To simplify, we’ve broken it down into 2 stages. Stage 1 is all about getting you approved to become an adopter. This normally takes between 6 to 9 months. The faster you are with handling queries, and submitting your forms, the faster you can move the process along. A series of checks on you will be undertaken and you will be required to answer detailed questions about yourself going over every aspect of your life, including reasons to adopt, details on your traumas, your childcare experience, finances, your views and attitude towards religion, homosexuality, disabilities, race etc. Your social worker will compile all the information they’ve gathered and use this alongside their personal views on you as a potential adopter in a final report that will be sent to the panel to make a decision. You will get to see the report before it is submitted.
You’ll be invited to a panel interview consisting of social workers, medical professionals and experienced adopters – this will normally not last longer than 30 minutes. The panel will normally give you a decision within 10 minutes. If you’re successful, your file will be sent to an independent assessor to give the final decision. The decision by the independent assessor is seldom different to the panel, and you’ll hear back from them within 1-2 weeks.
If approved, the second stage will consist of finding a child. The haste of this particular stage depends on your willingness to be flexible with your criteria. It can take up to 6-12 months to be matched. Once you’ve selected a child – granted the child’s social worker is approving of you – you’ll then be invited to another panel interview to make sure you’re the right fit for this child.