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As part of the training you get to know about the little techniques you may need when your child is placed, which I don’t think you get with other agencies. – Adoptive parent

We understand it can be both an exciting and daunting time. You may want an informal chat and still have lots of questions, or you may be confident that you want to start the formal process. Wherever you are up to in the decision making process we are here to support you and answer any questions.

The assessment process is outlined by the Government and we will support you through it. It usually takes six months to be assessed. If you’ve previously been approved to adopt or foster we may be able to speed this up.

Pre-stage one

After talking to us or meeting us at an event the next step would be to talk in more detail at an initial meeting. This gives you the chance to ask questions and we can find out more about you and the family you’re hoping to adopt.

Stage one: Registration of interest

Register your interest and we’ll start some standard checks. You can see more about these in your information pack. You’ll have you own social worker who can answer any questions.

You’ll also do some home study and attend a 2-day training course with us.

This stage usually takes two months depending on checks being returned and completing your home study.

*covering cost of some checks will be the responsibility of the applicant


Stage two: Assessment

By now you’ll have a better understanding of adoption. You and your social worker will work to assess your strengths and understand the needs of an adopted child. You’ll be invited to a further two days of preparation training and we also hold a Family and Friends Day to help your support network know how they can help. There’s a great animation about support from family and friends here:

At the end of this stage a report is presented to the Adoption Panel and many people are approved at this stage. This stage usually takes four months.

Stage three: Matching

Depending on the age and number of children you wish to adopt, this wait could be very short or some months. We’ll discuss with you children we think you might be right for and work with the local authorities responsible for them. A matching panel will take place to make the final decision.

Stage four: Moving in

Once a match has been made you spend time getting to know the child with the support of your social worker, and the child’s. A series of visits and short stays lead up to the child moving in with you. After 10 weeks you can apply to the court to be their legal parent.

Ongoing support

We’re here to support you for life and want to work with you to help your family thrive. We provide lots of support from family fun days to bespoke support services. Everyone who adopts with us is given a place on our SafeBase therapeutic parenting programme, aiming to strengthen your family’s wellbeing and help you understand attachment.

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Get in touch

To find out more call: 0300 456 2656 or email

Useful links

ActionLine: 0800 0 568 578
Family Finding and Adoption Support