The Adoption Process

Most adoption assessments are completed within six months

In some cases, it can take longer either at the request of prospective adopters of because of specific issues in the assessment.

The adoption assessment process has three stages. The first is an information sharing stage and the other two are more formal assessments.

Information Stage

  • Contact us by email or telephone.
  • We’ll then invite you to our monthly information evening.
  • One of our social workers will then visit you at home and complete a brief report about you, your home, anyone who lives with you, and your  hopes for adoption

If you want to go ahead and meet legal requirements about who can and can’t adopt you can formally register your interest.

Stage 1

  • We complete checks, including a DBS check, to make sure you can safely look after a child (or children) throughout their life.
  • You’ll have a full medical with your GP.
  • We will follow up written personal references.
  • You’ll attend a training day.
  • When all the initial checks are back, we will discuss stage two with you.
  • This is the full and in depth assessment stage. You’ll be visited by your social worker who will talk to you about your life, relationships, support, experience with children and expectations of being an adoptive parent.
  • Your social worker will visit your referees including family members.
  • You’ll attend three more training days and your social worker will give you information about adoption.
  • Your social worker will then write a detailed report to include all of the information they have gathered

Stage 2

Your report is then sent to the Adoption Panel and you’ll be invited to attend a Panel meeting with your social worker. The Panel make a recommendation about your suitability to the Agency Decision Maker. The Agency Decision Maker will decide if you are suitable to adopt.

Approved adopters

  • Your social worker will start considering matches with specific children for you.
  • You will be involved in discussions about whether you are the right family for the child.
  • You will meet the child’s current foster carers, talk to medical and psychological experts to find out more about the child.
  • The match will be presented to the Adoption panel. They’ll make a recommendation to the Agency Decision Maker who will decide if the child should be placed with you.
  • We’ll hold meetings with you and the foster carers to plan introducing you and the child to each other.
  • The child is placed with you. We’ll be able to support you during this time.
  • After you have cared for the child for a minimum of 10 weeks, with our agreement you can make an adoption application to the courts.

The court will decide whether to make an Adoption Order. If they do, the child will become a legal member of your family.

For a more detailed version of the adoption process, please download our adoption information brochure.

Contact Us


Adoption & Permanence Team

01202 456743


Adoption & Permanence Team

North Bournemouth Local Office
27 Slades Farm Road
BH10 4ES


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