What to expect from the adoption process
Adoption can seem a daunting process, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Adoption is a legal process by which a child becomes a permanent and full member of your family. During the process you will get a very thorough assessment and preparation, whilst receiving all the emotional and practical support or advice you may also need.
This is a general guide to the process you will experience when working with us.
The first steps…
You’ve already made the first step by visiting our website and reading about adoption. The next step is to contact the Agency for an initial chat. You can do this via email or by phone and speak directly to one of our social workers. We also hold monthly First Thursday open evenings where you can find out more.
After this first talk, you may feel ready to register your interest in becoming an adoptive parent. After this you will be invited to begin the Adoption Process.
The Adoption Process
Once registered you will be invited to attend the Stage One preparation groups. Held over two months the Stage One process includes: x2 group meetings, references and checks and you will complete a homestudy workbook.
Once formally approved to take the next step you can join Stage Two and make a commitment to a full assessment of your suitability to adopt. Stage Two takes four months and you will be allocated a dedicated social worker who will work closely with you to assess and prepare you for your future as an adoptive parent.
During this time you will also take part in our preparation groups where you will have the chance to explore all aspects of adoption with other prospective adopters and our team. You will also be linked with one of our adoptive families who will be able to offer you support and guidance from their own experience.
Once you have completed your assessment and preparation your adoption social worker, who has worked with you throughout this time, will prepare a report to be given to our Adoption Panel, made up of professionals and adoptive parents.
You can contribute to this report and you will also be invited to attend your panel meeting. The panel will consider your assessment report fully and make their recommendations to our Agency Decision Maker.
Making a match
Once you are an approved prospective adopter, we begin discussing the children whose needs you might meet. These children are referred to us from Children’s Services Departments throughout the UK. You will also have the opportunity to have your details entered into the Adoption Register for England and Wales.
The process of introducing a child or children to your family can take several weeks and depends on their age and needs. The process usually starts with you spending time with them and getting to know them in their foster home before they begin to gradually spend more time with you on their own and then in your own home.
Support, Courts, Adoption and Beyond
Once your child or children have been placed with you will receive on-going support from your adoption social worker as well as from our adoption support team.
After your child or children have been with you for some time you may feel ready to take the next step; which is to make an application to the courts to become the legal parents of your children.
Adopt Together is committed to ensuring you are fully supported at all points in your journey. Our specialist team of support workers are always available to discuss any practical or emotional needs that you and your family may experience.