How do you become an adopter?

What are the first steps?

The first step is to directly contact an agency close to you who can give you advice about adoption (you can access our search function here), or you can use other national resources who can help you decide how to proceed to application.

How long will it take to adopt?

You can normally expect to have a decision about your approval to adopt within 6-8 months of your application. Once a child is ‘placed’ with you, most adoption orders are granted within 6 – 12 months.

What are the stages of the adoption process?

Once you have made contact, each agency may vary in its specific approach, but most will follow this general process:

  • First contact will usually involve you being sent some leaflets/brochures telling you about the agency.
  • An interview with social workers to find out more about you and to answer your questions.
  • An invite to preparation training which tells you more about what adoption entails.
  • A decision made between you and the agency about whether you proceed with them or not. If you do proceed, you will fill in an application form.
  • You will be allocated a social worker who will work with you to complete your assessment.
  • Your assessment report is presented to an independent panel who make a recommendation to a senior manager about your suitability to be an adopter or not
  • A decision is made about your suitability to adopt.
  • Once approved, you work with your social worker to find a placement that fits your family and meets the needs of the child(ren).
  • Any potential help and support your family will need to meet the needs of any child placed is identified.
  • You will continue to be supported by your social worker and the child’s social worker up to the point of a court hearing granting an adoption order.
  • You will get help and support from your VAA after adoption if you want and need it.