Adoption – how does the adoption process work?

The adoption process can appear daunting and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be! When you are ready to adopt a child, your chosen adoption agency will be on hand to support you in the process.

In this blog, we’ve laid out a step-by-step outline of the adoption process to help you understand a bit more about what to expect. First, it’s all about the initial research!


Before starting the adoption process

Before you even start the process towards adopting a child, it helps to find out as much about adoption as you can. There are many ways you can find out information, including:

  • Reading books by adoptive parents and adoptees
  • Listening to podcasts
  • Attending information events
  • Talking to any adoptive families that you know
  • Contacting different adoption agencies to find out how they work, and what they can offer in terms of support


Speaking to an adoption agency

Once you’ve found your preferred organisation (this could be a voluntary adoption agency – an independent, non-profit making organisation, or local authority – now grouped as regional adoption agencies), they’ll provide you with all the necessary information, including eligibility criteria, paperwork requirements, and timelines.

There will be quite a lot of paperwork involved in the adoption process such as filling out application forms, providing references and undergoing DBS, employment and medical checks. Throughout this process, you will have a social worker on-hand to support you.


Adoption training

Once all your paperwork has been approved, your adoption agency will then provide training to equip you with the skills and knowledge you’ll need as an adoptive parent.

These training sessions will cover topics such as attachment, trauma, and child development, and will help make sure you are as prepared for adopting a child and parenthood as possible.


The prospective adopter report (PAR)

Next, you will work with your social worker on a home study report/prospective adopter report (PAR) to be discussed with your adoption panel. The panel will put forward recommendations for whether you are approved as an adopter, or whether additional training needs to be put in place before you take the next step.


Adopting a child

Once you have been approved as an adopter, your adoption agency or local authority will work closely with you to ensure the best match for you and the child/ren. Once you have been linked with a child/children, you’ll attend matching panel before introductions can start.

Couple sat on sofa, looking at a phone and tablet

If you’re looking for support on your adoption journey, CATCH can help through all stages of the process, from the initial research all the way through to parenthood.

Discover more about the benefits of CATCH today.