The purpose of introductions is for the child and prospective adopters to get to know each other in a planned way. This should allow sufficient time for the child to begin to develop attachments to their new adoptive family and for the new family to learn the child's routines, likes/dislikes etc.

A Placement Planning Meeting needs to be convened immediately the match has been agreed (but not until there is formal confirmation from the Agency Decision Maker). The BAAF adoption placement plan is completed at this meeting facilitated by the child's social worker and the Fostering and Adoption Social worker.

The meeting should agree a plan of introductions between the child and the prospective adopter(s) which must include a minimum of one formal review of the introductions before placement. It will also identify what other meetings should take place during the introductory period and what information is outstanding (Life Story Book, Letter of Origin, paperwork to set up contact arrangements, etc.).

This is a very emotional and anxious time for everyone - the child, the prospective adopters, and the current carers. All involved will need a high level of support from all professionals.

Process of introductions

The length and timing of introductions will vary dependent on the age of the child, and the specific needs of individual children.

In general, the younger the child, the shorter and more intensive the introductions; the older the child, more time should be built into the planning to give all concerned time and opportunity to reflect, adjust, and begin to develop new attachments.

For further advice on introductions please refer to the BAAF book on 'Making successful introductions'.

Additional factors; such as the potentially differing needs of siblings, children already in placement whether by birth or adoption, distance, school and any particular health needs, will all need to be built into planning.

Prospective adopters should prepare a book with photos of themselves and their home to leave with the current carers and the child.  Other formats, such as DVD and tapes might also be used. These will be shared immediately following the panel matching decision prior to any introductions commencing as part of the preparation process. These materials should be geared to the age and developmental capacity of the child - the younger the child, the simpler these should be.

Introductions will, as far as possible, commence in the child's current home, whatever age the child is. Over a period of time, the introductions will move from the current carer's home to the home of the prospective adopters.

It is necessary for all prospective adopters to inform their GP and health visitor directly, of the proposed date of placement and copies of any relevant details about the child's health needs will be given to adopters prior to placement, with a copy for their GP.

Prior to placement prospective adopters must be advised in writing, by the child's social worker, of the legal status of the child after placement until the adoption order is made, of the need for statutory reviews within a month of placement, 3 months later, then every 6 months until the adoption order is made; of the requirements for visiting by the child's social worker; of how to claim family allowance/fostering allowance and how to register the child with their GP.

No prospective adopters can consider changing the name of the child prior to an adoption order being made.

Contact with birth family

Any 'wish you well for the future' meetings between a child and birth parents should take place before any introductions commence. Birth parents should be prepared well for the contact and encouraged to give positive messages about the move to the child. A meeting between prospective adopters and birth parents should, where possible, be built into the introductory period.


It is necessary to review the introductory process on a regular basis so that everyone is encouraged and feels able to be honest about their feelings during this period. Plans can be adjusted accordingly.


TaskResponsible officerRecord requiredTimescale
Prior to the placement being effected the prospective adopters must be given, the CPR Report, BAAF carers report, medical information, education details, Adoption Placement Plan, Child Health Record, Life story work, preparation photograph album.Child's social worker and fostering and adoption social workerA list of all documents provided to the prospective adopters should be retained on the child's adoption fileImmediately the matching decision has been made
Convene a placement planning meeting, to arrange the introductory plan and complete BAAF Adoption Placement Plan and plan of introductions.Child's social worker and fostering and adoption social workerChild's adoption fileAs soon as possible after the agency decision has been made
Hold introductions review meeting. This may extend or reduce introductions depending upon the views of all present based on the needs of child. Placement date should be agreed.LAC team managerMinutes of meeting - retained on child's adoption fileAs agreed in the planning meeting
Send notifications to the relevant health, education. Social workers also to inform GP and health visitor directly, giving them copies of relevant BAAF health forms on child.Child's social worker and adoptersChild's adoption filePrior to placement
Ensure that the prospective adopters have all necessary information and reports about the child.Fostering and Adoption Social workerAdoption FileUpon placement
On the day the child moves the child's social worker will assist with the transfer of care.Social WorkerCase file 
The birth parents should be notified that the child has been placedSocial WorkerCase file 
Birth parents to be given opportunity to meet prospective adopters.Organised and facilitated by child's social worker/fostering and adoption social workerCase fileSoon as practical after matching
Regular statutory visiting and support will be provided to the prospective adopters and child.Fostering and Adoption social workerCase fileMinimum of 6 weekly by Fostering and Adoption Social Worker, more regular visiting initiallyChild's Social worker to visit weekly initially and hereafter until statutory times for boarding out visits.

You may also like