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. To make an enquiry, please click ‘Adoption Pack’ on our website which will enable you to download our adoption information guide. Once downloaded, a member of our enquiry team will contact you on the number or email you provide to offer a chat about your enquiry and answer any queries you may have. In the guide are dates for our online adoption information events. If you would like to move to the next step, please come along to one of these events to meet members of the team and one of our adopters. This will give you the information you need to decide if you would like to progress your interest in adoption.
Attend an online adoption information event, a convenient way to find out more about adoption and Adoption Matters. All you need to attend is internet access and ideally a device with a camera. The events are hosted by experienced members of our enquiry team as well as guest adopter speakers. During the event we will share a presentation with you, explain the adoption process and the ongoing support we offer and also give you a chance to ask questions. Our events last around an hour and half, depending on how many questions are asked. The events are open to anyone who is interested in adoption who lives in our geographical coverage area which is: the whole of the North West, North East, Yorkshire & the Humber, Stoke, Staffordshire, Shropshire and North Wales. If you live just outside of these areas, we may still be able to assist you so do contact our team to discuss.
Following attendance at one of our adoption information events and/or a discussion with our enquiry team and when you feel ready to proceed to the next step, we will then ask you to complete a more detailed form called a ‘Registration of Interest’. 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 contact 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 share information on the checks required when applying to adopt, other criteria and the needs of the children we are currently finding families for.
Following your meeting with your social worker, you will be allocated a social work practitioner who will guide you through every step of the Stage 1 process from then on. We will then begin to take up the checks required, medicals, police, personal references etc. all the information you completed in your Registration of Interest form.
You will be invited to attend our Adoption Preparation Training course. Currently, we are holding our courses online. There are 4 half day modules covered over 4 days, and the format is quite informal. 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. The social workers who lead it aim to help you prepare to be an adoptive parent. You will need to complete the course before proceeding with your journey and like a lot of other steps in the adoption journey, it is a statutory requirement for you to attend and complete the course.
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, during Covid-19 restrictions a lot of meetings will be held online. 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. 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 and you can now celebrate! 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 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.
Our 'Waiting Times' 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021
73% adopters linked under 4 months
44% adopters linked under 2 months
58% adopters matched within 6 months
Average is 7 months
When a ‘match’ to a child/ren is found, 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. We will do our utmost to obtain full and accurate information about the child/ren you are being matched with or are considering.
We will guide you through discussions regarding the children who will eventually join your family and support you through and the transition to placement of the child/ren. We will then remain in close contact to help you with advice and guidance and any issues that may arise, especially in those early weeks and months. Once a child has moved in with you, you can then 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.