Approval of Prospective Adopters

It is the aim of the Department to ensure that there is an adequate number of suitable adoptive families to provide safe care and to meet the assessed needs (including religion, ethnicity, language and culture) of children in need of adoptive homes in Guernsey.


Policy Status

Key Points

Applications will be considered from those living in Guernsey, with priority given to those who can best meet the needs of Guernsey children in need of adoptive homes at any one time.

Other than the minimum age requirements, residency and specified offences there are no blanket bans on a person's eligibility to adopt.

All assessments and preparation will fit within a framework of equal opportunities and anti oppressive practice.

The primary consideration in any assessment will be the capacity of applicants to meet the needs of children in a safe and effective manner throughout their childhood and the rest of their lives. The majority of children requiring adoption are likely to have been through the care system and will have more complex needs. There are very few babies available for adoption.

There is a minimum legal age to adopt, which is 18, but adoptions under the age of 21 are rare.

If the Family Placement Service are unlikely to match the ethnic/cultural needs of prospective adopters with allocated child then with Team Managers approval the PAR will be circulated to the National Adoption Register and/or appropriate Local Authorities, Voluntary Adoption Agencies or a consortia in the UK.

At least one of a couple must be domiciled in the Bailiwick of Guernsey or have been habitually resident in part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey for at least a year ending with the date of their application to the Court for an Adoption order. The law in this area is complex. If there is any doubt about qualification the Family Placement Service will assist in clarifying the situation and will liaise with the Housing Department.

Approval as an adopter does not guarantee the placement of a child.




TaskResponsible officerRecord requiredTimescale
Firstly, follow and complete tasks as described within the initial enquiry section.  Once the application form is received, agency checks can be initiated. Authorisation for checks form, AH medical, to be sent to medical advisor for comments, referees, previous partners if applicable, employment check, client file check, states archive check, probation.PACase fileAt beginning of assessment process
Check identification papers of applicant, (DBS).PA/social workerCase fileAs appropriate
Monitor returned checks and once completed notify allocated social worker. It may be necessary to pursue the agency checks.PACase fileAs appropriate
If returned agency checks are satisfactory then commence prospective adopters report (PAR). To include Health and Safety checks, pet questionnaire, (if necessary GSPCA assessment),   safer caring family policy. If there are Health and Safety concerns ensure corrections are made.Social workerCase fileAs appropriate
Prior to or during assessment, If appropriate consider counselling out applicants or taking a brief report to Panel (applicants may decide to withdraw at any point). At this point it may be appropriate to seek a second opinion visit.Social workerCase fileAs appropriate
Complete draft prospective adopters report (if appropriate additional information required for concurrent planning, registration of short term foster carers).Social workerCase fileAs appropriate
Share amended prospective adopters report to prospective adopters (excluding third party information).Social workerCase fileAs appropriate
Carry out second opinion visit after sharing the report and complete section C8 of the PAR report.Senior social worker / Team managerCase fileAs soon as possible
Send completed PAR report, all other required documents to Team Manager or senior social worker for quality assurance ensuring all signatures are obtained.Social workerCase fileAt least 15 working days prior to panel meeting
PAR report to be copied and circulated to panel members at least two weeks prior to the panel date, as prearranged monthly.PACase fileAt least 10 working days prior to panel meeting
Send invitation letter to applicants.PACase fileAt least 10 days prior to panel meeting
Attend panel to present the prospective adopters for the panels consideration of the PAR. Applicants will attend the latter part of the panel presentation.SW and applicants if they wishCase fileN/A
Oral recommendation given to applicantsTeam manager or social workerCase fileImmediately following recommendation
Send minutes and recommendation to agency decision makerTeam managerCase fileWithin 5 working days of Panel
Agency Decision Maker to consider decision and ratificationFor considerationLetter and copy of ADM's decision on case fileReturn to Family Placement Service within 7 working days
Send letter to applicants confirming decisionTeam managerCase fileWithin 5 working days of Panel
If recommendation is non-approval, reasons for this will be given, excluding third party information, and applicants will be sent a letter detailing the appeal procedure.Team managerCase fileWithin 5 working days of Panel
Carry out annual review if a child has not been placed within a year. Renew DBS checks and medicals if no child is placed within 2 yearsSocial worker/assistantCase file12 months and 24 months after approval
The Family Placement Service will endeavour to link approved adopters with local children. In the event that a potential match has not been made at 18 months post-approval then the Department will permit the approved adopters to self refer to the National Adoption Register and/or any other similar forum. The exception to the specified time frame is if it seems unlikely that the adopters will be matched with a child meeting approval requirements, for example, a child of a similar ethnicity or if the approved adopters are employed by the Department in a role that would potentially conflict with a child's plan for adoption.For considerationCase file