Choosing to apply to be an adoptive parent is a big decision and needs to be made with as much information as possible. We consider adoption requests from the following types of people:
- over 21
- good enough health, energy and enthusiasm to parent a child through to adulthood.
- some offences rule people out from adopting but, apart from these, we make a case by case decision on whether an offence will affect an adoption application
- people living within approximately one hour’s drive of Stoke-on-Trent
- single, married or co-habiting - as long as your situation has been stable for a period of time
- if you already have children, the youngest child should be at least four years old before we will consider taking an enquiry further
- if you have older children there should be at least two years between the children in your family and the age of the child or children you are considering adopting
- you need to have enough space in your home and life for a child
- you do not need to own your own home but you must prove your tenancy is secure
- you do not need to working but will need to prove you have the means to care for a child
- patient, warm, flexible, understanding, energetic, and able to have fun
The initial visit: generally takes place in your home as it is important we see where a child would be living if placed for adoption.
At this meeting we will find out more about you and if adoption is right for you at this time and you will have the chance to ask questions about the process and the children who need adoptive families. After this visit you can register an interest in adopting via us and we will make a decision within five days as to whether we will accept your registration. We will give you reasons for our decision.
Adoption process: if we accept a registration of interest from you this will be stage one of the adoption process. This is the stage where you have the chance to find out much more about adoption through training, reading, and workshops. This will allow you to really decide whether you have the commitment, motivation and resilience to care for a child through adoption.
It is important you complete the necessary learning and to help you to make an informed decision about adoption.
While this stage is being completed we will be carrying out the stage one checks which include DBS checks, a health assessment and references.
This stage should last two months, but may take longer depending on circumstances.
At the end of this stage we will decide whether to accept an application from you to move to stage two. We will provide reasons for either accepting or not accepting an application from you.
You do not have to move immediately into stage two, but if stage two is not started within six months of the end of stage one you will need to repeat stage one of the application.
Stage two should take 4 months, but can take longer if required depending on circumstances.
This is quite an intensive period of learning and assessment so applicants need to be available to complete this.
At the end of this period we complete a written report which is presented to the adoption panel.
Adoption panel: you will see the report that goes to the adoption panel minus any third party information and you will have the chance to make your own comments. You are also welcome to attend the adoption panel which considers your application.
The adoption panel is independent of us and makes recommendations about an applicant's suitability to adopt. The panel's recommendation then goes to a senior manager who makes the final decision based on the panel's recommendation.
Decision: this happens within seven days of the final panel minute being made available.