt. This is known as a home study. A social worker from the agency will make several visits to your home and ask you detailed questions about your own family background, your childhood, your present circumstances.
If you are in a couple the social worker will want to see you individually and together. You will also have to have a full medical examination with your own GP, and you will be asked to provide at least two personal referees. The home study will take several months to complete.
Step 6 – the home study report
At the end of the home study, you and the social worker will work together to produce a home study report. The report includes a detailed assessment of you as a potential adoptive parent, along with the results of the medical, police and local authority checks and your personal referees. A key part of the report is for you to decide what sort of child or children you could adopt and how many children could you take.
Step 7 – the Adoption Panel
The home study report goes forward to an Adoption Panel – a group of social workers, other professionals and independent people. Your social worker will attend to answer any questions from panel members. You may be asked to go along. Once they have considered the report, the panel will recommend whether or not you should be approved as an adoptive parent. Almost all people who get this far are approved.
Based on the panel’s recommendations, the agency will then decide whether or not to approve you within about a week of the panel sitting.
Step 8 – matching you to a child.
Once you are approved, the agency will begin to consider whether there are children waiting for adoption locally who might be a suitable match for you. Your agency will begin the matching process by looking at the profile of children you have been approved to adopt by the adoption panel.
Step 9 – placement.
Once a child or children have been identified, you will be given full information about their background and if you want to proceed, you will meet the child or children. If you all agree, and after a gradual process of introduction, your adoptive child or children will come to live with you and become part of your new family.
Step 10 – the Adoption Order
When your adoptive child has settled down in your family, you will be able to apply to the court for an adoption order to be made. Once the order is made, all rights and responsibilities originally held by his birth parents transfer to you.
Being an adopter is one of the most rewarding decisions you can make. But there are different support packages on offer by adoption agencies so contact us and we will find you suitable agencies in your area.
Contact us for information, advice and practical help to become an adopter of foster carer.