The process of adopting a child (or children) in the UK can seem long and daunting. However, it's more straight forward than many imagine, and we're here to help you every step of the way.
At Our Family Adoption we pride ourselves on providing the best assessments and ongoing support which enables the right ‘match’ between adoptive parents and children.
We've broken down the process into bite-size chunks and described each below, so you can see what's involved:
To begin with you need to make an initial application to become a prospective adopter. We can help you with this - contact us to find out how to go about making your application.
This will consist of a visit to your home. We will give you a lot of information and happily answer any questions you may have. We will look at your application and your family circumstances and discuss what will happen next.
After the screening visit we will take the information we need to undertake the necessary statutory checks which include:
A lot of people think that the assessment is a pass or fail test and are subsequently daunted by the length and complexity of it.
We offer a friendly service and aim for this process to be as straightforward and comfortable for you as possible. The trick is not to be daunted or worried as this is really just a way for us to find out about you and your suitability as adopters. We can then collate the relevant information needed to enable an adoption to proceed.
Your social worker is a key part in the adoption process. S/he is a link between you and us and a way to help you prepare for adoption, giving you the information you will need when you come to adopt, and valuable support both now and far into the future. The assessment is also a way of representing the positive qualities you and your family can offer.
A key aspect of the assessment is to work out which child you would be best suited to: the better the match, the less likely it is that a placement could break down. It's about finding the right child for the right parents. We want our adopters and assessors to work together to find and make the placement, and our aim is to ensure that the support and help you need will be there for you afterwards.
Once your assessment is complete you will be invited to panel. The panel is a legal requirement of all adoption agencies. The panel discusses your case, looks at your assessment and talks to you and your Social Worker. They make a recommendation to the agency, it is then up to the ADM or Agency decision maker to make the final decision, it usually doesn’t take long after panel and it is another safeguard just to make sure nothing has been missed. You are then an 'approved' adopter.
The panel consists of 10 people from a variety of backgrounds. We will make you aware of any possible issues before you attend - you will not be left in the dark. Issues that would stop an application are rare and should be identified well in advance, we will be honest and tell you if there is a problem well before panel. And don't worry, your assessor will come with you to panel, you won’t be there by yourself.
Basically, this just means matching the child with the right family. Our focus is on doing all we can to prevent a placement breaking down which is why this stage is so important.
Once you have been to panel and then 'approved' you and your Social Worker will find the right match for you.
The child would never be 'placed' in your home without visits and contact time first. We would need to know whether this is a 'match' that is likely to work, and that the child's needs will met.
Introductions of course would be gradual and you would be offered a lot of support. When the time is right the formal adoption can go ahead.