Your adoption journey
Adoption is an exciting, challenging and life-changing experience for parents and the children waiting for a permanent, loving and secure home. It’s a big decision and we are here to help you discover if it is right for you and to support you in your journey to extend your family.
The adoption process
To start your journey, we suggest you come along to one of our regular information events where you can meet adoption social workers and experienced adoptive parents who can talk you through the process, start to answer some of your questions and help you to consider your route to adoption. You can find an event here or contact us by phone or email.
Your route to adoption with us will be personal to you. We will make sure you are listened to and supported at all times and will ensure that you always have all the information that you need.
We have split the adoption process into a number of steps to help you get a clearer view of what to expect.
The adoption panel
The panel is made up of a wide mix of people, and can include adoptive parents, adults who themselves have been adopted, birth parents, someone from the council, professionals from children’s services, health and legal teams, as well as members of the local public who aren’t involved in the adoption process but have a good understanding of children’s needs, such as teachers.
Members of the panel meet to consider your assessment report and decide whether you’re a suitable adopter. The adoption team will invite you to attend the panel meeting at which your assessment is being considered; it is your decision whether you attend, though most prospective adopters do. Your social worker will explain fully what happens at panel before you go and answer any questions you might have.
Panel members will want to ask you some questions to understand more about you, for example your motivations to adopt, what you have learnt during the process and what you can offer an adopted child. Your assessing social worker will be at the panel and will take part in the discussions. After the meeting, the panel will let you know what their recommendation is.
A week later, the Agency Decision Maker, after taking into account all the reports and the minutes of the panel meeting, will make the final decision and tell you on the same day whether or not you’ve been approved to adopt. The panel will write to you within a week to confirm their decision.
To find out more about the adoption process, please download our Step-by-Step guide to adoption.
Once you start your adoption journey with One Adoption, you will be welcomed into our adoption community and a wide range of support will be available to you, including peer mentors, workshops and training, support groups and social activities for parents and children. We can also offer specialist support to meet your family’s specific needs.
For further details about what support is on offer in your region please see:
Other routes to adoption
In addition to the adoption process outlined above there are a number of routes that people take when wishing to adopt a child, including Early Permanence Placement (EPP), also known as ‘fostering to adopt’. Read this page here.
If you wish to adopt:
- The child you are fostering - please contact your social worker
- Your partner’s child - please read this page here
- A child from overseas - please contact the Yorkshire Adoption Agency
Please see our useful Jargon Buster which explains what some of the common terms used in adoption mean.
If you have any questions about starting the adoption process please do call our adoption advice lines to have a chat with one of our social workers.
We look forward to hearing from you.