Adoption Enquiries

Anyone making an enquiry about adopting should be treated with respect, and given adequate information and counselling to enable them to make an informed decision about whether they wish to proceed.


  1. Those interested in adopting will be welcomed without prejudice, responded to promptly, and given clear information about the adoption process.
  2. All prospective adopters will be treated fairly, openly and with respect at all stages.
  3. Information, including written eligibility criteria, on becoming an adopter including details of the assessment and approval process will be provided on request within the Adoption Information Pack, sent to all enquirers.
  4. Those interested in adopting from overseas will be advised to contact PACT (to be confirmed).
  5. Anyone can make an enquiry about adopting but no one has a right to be assessed. It is the adoption agency, the Team Manager, Fostering and Adoption, who makes the decision as to whether an enquiry progresses to become an application.  The Department has systems in place to prioritise prospective adopters who are most likely to meet the needs of children waiting for adoptive parents. Additionally, certain criminal convictions will automatically exclude applicants or there may be other reasons which would preclude an assessment being taken up. (Details of the Adoption Agency Criteria is supplied to all enquirers as part of the Information Pack.)
  6. Enquirers need to be  informed that they can be assessed as general prospective adopters and in certain cases as concurrent carers.


TaskResponsible OfficerRecord requiredTimescale
Initial enquiry received and enquiry form completed and given to administrator to be processed.Social worker/assistantInitial inquiry form to PAImmediately
Send out information pack and initial enquiry form.PAPA to logWithin 5 days
On return of initial enquiry form arrange for an initial visit. In the case of a joint application, both parties must be present for initial visit.Social workerWrite up initial visit -  (complete counselling of prospective adopter's report and provide to Team Manager to make a decision as to whether to proceed to the next stage);Counselling of Prospective Adopter's Report to log with initial papers to be held until after preparation group.Within 2 months
If agreed by the Fostering and Adoption Team Manager applicants will be notified they will be invited to attend the next available preparation group.  Record and discuss initial visit with the fostering and Adoption team managerFostering and Adoption Social Workeras aboveWithin 4 months
Applicants will be expected to attend all six preparation groups. Their availability to be established prior to sending out their invitation.Preparation co-coordinator.Written within above
On completion of six sessions all applicants will be offered an application form.Preparation co-coordinator.(Record of date provided to be noted on case tracking sheet)3 weeks to return their application
After application form is received a social worker should be allocated to complete a home study.Team managerCase file (tracking sheet)Allocated within 6 weeks of the preparation groups
Commence assessmentSocial workerCase fileAs appropriate
Discuss assessment with prospective adoptersSocial workerCase fileAs appropriate
Ensure all relevant documents are signed and report is checked, agreed and quality assured by the Fostering and Adoption team manager or senior social workerSocial worker/team managerCase fileAs appropriate
Completed assessment to be prepared for presentation at PanelPACase fileWithin 6 months of receipt of application

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