Guide: The adoption process

Matching and placement

Final steps leading to the adoption order

Following Stage 2 you will also have access to websites such as Adoption UK, British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) – BAAF’s Be My Parent, or Adoption UK’s Children Who Wait, or AdoptionLink, or the Adoption Register, and publications, all of which feature children nationally. Your social worker will also receive profiles of children from other adoption agencies across the UK, which they can pass onto you. You will also get invited to Activity Days and Exchange Days, which are days where adoption consortia get together to feature children in one place, and approved adopters are invited to attend and discuss the children direct with the Social Workers and foster carers. There are Activity Days and approximately four Exchange Days in the South West annually, plus others set up by the Adoption Register in London, Manchester, and the Midlands throughout the year.

3. Approved adopter

Once you are approved as an adopter, you are able to start to consider children who are available for adoption.Your allocated social worker will initially show you profiles of children from Devon who may be suitable, based on previous discussions around what you have to offer, your location, your strengths and preferences.

4.  Linking and Matching

Once you have found a child you would like to adopt, your Prospective Adopters Report form is sent to the Placing Social Worker for the child, who will read and decide if they want to visit you. In turn you will receive more detailed information on the child in the form of a Child’s Permanence Report (CPR) which will outline the history, information on the birth family and the personality of the child. Your social worker will help you through the (CPRs), and explain any jargon or procedures.

5 . Adoption Matching Panel

A report and support plan is written for panel, and you are invited to attend (as is the case for your Adoption Approval Panel see point 2.). The recommendation and decision are made in the same way.

6 . Introductions and Placement

As soon as an official decision is made, there is a formal meeting to discuss the introduction plan for moving the child on and the start of their adoption placement. A Placement Planning Meeting will be held to discuss and agree the Adoption Placement Plan (APP).

Introduction timescales vary in length, depending on the ages of the children, any other children living with the adopters, sibling group size, and attachment issues. There is no one-rule fits all.

7. Child Appreciation Day

You will also attend a ‘Child Appreciation Day’ which is a day when all the professionals who know the child are invited to an informal meeting with you. They tell you about their involvement with the child you are now adopting, and any memories or anecdotal material which you might find very interesting immediately and for the future.

8 . Final Adoption Order

In between the child moving in with you, and the point of getting a final Adoption Order from the court, the child is still technically a Child in Care – looked after by Devon County Council. Prospective adopters acquire Parental Responsibility from the date the child is placed with them. The local authority and the birth parents also share Parental Responsibility but how it is exercised is decided by the local authority and the placement is subject to reviews and statutory visits from social workers.

At the point the Adoption Order is granted, you acquire full legal Parental Responsibility for your child, and the local authority and birth parent no longer has any Parental Responsibility. The child is yours.

It is important for you to know you will receive support and guidance from the social workers within Devon Adoption every step of the way.