#SupportAdoption with Adopters for Adoption this National Adoption Week
National Adoption Week 2019 takes place from the 14th to 20th October 2019. As ever, the campaign will aim to find homes for the many children waiting. The focus for 2019 will be on the ‘priority’ children who wait for the longest for their lovely – siblings, BAME children, older children and those with disabilities. Find out more about adoption today and start your journey with Adopters for Adoption.
What is adoption?
Adoption is a way of providing permanent new families for children who can’t be brought up by their biological parents or extended family.
It’s a legal procedure in which parental responsibility is transferred to the adopters. Once an Adoption Order has been granted, it can’t be reversed. An adopted child loses all legal ties with their birth parent(s) and becomes a full member of the adoptive family, usually taking the family’s name.
Every year in the UK, there are around 4,000 children waiting for loving adoptive parents. There are children of all ages, ethnicities and abilities waiting to be adopted and there is a particular need for adopters for:
- Babies and children who have a disability or developmental uncertainty
- Children of all ages from Asian, African-Caribbean, African and mixed parentage backgrounds
- Brothers and sisters of all ages and ethnicities
- Single children of all ages
Why Adopters for Adoption?
Adopters for Adoption was set up by people with first-hand experience of adoption. We understand exactly what it’s like to go through the process and we believe the person is more important than the process – this helps us get it right for you.
From your initial contact with Adopters for Adoption we aim to provide the best possible service. We’ll treat you with respect, honesty and support and will be responsive to your needs.
You’ll have a dedicated social worker who will work with you throughout the assessment process. We’ll provide you with all the training and support you’ll need to ensure you’re well prepared. Once a child comes to live with you we’ll continue to provide ongoing support and advice.
How can you adopt?
There are many misconceptions about who can and who can’t adopt. However, there are just three criteria that you need to meet in order to be considered for adoption. You need to be at least 21 years old, living in the British Islands and in possession of a record clear of convictions or cautions for certain criminal offences.
Our adoption service
You will have a dedicated social worker who’ll work with you to develop preparation, assessment, matching and support plans. Our preparation and training will be made up of a range of parts including individual sessions, preparation groups, workbooks and internet learning, so that everything you need to know can be covered in a flexible way that suits you and your lifestyle.
As part of the Polaris Community, we’re a national agency and combine over 20 years’ experience of achieving exceptional outcomes for children and families with a desire to dispel the myths that surround adoption and be open to enquiries from all sectors of the population. Adoption is a life-long commitment and, while bringing many challenges, is hugely rewarding. If adoption is something you’re interested in learning more about then we would be delighted to hear from you.
What does it cost?
It’s free to be assessed for your suitability to become an adoptive parent with the exception of the requirement of a full medical and any overseas checks which cost would be expected to be covered by the prospective adopters.
Can I have any child I want?
To help children feel a sense of belonging and to promote positive identity, we do our best to find families who can promote a child’s ethnicity, religion, language, social and cultural needs. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re aware of children who are waiting for adoption so you can find the child or children you have the love and skills to parent.
How much information will I receive about the child?
Adopters will be given all of the information about the child and their birth family that is available to help them make an informed decision. This will include information on any health needs, the family circumstances of the child, their background and information about their birth parents.
What is the process to becoming an adopter?
Initial enquiry and visit
After receiving your enquiry, we’ll send you an information pack followed by a pre-planned phone call to answer more specific questions you may have about adoption and your personal circumstances. We’ll then arrange to visit you at home to explain the process in more detail and find out a little more about you and your family. This is an initial introductory visit only and does not commit you to anything.
Registration of interest (ROI)
Following the visit if you wish to proceed we’ll send you a registration of interest form (ROI) and stage one pack to you to complete including your consent to allow us to make a number of checks such as police checks, references from local authority (social services), your mortgage provider or landlord, employer, personal references and a full medical check.
The pre-assessment process (stage one)
Your social worker will work with you to develop personalised plans for preparation, training and assessment. During this stage we’ll ask you to explore why you want to adopt, whether adoption is right for you and what you could offer a child. It’s expected that pre-assessment will be completed in two months.
We’ll also invite you to start preparation training. This will give you an opportunity to explore your expectations of adopting. You’ll meet other people who want to adopt and people who’ve already adopted. After pre-assessment and preparation training has been completed, a decision will be made by us about whether you’re suitable to proceed to assessment (stage two).
The assessment process (stage two)
During the assessment, your social worker will explore your life story and family history. If you’ve children at home, they will also need to get to know them and understand how they feel about adoption. The worker will then complete a Prospective Adopter’s Report (PAR) to be presented to the adoption panel. Stage two Assessment is usually completed within four months.
Adoption panel and approval
The adoption panel will consider the information provided and you’ll be invited to meet them in person. They’ll then make a recommendation to the Agency Decision Maker (ADM) about whether you’re suitable to adopt.
When you’re an approved adopter we’ll start looking for a child or children who would fit well with you and your family. This is called ‘matching’. Your social worker will support you in looking at profiles and expressing an interest in a child or sibling group whose needs you feel you can meet.
How will we support you?
We know that families can experience challenges and need support at different times during their lives. We have a national programme of family support and therapy services (including adoptive parents of disabled children), for those who may be experiencing some difficulties.
Our experienced team of professionals focus can provide caring, specialist support throughout the entire adoption process, and after the child or children moves into your home.
Will I meet other adoptive parents?
We’ll provide opportunities for you to keep in touch with us, share experiences and build connections with other adopters through regular support groups and adopter communications and newsletters.
Will there be further training opportunities?
A range of learning opportunities and workshops are available to help with different needs at different times and we’ll keep you informed of relevant developments.