parent with baby girl

Adoption process

Adoption is a big decision, it is important to learn about the process so you know what to expect as you start your adoption journey.

The adoption process is a legally regulated process. It is designed to ensure that all adoptive parents are properly prepared and assessed to be able to meet the needs of children who have experienced loss and trauma.

Once you start the adoption process, it will take around six months for you to be approved as an adopter. You will have a dedicated social worker who will guide and support you throughout this period.

How to Adopt

Step 1: Finding out about adoption

You can start the adoption process by telling us you’re interested in adoption. You can do this by joining one of our information events, calling us or filling in our online form.

Once we have your contact details, we’ll arrange a telephone conversation to check that you meet the minimum requirements to adopt with us.

Step 2: Initial Meeting

A social worker will contact you to arrange an initial meeting. This will be a conversation, held virtually or face-to-face, to provide you with further information about what’s involved in adopting a child and for you to share with us some information about yourself and your circumstances. If we all agree that adoption is right for you, we’ll invite you to submit your Registration of Interest (formal application form). A decision will then be made on whether we can progress you in to Stage One.

Step 3: Initial checks and preparation training

The next step of the adoption process is known as Stage One and usually takes around eight weeks to complete. We carry out several checks to support your application. You will also provide us with references from your friends and family and arrange a medical with your GP. A dedicated Social Worker will take you through the process.

During Stage One you will also attend preparation training. This is a great opportunity to meet other applicants at the same stage as you. You will learn more about the adoption process and our children as well as child development and the best ways to support adopted children. You’ll also meet Birmingham adopters who will share their experiences and learning with you.

Step 4: Assessment and more learning

After Stage One is complete, you have up to six months to decide if you would like to continue the adoption process. If you decide that you would like to, we continue to the Stage Two. Stage Two usually takes around four months to complete.

During stage two you will arrange a series of meetings with your dedicated Social Worker to complete the assessment. At the end your dedicated Social Worker will create your Prospective Adopters Report. This report tells the story of your life and sets out your suitability to adopt.

Step 5: Approval to adopt

After you and your social worker have agreed your Prospective Adopters report, it is sent to the adoption panel. They will read the report and you will be invited to attend a meeting with the adoption panel and your social worker who will support you and guide you through this.

The adoption panel is made up of independent experts including; adoptive parents, social workers, a medical advisor, and adults who were adopted as children. They will talk to you about your Prospective Adopters Report and make a recommendation about your suitability to adopt.

Once they have made their recommendation, the Adoption Agency Decision Maker can approve you as an adopter.

Step 6: Matching with a child

You are an approved adopter! You are nearly there.

The next step is to match you with the right child for your family. Your social worker will have started this process before panel so you may be matched with a child very quickly. For some people, finding a match can take longer. Our focus is finding the best possible match for you.

Step 7: The first meeting

You have been matched with a child, now comes the exciting part! You will meet your child, or children, for the first time. You will be supported throughout your first meetings. You will gradually get to know each other before they come to live with you.

Step 8: Moving in

The day is finally here, you will be taking your child or children home to live with you today.
Your social worker remains with you as you adjust to life as a family and during the court order process. Once the court order is granted, it will be time to say goodbye to your social worker, but don’t worry as our post adoption support team will continue to support you as a family.

Information Event

Whether you’re starting your research or you’re ready to start the adoption process, our adoption information events will help you to make informed decisions about your adoption journey.