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 now advise you to complete our 'contact us form' which will enable you to download our adoption information guide. In the guide, you will receive our ‘general enquiry form’. If you are interested in proceeding with us to the next stage, please complete this form and send back to us either by email or post. On receipt of your form, we will contact you to arrange a planned telephone call for an informal discussion about your interest. We will aim to make this telephone call within 10 working days of receipt of your enquiry form.
We may visit you at home* if agreed for an ‘informal visit’. This visit will be carried out by an experienced social worker. This is an opportunity for us to go through your queries together and to look at your individual circumstances. We understand that you maybe anxious about this visit, please don’t be. It’s called ‘informal’ for a good reason. We will discuss checks, recruitment criteria and the needs of the children we are currently finding families for at this visit. *During the Covid-19 restrictions - we are conducting informal visits online.
Following our informal visit if you, and we agree, we will then ask you to complete a more detailed form called a ‘registration of interest’. This provides the information we need to begin to take up the checks required, medicals, police, reference etc. We will allocate you a social worker who will guide you through every step of the process from then on. This is also the start of the Stage 1 Process of an adoption application which we will take at your pace, but we aim to complete within 2 months.
You will be invited to attend our Adoption Preparation Training course. During the current Covid-19 restrictions, we are holding our courses online. There are 4 half day modules covered over 4 days. The course will give you an overview about the adoption process. The Preparation training covers 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 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.
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.
The agency 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.
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, introductions 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 introductions and 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.