We have detailed below our adoption process which is covered in two stages. The adoption journey starts when you first consider adoption and if it is right for you and your family.
Children will usually be placed with foster carers before moving on to adoption and their care plan for adoption will have been decided by professionals working with them and the courts.
This route to adoption seeks to reduce the number of moves a child experiences, so they are able to achieve permanence at the earliest possible point.
Our adopters below have shared their real stories about their own personal adoption journey.
Inter-Country or International adoption is a type of adoption in which an individual or couple becomes the legal and permanent parent of a child who is a national of a different country.
Adoption Matters do not offer Inter-Country Adoption assessments. If you are interested in Inter-Country Adoption, please contact our colleagues at the Intercountry Adoption Centre on their Advice Line on 0208 447 4753
Open every weekday from 10am to 1pm with call backs made by advisors up until 4pm.
Thank you for visiting our website. We would advise you to make sure you download our information guide, please click ‘Adoption Pack’ link above and complete the short form to download our guide. Once downloaded, Jo or Charlotte, our dedicated enquiry advisers, will contact you on the number or email you provide to chat about your enquiry, answer any queries you may have and give you options for the next step of your enquiry.
You can choose what suits you best for the next step of your enquiry. You could attend one of our online adoption information events, arrange a one to one video call or we can arrange to come and see you at your home. Whatever step you choose, and some of our enquirers choose all three, we will guide you through all the options. Transparency and openness is an important part of our ethos. We encourage partnership working with our families and require you to be open with us. If you have any worries or concerns, please ask us.
Once you decide to proceed with Adoption Matters, we will then send you a form called a ‘Registration of Interest’ to complete. This provides some of the information we need to begin the adoption application process. Once we accept your Registration of Interest, this is the start of the Stage 1 Process of an adoption application. We will take Stage 1 at your pace, but we aim to complete within 2 months.
Once we have received your Registration of Interest (ROI) form we will arrange for a social worker to meet with you either online or at your home. This is an opportunity for us to go through any queries you may have together and to look at your individual circumstances. We will discuss the needs of the children we are currently finding families for, the checks required when applying to adopt and other criteria.
Following your information sharing discussion, a dedicated worker will guide you through every step of the Stage 1 process from then on. We will then begin to take up the checks and references required such as medicals, police, personal references, finances etc. all the information you completed in your Registration of Interest form.
You will be invited to attend our four day Adoption Preparation Training course with a group of other prospective adopters. The preparation training will give you an overview about what is involved in being an adoptive parent. The course includes information about the children waiting, and the differences between parenting by birth and parenting by adoption. You will need to complete the course before proceeding to the next step.
After successful completion of the preparation training course and once all the checks and references are satisfactorily completed, a shared decision is made between you and Adoption Matters to make your formal application to adopt. This starts Stage 2 of the adoption process and your assessment will begin. We take this stage at your pace, but we will aim to complete it within 4 months. If we have any issues to raise, we will discuss these with you.
The Stage 2 assessment involves regular meetings with your social worker so they can complete their report – called a Prospective Adopters Report or PAR for short. You will need to be available for these meetings, they will be planned with you in advance. It is important to note that at any time during the Stage 1 or Stage 2 assessment you, or we, may decide that adoption is not right for you. This could be due to something that arises in the assessment process, for example, changing life circumstances or other concerns that arise that lead you, or us, to decide that now isn’t the right time. We will always discuss this with you.
All reports are submitted to an independent adoption panel who will consider all the information provided and make a recommendation about whether you are suitable to adopt. The panel members include adopters, adopted adults, medical advisors and adoption professionals. You will be invited to attend panel alongside your social worker. Again, if we have any issues to raise, we will arrange to discuss these with you, prior to your attendance.
Adoption Matters will make a decision based on the social worker’s assessment and the panel’s recommendation, whether to approve you or not as suitable to adopt. This completes stage 2 of the adoption process. In the event you do not agree with the Agency Decision, you have the right to appeal to the agency or alternatively the Independent Review Mechanism, we will give you full details of the appeals procedure before panel.
We will work hard together to start looking for a child or children whose needs we believe you can best meet. This is where our expertise really shines. We have extensive experience of family finding and ensuring we find the right family for the right child. As we work with adoption services across the whole of the UK, we have a greater ‘pool’ of children to look at. You will receive regular communication from your social worker throughout this process and we will advise and guide you on the best way to assist the process.
We will do our utmost to obtain full and accurate information about the child/ren you are being linked with or are considering. The information gathered will influence if a formal match can be made. We will work closely with you and the child/ren's adoption service, in putting together plans for meetings, the child’s transition to your home and family, and support.
Once a child/ren is placed you will receive ongoing support for any issues that may arise, especially in those early weeks and months. When appropriate, you can apply for an adoption order from court and once granted, you will then become their legal parent/s.
As part of the matching process, ongoing support will be discussed and agreed. Our adopters tell us that one of the main reasons they chose Adoption Matters was our clear commitment to the support of our adopters and our strong reputation for this service. Support is offered through all stages of the process from enquiry, to your registration as adopters through to placement and if you wish, even in the years ahead after an Adoption Order has been made.
We also work closely with Regional Adoption Agencies in assisting applications to the Adoption Support Fund on families behalf. Our Centre for Adoption Support has offers a wealth of support including therapeutic & attachment training, training for schools, adopter support groups and activity days for the whole family.