The adoption journey is a process which can lead to a fulfilling and happy life for you and your future family. In order for us to help, you first need to know what the journey is, and what is involved. These steps below will guide you through the nine-month process.
Many of our adoptive parents tell us that adoption is the best thing they have ever done, as well as being challenging and totally life changing for them and their adopted children. Adoption is a very important decision and together we can help you to find out if it is the right decision for you.
- Make an enquiry
If you are thinking about adopting, you should first gather as much information as possible to decide if this is right for you. By making an enquiry with the Trust, we will provide you with the information that you need to make an informed decision. We will send you an information pack with all the details about adoption and an invite to an information evening if you wish to attend. Once we receive a reply slip that you wish to proceed a social worker will contact you to visit you in your home.
- Initial Visit
An initial visit gives you the opportunity to have a more in-depth discussion with the adoption social worker. This gives you the opportunity to talk in private and ask any questions regarding the assessment process. The social worker will indicate during this visit whether you are eligible to go forward to stage one of the assessment. A registration of interest form will be sent to you after the visit which once accepted will start the process of you adoption assessment.
- 'Stage one'
During the first stage, you will be asked to complete some learning and supplemental reading as well as a four day preparation training session. This is designed to develop your awareness of adoption and encourage you to explore adoption further. During this time your allocated social worker will request the necessary checks and references and support you in your learning and development.
This stage should take two months.
- 'Stage two'
This stage usually takes four months to complete, and at the end a decision will be made about whether you will be approved as an adopter. You will have regular assessment sessions with your allocated social worker, who will complete a report for the adoption panel. There will also be two more training days to further your learning and to cover topics such as matching and introductions. There is also a further day training which extended family members can attend to understand their role as being related by adoption. Once the report is completed you will be asked to attend adoption panel, where a recommendation will be made about your suitability to adopt. This recommendation is then considered by the agency decision maker.
- Family finding
Once you are in Stage 2 of the adoption process we will start family finding. Your assessing social worker will liaise with the Family Finders to identify children whose needs you are able to meet.
As the Doncaster Adoption Team is part of the Children’s Services Trust, the Adoption team have good links with frontline Social Workers who are responsible for children with an adoption plan. The Adoption Team also work closely with organisations such as the One Adoption Yorkshire and Humber, Be My Parent, Children Who Wait and the Adoption Match Register. Throughout the family finding process, you will have professional support from your Social Worker and Family Finders who work hard to ensure that you are matched with the right child as quickly as possible. Further information about this is available here.
- Becoming parents
Once a child is placed with you there will be visits from your Social Worker as well as the child’s Social Worker. This is to make sure that as a family, you are receiving all the support that you need. They can make referrals to our adoption support team who are there to make sure that, as a family, you are receiving all the support that you need and can make referrals for therapy if needed, as well as group support. This help will be provided until the Adoption Order is granted.
- Post adoption support
Support is offered to yourselves and the children until the turn 18 years old if you live in the Doncaster area. In Doncaster we have an adoption support team who can offer different levels of help and support.
If you are interested in adopting the child you are fostering; if you want to adopt a partner’s child; or are interested in adopting a child from overseas we can provide you with some information or point you in the right direction. Just give us a call or speak to your existing social worker.