The adoption process

From your first contact through to approval, here’s what to expect when you get in touch

Get your information pack

Starting your adoption journey is simple. All you need to do is get in touch

Once you have made an enquiry, we will email you an information pack.

Our team will then follow up with a call to check you have all you need.

Join an information event

Once we’ve had a chat, we’ll ask you to join an information event. It’s a chance for you to ask questions in an informal setting and get to know us a bit better.

Afterwards, you’ll meet a social worker who will go over your circumstances in a bit more detail.

If we both feel adoption is the right choice, you move onto stage 1.

Stage 1: Learning about you (two months)

First, you’ll sign a document agreeing to be assessed for adoption. This doesn’t commit you to adopting. We recommend entering stage 1 only when you feel ready.

Second, we’ll do a few checks: health check, references (personal and work) and a police (DBS) check.

Then, we’ll invite you to some adoption preparatory training. We’ll also ask you to read articles and do activities to understand what happens when you adopt.

If everyone’s happy, and all our checks and references come back OK, we move on to stage 2.

dad teaching son about money

Stage 2: Your assessment (four months)

This stage is about working together on a report about you as an adopter.

A social worker will visit you several times in the space of a few months. They’ll do an in-depth assessment of you and your circumstances, and cover everything you need to know and do.

Once your assessment and training are done, a report is written and presented to an adoption panel. You’ll attend the panel with your social worker. They will ask you questions to help them decide if you can adopt.

If you want to stop the process at any time, you can.

Stage 3: Approval, matching and placement

Once you’re approved, we’ll start the process of matching you with a child anywhere in the UK.

We’ll work with the child’s social workers to make sure you’re a match. If you are, it will be reviewed by an adoption panel in the local authority where the child is looked after. The local authority will decide whether to approve the match.

Throughout this journey, Action for Children has provided the support and care we needed to find our son.

If approved, you’ll meet the child’s social worker and their foster carer. We’ll give you information about the child and time to think.

Once your child is settled into their new home, your social worker will help you to formally adopt. When the courts grant you the adoption order, you’ll legally be the child’s parent.

Your first weeks and months

The beginning will be exciting, new and emotional. It will also be tiring, and you’ll worry a lot. We’ll be there to answer your questions, reassure you and offer you guidance.

Interested in adopting?

Request your information pack today

Get your info pack