We appreciate that deciding to become an adoptive parent is one of the biggest and life-changing decisions you can take.
Adoption is a journey and it is important that you can access the information and help you might need along the way. That’s why Adoption 4 East Midlands is here for you as you take the first step on your journey, providing you with the knowledge and support your family may need both now and in the future.
What is Adoption?
Adoption is a way of providing a permanent family to children who can no longer, for whatever reason, live with their birth family.
It is a legal process by which parental responsibility for a child or children is transferred to you, their adoptive family. Once the adoption order is granted the children become permanent members of your family and you take full responsibility for their future.
Adoption has the power to transform the lives of you, your family and the children who go on to become part of that family. Extending or completing your family through adoption can be challenging at times but the rewards and benefits for you and your children can be wonderful.
Can I Adopt?
You can adopt if you are:
- Single, married or in a long-term relationship whatever your sexuality
- A homeowner or living in rented accommodation
- Employed, self-employed or in receipt of benefits
- Already have children in your family
- From any ethnic or religious background
- Registered disabled or consider yourself to have a disability
Adoption 4 East Midlands welcomes enquiries from individuals and couples from all walks of life and from any background. We are especially seeking those who feel they can provide a loving a nurturing home for the children who are older, need to stay with their brothers and sisters, children of BME heritage and those who may have complex needs.
There is no upper age limit that can prevent you from considering adoption but you will have to be over 21, a UK resident and hold no criminal convictions against children.
What Adoption 4 East Midlands looks for in adoptive families is love, space, security, energy, resilience, motivation, humour and the willingness to open your heart to the children who need you most.
Once you have decided to take the next step you should identify an agency you feel will represent you, and support you, throughout your adoption experience. You may have many questions or worries about the adoption process, speaking with adoption specialists or attending an information event, where you can meet adopters, can help answer those queries.
You may wish to undertake more research and there are many organisations who have a range of resources on the web, our links page can direct you there or you can contact one of our member agencies directly to discuss in person.
The adoption process can take six months and is broken down into two stages:
Once you have undertaken in-depth conversations with your chosen agency you will have the opportunity to register your interest in entering Stage One. You will be asked to provide references and undertake some statutory checks, a criminal background check (DBS) and medical checks.
This stage will begin your initial assessment and you may undertake some preparation workshops and training. Stage One usually takes no longer than two months, dependent on your personal situation, and once completed you and your agency will then discuss and agree the next stage of your adoption journey.
Once you have entered into a formal agreement with your agency to continue your adoption preparation and assessment you will join Stage Two. During this stage you will work with a social worker to assess and explore your strengths and prepare a Prospective Adopters Report (PAR); all the while considering the child or children you feel you can offer a home to. Stage Two should take no more than four months, which culminates in your PAR being presented to your agency’s adoption panel for approval.
Homefinding and Matching
Throughout these two stages you will be considering how you picture your future family and the children you feel you have the capacity to parent. Once approved you will start working with your agency to find the children who are right for you and who you are right for.
Once you have established a link with a child or children and learnt more about their needs, you will attend a matching panel. Once the match has been agreed you will spend time getting to know each other with the help of the children’s foster family and social workers before the children move into your home.
When you and your social worker think you are ready you can apply to the court to become their legal parent, when the children will become your legal responsibility and you will have full parental responsibility for them and for your future together.