At any time in the UK there may be over 6,000 children Looked After by Local Authorities who need adoptive families. Approximately half of these children have one or more brothers and sisters who need to be placed for adoption with them. Most of these children have been removed from their birth families because they have either experienced or have been at risk of experiencing significant harm. They therefore need safe committed adoptive parents who will be able to help them recover from their earlier life experiences and to have better opportunities.
Can I Adopt?
To adopt a child in the UK you need:
- To be over 21 years of age.
- Not to have a conviction or caution for an offence against a child. This also applies to members of your household. Some other serious offences will prevent you from adopting so it is important that you discuss any offences with the Agency when you contact us.
- To be single, married, have a Civil Partnership or in a stable relationship.
Does my Race, Religion, Disability, Age, Sexuality or Gender preclude me from adopting?
How do I find out more about adoption:
Please contact the Agency by telephone, in writing or by e-mail and we will be pleased to talk to you on the same or next working day. If you contact the Agency by e-mail please give us a telephone number so that we can contact you in person.
We will always redirect you to another Agency if we are unable to help you, for example if we do not work in the area where you live. This will include giving you information about the National Gateway to adoption called First 4 Adoption. They can be contacted at www.first4adoption.org.uk Telephone Number: 0300 222 00 22.
How long does the Adoption Process take?
- If you contact the Agency we will offer you an appointment to attend an Information Session within 10 working days. We currently provide Information Sessions every two weeks. If you cannot attend an Information Session at the Agency we will arrange a more convenient time for you to meet with us.
- After attending an Information Session and the Agency accepting your Registration of Interest in adoption we will begin Stage 1 Pre Assessment work with you. We will complete this stage with you in two months but if this timescale is difficult for you it can be extended.
- When you have completed Stage 1 of the process and we have agreed you may proceed to Stage 2 we will complete your assessment within four months.
- These timescales mean that following your Registration of Interest with the Agency if there are no unavoidable delays you can be approved as suitable to adopt within six months.
Full information about the process is in our Domestic Adoption Leaflet which can be downloaded from our Website HERE > or please request a Leaflet from the Agency and we will post it to you without delay.
When can I expect a child to be placed for adoption with me?
- Immediately after being approved as suitable to adopt we will complete a written Matching Agreement with you. This will state the action that the Agency and you will take to further prepare you for adoption and to identify a child whom you could successfully parent through adoption.
- Action the Agency will take will include, sending with your consent, details about you to the National Adoption Register. Information about the National Adoption Register can be found at www.adoptionregister.org.uk
- Every two months sending your profile, with your consent, to over sixty Local Authorities.
- Your Social Worker will actively Family Find for you by quickly responding to Local Authorities who send details of children directly to the Agency.
- Make enquiries about children for whom you may be a suitable parent, to National Publications such as Be My Parent and Children Who Wait.
- Discuss without delay any children whom you may identify yourself through looking in Be My Parent etc.
It may be helpful for you to know that many of our adopters are chosen for children by Local Authorities within three months of their approval as suitable to adopt.
Will I have to wait longer if I want to adopt a young child?
Not necessarily. Most of the children currently being placed with our adopters are under six years old although many are younger. Concurrency Arrangements or Fostering for Adoption enable Local Authorities to place very young children with approved adopters. Recently however, we have found that many children are being placed quickly with our adopters without the need for them being subject to Concurrency or Fostering for Adoption arrangements.
If you would like to know more about Concurrency and Fostering for Adoption after reading our Information Booklet on Domestic Adoption please contact us.