Thinking about adoption

You can read below about the adoption process. Each stage is there to make sure that you and your adoption agency agree that adoption is the right route for you, and that you and your family are safely prepared to have a child placed with you.

Enquire about adoption

The first step is to equip yourself with information about adopting in the UK. At this point there are a number of agencies you could approach. All CVAA members are excellent at what they do, so you will be in really good hands. Use our agency finder to locate your nearest agency.

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Stage 1: Initial Visits and Checks

Once you have found an agency you are happy with, you can officially register your interest in adopting and get started with stage 1. You will be allocated a social worker, references will be taken up, criminal background checks will be carried out and your GP will be asked to provide a medical report. You will also attend preparation classes with other prospective adopters. These classes are a great opportunity to learn key parenting skills and hear from experienced adopters about their own journey.

At the end of stage 1, you and your social worker will decide whether or not you should continue the process. If continuing, you have the option of taking a break of up to 6 months. You may need this time to prepare your home, for example.

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Stage 2: Training and Assessment 

During stage 2 you will work with an allocated social worker, carrying out an assessment plan. You will be given excellent training and through home visits your social worker will learn about your lifestyle, those around you, and all of the qualities which will make you a good adopter. This will help your social worker to put together your assessment report.

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Decision Time

Your assessment plan is presented by your social worker to an independent panel. They will also interview you, before deciding whether you are a suitable adopter.

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Once you are approved, your social worker will search for a match for you. The needs of the child are the priority when matches are considered. You may want to take part in further, specialist training to help better prepare yourself for the children who are up for adoption. VAAs specialise in preparing adopters for priority children.

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Becoming a Family

Once you have found a match, your social worker will continue to support you through introductions and moving in. It is important that you have access to post adoption support. All VAAs provide excellent life-long adoption support. While our members differ in their approach, all provide a high-quality, bespoke service.

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The Celtic Nations
Please note that in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the process differs slightly to that stated above. There are no stages 1 and 2 so your training and preparation will happen concurrently.