The adoption process

Get in touch

If you feel that you would like to adopt, please call us on 0800 279 9850.

Our team will be more than happy to talk to you about adoption and offer you advice. If appropriate, one of our social workers will ask to take some information. You will be asked questions about your current situation and the reasons you would like to adopt. Our social workers will be happy to answer any questions you have and will be able to offer advice to help you learn more about adopting. If appropriate, we will arrange for a social worker from the team to visit you in your home at a mutually agreed time. If you are a couple, then both of you should be present at this visit.

The home visit

We’ll want to find out some more about you and your reasons for wanting to adopt . It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the types of children waiting to be adopted. This visit will also allow us to see you in your home environment and so to gain a fuller picture of you. It’s also an opportunity to go through any points that may have arisen as a result of the initial telephone call.

We know that this may be difficult to talk about but we’ll need to have some discussion about this before deciding whether you are in a position to proceed further with us. This visit does not commit you or us to carrying on with your application.

Following the home visit, the social worker who visited you will discuss your visit with the team. After this discussion we will let you know in writing whether we believe that you are in a position to proceed. If we feel that you’re not ready, we’ll advise you on how you can assist in being considered as an adopter in the future.

Stage 1 - checks

At this stage we will send you a Registration of Information (ROI) pack. This includes medicals for your own GP to complete and a Disclosure and Barring Service (Police check) form.

A dedicated social worker will be allocated to help you during Stage 1 and to will continue the assessment in Stage 2

Preparation training

Once we have received your ROI, we will invite you to the Stage 1 preparation group, a one day training session held during the week.

During the third month we will invite you to the Stage 2 preparation training. These training days are compulsory and your assessment cannot be progressed until all of these have been completed by yourself or both of you if applicable.

After the first day of training, you will be expected to complete a Workbook which is basically information about you and your family which will represent you throughout the process.

Information will be given on the training day about how to complete this and a social worker from the PAST team will be available twice a month to help you with any further questions and details of these surgeries will be within the ROI pack

Stage 2 – the assessment

Your assessing social worker will visit you a number of times in your home to complete the assessment where you will be seen together (and individually) if in a couple.

We know that the process of assessment can feel intrusive, so we aim to be as sensitive as possible about this. It is important to consider your personal and family history, as well as your own experience of being brought up, as these will have an influence on how you will parent a child. We will also need to make enquiries about your housing and employment and take up four personal references (one of whom is a member of your wider family). Once the report is completed, you will have the opportunity to read it and to make corrections.

Attending adoption panel

The report is then taken to the Adoption Panel for approval. The adoption panel is chaired independently. It is made up of social care representatives, a medical adviser, a legal adviser and independent people such as previous adopters and an adopted adult.

Panel is a formal meeting but panel members aim to be welcoming and friendly. You will be asked some questions and your assessing social worker will also be present to help support you. The panel will then make a recommendation on whether to formally approve you as an adopter. This recommendation is then given to the Agency’s Decision Maker who has the final opinion about whether you are approved as adopter/s or not.

Register your interest

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Additional information


  • Adoption guide
  • Eligibility criteria for adopters
  • Approved adopters handbook
  • Adoption Support Fund
  • Support for adoptive families
  • Social network safety
  • Pupil Premium Q&A
  • Intermediary services for birth relatives
  • Adoption support for birth relatives
  • Information for adopted adults
  • Safeguarding Information for Adopters

About Us

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Recent Ofted Inspections