The adoption process

At TACT, we understand how difficult it can be to pick up the phone or to make the first contact about adopting and we aim to make the process as relaxed as possible. Our team offer a friendly, warm and personalised service. All of our staff are experienced, skilled and knowledgeable, and are experts in adoption.

  1. 1. Initial enquiry

We know that making the first contact to say you are considering adoption can be a really big step, but there’s nothing to worry about. The initial enquiry is an opportunity for you to find out more about adoption and the process that goes with it.

At this stage you are not making any commitment, you will simply have an informal conversation with our friendly enquiries team, ask any questions that you have and answer a few basic questions about yourself and the reasons why you are interested in adopting.

If you are not ready to speak to us yet but have some questions why not have a look at our frequently asked questions.

  1. 2. Initial visit

The next step is for one of our team to visit you at your home and talk you through the adoption process in more detail.

This is an initial introductory visit and does not commit you or us to anything. This is an opportunity for you and us to ask questions, talk in more detail about what adoption means and whether it is right for you and your family.

Following the visit and we’re both happy to proceed, you will progress onto Stage One of the adoption process.

3. Stage One – Training and Checks

Stage One of the adoption process takes approximately two months. We will begin exploring why you have decided to adopt further, whether adoption is right for you and what you could offer a child. We will also be encouraging you throughout this stage to consider how adoption will affect your own life and your family.

During Stage One we’ll invite you to attend our Adoption Preparation Course. This is a three day training course with other prospective adopters designed to provide you with information about adoption and the opportunity to explore your expectations of adoption. Attending this course is a compulsory part of your assessment.

During this stage we’ll also begin undertaking references and background checks. This usually includes a full medical check, DBS (and overseas police check if you have spent time outside of the UK) and mortgage or landlord checks depending on your housing situation. We will also require details of five people who can act as personal referees and comment on your suitability to adopt.

We’ll encourage you to ask as many questions throughout this stage of the process and we’ll also be there to support and talk you through it all so you are exactly aware of what is happening at what point.

Once we have collected all the information, we will make a decision about whether to progress your application on to Stage Two.

4. Stage Two – Assessment

Stage Two of the assessment process should take no longer than four months. During this stage, you will spend more time with your social worker, over the course of 2-3 months your social worker will visit you 6-8 times, with each visit lasting upto 3 hours. During the visits you will discuss your motivations and your family. During this stage you may also receive additional training on attachment and behaviour.

Following the visits, your social worker will write a Prospective Adopters Report (PAR) which you will have the opportunity to comment on and will include our recommendation on your suitability to adopt. The report will be presented to the Adoption Panel (who you will be invited to meet) for consideration and they will make a recommendation to the Agency Decision Maker, The Agency Decision Maker will write to you to let you know the decision.

5. Family Finding

Once you are approved as an adopter, the next step is to be matched with a child who needs a family and your social worker will continue to support throughout this stage. We will access the National Adoption Register and share information with you about the children that need a family. There will also be the opportunity to attend exchange days, BAAF activity days and other profiling events, where you will be able to meet some of the children on the register.

6. Becoming a family

If a match is successfully made between you and a child, you will both have the opportunity to meet and get to know each other before the child joins your family. If everyone agrees that the match is right, an Interim Care Order will be granted and the child is able to join your family. 10 weeks after the placement has been made you can then apply for an Adoption Order, at which point you will become the child’s legal parent.

7. Support

Here at TACT we don’t see the Adoption Order as the end of your journey – it’s just the start! We will continue to be here for you to offer you and your new family a lifetime of support.