Adopting a baby
Adopting a baby in the UK
Interested or want to know more about adopting a baby?
There are single children under the age of 12 months within this age range, more often these children are part of a sibling group.
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 process 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 a loving adoptive parent or parents. There are children of all ages and ethnicities 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, but particularly children aged 4 and over
How can you adopt a baby?
There are many misconceptions about who can and who can’t adopt a baby. 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 with leave to remain and have a spare bedroom.
Baby Adoption process
After receiving your enquiry, we’ll send you an information pack, or alternatively you can just download our information pack from our website. If you still have questions about adoption or want to talk about your personal circumstances, we are more than happy to arrange a pre-planned phone call with you.
Registration of interest (ROI)
If you wish to proceed, you can complete our online contact form or call/email us, and 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 DBS checks, references from local authority (social services), your mortgage provider or landlord, employer, personal references and a full medical check. These checks are carried out to ensure you are able to provide a safe and stable home for a child.
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. During this stage, we will also carry out a number of background checks, and ask you to complete an adoption medical.
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 have 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 Adopters 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) Sally Melbourne 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.
Our baby 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.
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.
Why Adopters for Adoption for baby 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.
Does adopting a baby cost money in the UK?
The adoption assessment is free, with the exception of the requirement of a full medical and if necessary any overseas checks and you will need to cover these costs.
Baby adoption matching
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 you make an informed decision. This will include information on any health needs, the family circumstances of the child and their background.
Meeting 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.
Adoption support and training provided
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.
Get in touch
If you’d like to find out more information or if you have any questions, please get in touch with our friendly enquiries team who will be happy to help. Click here to complete our online enquiry form, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 5877 791.