Adoption process

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Time to adopt? Time to talk to us!

Do something amazing and adopt for North Lincolnshire

We know that making first contact with the Adoption Service can seem very overwhelming. We are here to reassure you, to answer your questions and to try and make the process as clear as possible. The team has years of experience of working with adopters and children. We really care about the service we provide.

What is adoption?

Adoption is a way of providing a permanent new family and home for children who are unable to live with their own family of birth. Adoption means the child becomes a full member of the adoptive family who will have the same legal rights as any child born into that family.

If you want to consider, or would like more information about becoming an adoptive parent, please contact the Adoption Duty Worker on 01724 297024. Alternatively you can complete the adoption enquiries form:

We are always looking for potential adoptive parents and have worked with many adopters who have had different individual experiences and who can offer different things to a child who needs an adoptive family. You must be over 21 years of age and be in good general health.

You may also have heard about early permanence. We are looking for people who think this might be right for them. Early permanence covers what is known as ‘fostering for adoption’ and ‘concurrency’.

Early permanence places a child during the period of temporary local authority care with foster carers who are also approved as adopters. If the court agrees that the child should be adopted, then they will make a legal order which is called a Placement Order. The adoption agency then approves the ‘match’ between the adopters and the child. The placement then becomes an adoptive placement.

The advantages to early permanence for the child are:

  • They are placed with carers who may become their adopters depending on the decision that the court makes. It must be remembered that until the court decides that adoption is right for the child, the parents case remains to be decided.
  • It enables the child to be with people who may become their permanent parents at an earlier stage.
  • It allows the early months and years of the child’s life to be what most children need and expect.

You will probably have lots of questions about early permanence and you don’t have to decide about this straight away. You will have opportunity to speak to your Adoption Social Worker about it some more. Further reading and training can also be provided.

The Adoption team supports potential adopters throughout the whole process. We will talk to you about the different things you have to offer and why you feel adoption is the right path for you and your family. You will be fully involved in the assessment.

You have made an Initial Enquiry. The Adoption Team will send information out to you. You  will be able to speak to a worker over the telephone to ask any questions you might have. This will always happen within the first ten days of you having made an enquiry. If you would like to progress to an initial visit, then an Adoption Social Worker will arrange to come and see you. This gives you a chance to talk about adoption in more detail. If you decide that you would like to work with North Lincolnshire then we will need you to complete the Registration of Interest form. Within five working days of you sending the form back, a decision will be made by the Adoption Service as to whether to proceed to Stage One or not. You will be notified in writing.

Stage 1 – initial preparation

Stage One begins when we accept your Registration of Interest. This stage should take no longer than two months. During this stage, police references and health checks will be made. Dates for you to attend the Preparing to Adopt course will be discussed with you. You will be invited to a workshop to go through the adoption process in more detail. You will learn about the children who are waiting for adoptive families. There will also be an opportunity to learn from experienced adopters and adoptees. At the end of Stage One, we will tell you of our decision on whether to proceed to Stage Two. You must also tell us if you wish to proceed to Stage Two within six months of the decision. You are able to take a break of up to six months between Stage One and Two.

Stage 2 – agency led intensive training

Stage Two of the adoption process will not begin until you have completed Stage One and have notified us that you want to proceed to Stage Two. Stage Two should take four months. It includes intensive training and assessment. Together we will create an assessment plan. This will detail for example, the assessment process, dates of meetings / visits and agreed training. Your Adoption Social Worker will guide you through this. We will provide you with a copy of the assessment report and invite you to send observations on the report within five working days. The report then goes before the Adoption Panel who will make a recommendation about your suitability to adopt. You are invited to attend the Adoption Panel and you will be supported by your Adoption Social Worker. Once the Panel has met and made its recommendation, the Agency Decision Maker will make the decision. Stage Two ends when the decision is made about whether a prospective adopter is suitable to adopt. You will find more details in the Adoption Brochure that we will give to you.