Adoption Process

Western Bay Adoption Services
  • The adoption process – what does it involve?

    From the moment you first consider adopting you have already begun the adoption process and discovering whether it is definitely right for you.

    The journey is made with social workers and staff, whose job it is to make sure you are the best possible parents for the children in need of a forever family.

    How long does it take?

    Once you make the important and life-changing decision to adopt, it’s understandable that you will want the process to be as quick as possible. Waiting for something you really want is extremely hard and frustrating. However, this isn’t something that we can rush. We need to ensure that adoption is completely right for you and importantly, that we correctly match children with suitable families.

    Western Bay Adoption is proud of its reputation in assessing and approving the majority of prospective adopters within five to eight months from application, engaging with them on a continual basis.

    It is impossible to be absolutely definite about the timing of the whole process for a number of reasons. Some things are out of the adoption service’s control, as they have to be completed by others. Also, some assessments take longer than others because of the issues that are raised.

  • Are there any costs involved in adoption?

    Applicants are expected to pay the cost of their medical examination, this is usually less than £100. When an application is made to the court for an adoption order to be made, adopters are expected to pay the costs incurred in making the application (£170). If there is to be a contested adoption the agency will discuss with the applicants how the legal costs will be met. For applicants wishing to adopt from overseas, there may be additional costs.

  • Initial Meeting

    Once you contact the team and decide you want to proceed further, an initial meeting will be organised between you and a social worker.

    If, after the meeting, both you and the adoption service feel that we should take the next step you will be invited to complete an application form. Within this form you will give us permission to begin the process of carrying out the checks required, invite you for training and allocate your case for an assessment.

  • Checks

    The adoption process is careful and thorough. Adoption agencies are required to ensure that they safeguard and protect the children they place from further hurt or harm.

    As such, as well as discussing with potential adopters about their own experiences and attitudes, agencies are required to seek the views of others and check on information held that might indicate a reason for concern.

    The process includes a full Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) check, and health and child protection checks. If there is an issue we will discuss this with you to see if it raises concerns about your suitability to be an adoptive parent.

  • Training

    We offer excellent pre-approval training which is an important part of the process. It gives you the opportunity to consider the specific issues that relate to adoption and the opportunity to meet others who are going through the same process as you. You will also get the opportunity to meet experienced adopters who will share some of their experiences with you and answer questions. You may feel, particularly if you have had children of your own, that you do not need training, on the basis of your experience. Whilst having your own children is good experience, it is also important to remember that caring for a child who is placed with you is not the same. You will need to be prepared for the kind of behaviour that results when children have suffered loss or experienced abuse and trauma. Training will include:

    • the adoption process;
    • basic parenting skills and child development;
    • the needs of children waiting for adoption, including information on separation, attachment, loss and the impact of abuse;
    • the birth family perspective, identity, heritage and contact;
    • caring for sibling groups;
    • managing complex health needs;
    • issues of equality, including ethnicity, disability, religion and sexual orientation;
    • legal issues and the rights of adopters;
    • adoption support and ongoing training;
    • how to manage stress and the importance of resilience.

    Please read though our detailed Information Pack.  At the back is a Registration of Interest form (ROI).  If you wish to be contacted by us and have a visit to begin the process, please fill in the ROI and send it to us or make a call to us. Alternatively, complete the enquiry page giving your details and we will contact you as soon as possible.

  • Assessment

    1. The home study

    You will be required to undergo an assessment or home study, which will involve an extensive report being completed for the adoption panel. This is completed by the assessing social worker.

    A social worker will arrange to visit you over a period of months to share information about the needs of children requiring adoption and also to get information about you and your family so that the agency can decide whether or not to support your application to adopt.

    Any issues or concerns that come up during the assessment will be discussed directly with you. A second social worker will visit you which allows for a second opinion.

    When the report is complete you will be sent a copy where you will have the chance to make any observations about it. The report will then be presented to a panel of people who will make a recommendation to the agency as to whether or not they believe that you should be approved.

    2. Competencies or Skills and Abilities

    Most applicants already have many of the skills, experiences and abilities required to become adopters, even those who may not have a great deal of experience with children.

    We will help you to put together a portfolio of your experience and abilities. It is important that we try and identify the skills and experience that you already have and establish where there may be some gaps so that we can help you gain experience, or provide you with information or additional support.

    Don’t worry. Most people are surprised at how much actual experience and skills that they already have and we will provide you with lots of support and advice about completing this task.

  • Panel

    The panel is made up of people from a range of backgrounds, possibly including adoption professionals, adopters and adoptees, people with childcare expertise, medical expertise and those with education backgrounds. The panel’s role includes recommending whether or not applicants should be approved as adopters, though they do not make the final decision. Their recommendation is passed to the agency decision maker, a senior figure in the local authority, who has the final say.

    You will be invited to part of the meeting to discuss the report and clarify the reasons why you want to adopt.

  • Matching

    Once you are approved, the process of matching begins i.e. trying to find a child for whom you meet the needs. It could be that a child is already known to this agency and we can consider a link straight away. If that is not the case, approved adopters are referred to the Welsh Adoption Register, which links children from across Wales.

    Once a link has been identified, you will be given information in writing about the child and you will have the opportunity to discuss this with the child’s social worker, the foster carer and Medical Advisor. Once you have notified us that you wish to proceed, the prospective match is presented to the panel, who again make a recommendation to the agency that the placement should go ahead.

  • Apply for the adoption order

    When a child is placed with you, you will have parental responsibility for that child. This will be shared with the agency and the birth parents but you will be able to make the day-to-day decisions about the child’s care. When the agency and the adopters and, if appropriate, the child, have agreed that the placement appears to be going well and everyone feels comfortable taking the next step, the adopters can make their application to the court for an adoption order. The child must have lived with them for at least 10 weeks before an application can be made.

    The court requires the adoption agency to provide a report, which sets out the background information about the child and the reasons why the child has been placed for adoption. The court, alongside the Cafcass officer, will consider the report in making their decision whether or not to grant an adoption order. The actual hearing may only last for a short time and the decision will be given at the hearing.

  • Interested in adoption? We'd love to hear from you!