Find out about adoption

The adoption assessment process

An adoption assessment consists of 2 stages:

  • stage one to last 8 weeks
  • stage two to last 4 months.

The exact timescales will depend on tasks being achieved in each part.

Stage one

Stage one refers to the stage one agreement that we will meet with you to sign.

This sets out an agreement between us of how we will move forward with the assessment.

In this stage, you will be asked to:

  • complete homework so that we can get to know you, your circumstances and motivations to become a parent
  • help us complete our health and safety review and action any recommendations that we come up with
  • assist us with our statutory checks, including DBS checks, medical checks and personal references
  • tell us about your childcare experience (we may suggest you develop this through voluntary work)
  • attend a 4 day adoption preparation course

Once we complete all the tasks and checks, we can make a decision whether you are ready to start stage two.

Stage two

We will sign a stage two agreement with you, to set out the plan moving forward.

Your social worker will meet with you approximately 8 times. These visits will typically last 2 hours each, although this may vary.

The discussions will build on the work we have completed with you in stage one and look in more depth and focus on your :

  • current situation
  • lifestyle
  • relationships
  • values
  • interests
  • hopes
  • expectations

We will reflect with you on your experience of growing up and of previous relationships and consider your experience with children.

We set all of this information and reflection into a Prospective Adopters Report (PAR). This is the report will be reviewed by the adoption panel, family finders and children’s social workers when considering if you are the right parent for a child.

You can find out more about the assessment process and how to prepare in our In-depth guide to adoption.