UK Adoption: How To Adopt A Child

I have always wondered, being a foster/adoptive mother in the United States, if the adoption process in other countries is different from what Americans have to do. In the U.S., especially in California where I live, the process can be very grueling. I went through the county and they prefer that you foster to adopt. So, is this the same protocol in other countries especially the UK? Let’s learn all about UK adoption!

According to this website the order in which you complete the UK adoption process is slightly different than in the US. The biggest difference is in the time it takes to become qualified to adopt. There are five stages to their adoption process.

To start, an individual will go through the pre stage one process and that is about exploration. The meeting is about reading background information and hearing from seasoned adoptive parents. Think of this as adoption orientation. During this time you are also starting to find an agency near your postcode that you are comfortable with. It is good to check out multiple agencies and see which one fits your family the best.

The Four Stages

The next stage in the process is stage one. Once you have found your agency then you will start the formal evaluation process. This includes background checks and providing references. This process should not take longer than two months.

Stage two seems to be the bulk of time in the adoption process. This is also the part of the process that gets a bit personal. Your family will be assigned a social worker out of the agency you choose. Your social worker is going to work on assessing your family’s strengths and getting personal background information to make a report to submit to the adoption panel. This stage takes about four months and is fairly in depth.

The next stage is stage three, this is where things start to get exciting. Your family’s profile will go up against the prospective adoptive children’s profiles to be matched. Your adoption agency will work with local authorities to match your family with the right child or sibling group. The main topic that is discussed is if the child/children’s suitability with your family. The matching panel makes the final decision in this process.

The final, and the most exciting stage in my own opinion, is stage four. This stage includes meeting the child/children with your social worker. I will never forget the time I met all of my children and the time I got to spend with them. You get to know each other’s personalities and see if you mesh well together. According to the website there will be a series of visits and short stays before move in day. After an undisclosed amount of time you can apply to become their legal parents.

Final  Thoughts

According to this website there are about 4,000 children waiting to be adopted, but few babies. Most children have been taken into care because they can no longer live with their birth parents due to abuse/neglect. Most of the children in care are older, sibling groups, or disabled. This site has a list of who qualifies as a prospective adoptive family before you decide to apply to start the process.

Both websites have contact information to help guide you in the right direction. Adoption was the best thing that ever happened to my family and the difference you can make in a child’s life is amazing. If you have the space and the love to give, I highly encourage you to adopt.

You can find more information here and here about UK adoption.

Jade Carterette

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