Adoption process overview

The Adoption Process in Brief

An overview of the process for adopting a child. Seven steps to becoming a parent through adoption.

  • Discover if adoption is for you.

    When you contact us, we'll explain the process and tell you about the children who need new families. We'll give you lots of information, answer your questions about adoption and send you our information pack. You could choose to attend one of our information events to help you to decide if you want to proceed further.

  • Registration and checks.

    Once you have the information, you can register your interest in adoption with us. We'll arrange to visit you in your home for further discussions. This is the start of Stage One. A dedicated social worker will take you through the process. We'll take up your references and checks and you'll arrange an adoption medical with your GP. Stage One takes eight weeks to complete.

  • Preparation.

    All applicants attend our preparation training which we run in groups throughout the year. You'll meet other applicants at the same stage, learn more about the process and the children as well as child development and the best ways to support adopted children. You'll also meet people who've already adopted and hear about their experiences. 

  • Assessment and more learning.

    When your checks and references are returned to us you have up to six months decide whether you want to continue to Stage Two. Stage Two takes four months to complete. You and your social worker agree a plan of meetings to complete the assessment. We provide further training to prepare you for adoptive parenting and suggest books and programmes you should look at. Your social worker will complete a report and discuss the types of children you would be suited for with you.

  • Approval to Adopt.

    Your assessment report and information about your reference checks are presented to the Adoption Focus Adoption Panel. This panel is a group of people who know about adoption and about the children who need new families. It also includes our medical advisor who looks at your medical report. You attend the Adoption Panel with your social worker. The panel makes a recommendation about approving you as suitable to adopt. The decision about your approval is then made by the Adoption Focus Decision Maker. Once you are approved you can become the adoptive parents of children who need new families.

  • Finding your Child.

    Adoption Focus works with social workers from Local Authorities who are finding new families for these children. As soon as you're approved as an adopter the family finding process begins. We'll plan the linking process with you and your social worker and work with children's social workers to find the right child or children for you.

  • Supporting your family.

    All new families need help and support as they adjust to their life together. Your social worker will visit you regularly to offer support and advice for as long as you need it. We hold regular training, workshops and social events where you can meet other adopters and their children. We're always happy to hear from adoptive families and provide support whenever it's needed.

Starting the process

You can contact Adoption Focus at any time to discuss adoption. Whether you're ready to start the adoption process or you're just starting to think about it and would like to gain a little more information, we'll be happy to hear from you.

Get in touch