Domestic Adoption

Adoption Focus offers adoption services to people living across the West Midlands, Staffordshire, Oxfordshire and neighbouring counties. We recruit, assess and prepare prospective adopters and following approval, work with Local Authorities from across the UK to place children with them. We also offer post-approval and post-adoption support services. This is all we do – we are a dedicated adoption agency and our work is rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Fostering to Adopt

Usually children live with foster carers before they move in with their adopters.  Foster carers will help children move to their new family.  Sometimes children have lived with different foster carers – emergency foster carers when they first left their birth family, before moving to foster carers who can look after them during the court process which decided that they should be adopted. Sometimes children have lived with foster carers for a year or more.

Fostering to Adopt aims to limit the number of moves the child experiences before joining their adopters, and to reduce the trauma of leaving foster carers who may be the only ‘parents’ they have known. They join their new parent(s) as a child who is in foster care.  When the adoption plan is formally confirmed by the court, the placement becomes an adoption placement.  This is when the new parent(s) can apply to the court to adopt the child.

This enables the child to join their new parents at a much earlier stage of the process.  This is good for the child, and offers adopters the opportunity to get to know their child at a much younger age. The disadvantage is that because the adoption plan has not yet been formally agreed by the court, there is the possibility that the court decides that the child should not be adopted, but should return to the birth family.

Adoption Focus can assist you with Fostering to Adopt placements.  We will take you through the adoption approval process, and provide you with additional training about fostering to adopt.  If a child you want to adopt needs a fostering to adopt placement, we will work with the child’s social worker to plan this.  The child’s Local Authority will temporarily approve you as a foster carer so that the child can come to live with you while the adoption plan is sorted out in the court.  We will continue to support you during the fostering stage, and the adoption stage, and after the adoption order is made.

 

Inter-country adoption

Some people decide that they want to adopt from another country.  There are strict protocols surrounding this, both in this country and in any country that permits their children to be adopted by people from abroad. People who want to do this will need to be properly assessed, and undergo a number of checks and medicals.  There is a fee to be approved for an inter-country adoption, and there will be other costs involved relating to the country the child comes from, and travel and hotel costs.

Adoption Focus does not offer inter-country adoptions.  If you want to find out more about this, we would advise you to contact IAC, the largest inter-country adoption agency in the UK www.icacentre.org.uk.

 

Step-parent adoption

Step-parent adoption is sometimes considered when an adult enters into a relationship with another adult, and becomes step-parent to their partner’s child.  If they want to become the child’s legal parent, and share parental responsibility for the child with their partner, they may decide to adopt.  For this to happen, the adults need to notify their Local Authority. Arrangements are made to assess the situation and a report is prepared for the court.  The views of the absent parent and other family members e.g. grandparents must be considered and reported.

Adoption Focus does not offer step-parent adoptions. If this is something you are considering, please contact the adoption team at your Local Authority.

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