Start by exploring adoption

Find out all you can about adoption: what is it? What is the adoption process? Talk to people who’ve adopted and talk to us!

What is adoption?

Adoption is a way for you to provide the security, stability and love that a child needs.

It’s a legal process where you become the childs legal guardian and bring them up as our own. To become an adopter you must go through a very thorough process before you can officially adopt.

Children awaiting adoption need loving, permanent homes. They need support and love to help them make sense of who they are and allow them to grow up knowing they are safe and secure. It’s our job to teach you how to be this kind of parent, we call it therapeutic parenting.

Who can adoption?

Adoption Routes provide adoption training for couples, same sex couples and individuals who wish to adopt.

In the UK legally you must be over the age of 21 to adopt but there is no upper age limit. You can adopt if you already have children of your own or have previously adopted. All financial situations will be considered. We need to ensure you and any child placed will have financial security.

If you are in any doubt about whether you can adopt, please don’t rule yourself out – talk to us about your circumstances and we can advise you on the best way forward.

Are you ready to be a therapeutic parent?

Adoption Routes believe therapeutic parenting is the best way to help an adopted child form attachements and build trust in adults.

Children who have faced trauma early in life can find it very difficult to place their trust in adults. Therapeutic parenting teaches parents how to interact with their adopted child so that the child feels safe, secure and allows them to learn how to trust. It’s a way of communicating that instill acceptance, understanding, empathy and a playful environment that inspires curiousity. We believe it’s vital for the childs developement.

Am I right for adoption?

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The adoption process

Once you start considering adoption you have started the adoption process and begun your journey to find out if you can be the right parent for a child in care.

The 4 main stages:

1. Enquiry and initial checks
2. Training sessions and assessment
3. Waiting and matching with the right child
4. Introductions and moving in

1. Enquiry & initial checks

Once you make an enquiry we will talk to you for a while on the phone, explain what adoptions and help answer any questions you might have. We ask you to take some time to think it through and call us back if you want to proceed.

If you decide you want to continue you will be allocated a social worker who will set up a home visit with you (and your partner). There are a number of checks we have to go through next; references, any criminal background and a medical report from your GP.

At the end of stage 1, you and your social worker will decide whether or not you should continue the process.

2. Training sessions & assessment

You’ll start your training with a prep course in England delivered by experienced social workers and people who have adopted. Then we’ll begin the assessment process. This is a series of 10 sessions with your social worker where your social worker will prompt discussions to learn more about you, your experiences, your fears and strengths. It’s not a pass/fail process, if we come across any issues we’ll dicuss them with you and look for solutions.

At the end of the assesment process you’ll be put forward to the adoption panel. We’ll be with you through the whole process to provide support. The panel will then decide to approve you to adopt a child within a particular age group.

3. Waiting & matching

The matching process is where adoption agencies will be provided with a summary of you (and your partner) and what child you are approved to adopt. It is then up to them to match you with a child they think would benefit most in your care. There is no way to know how long this could take. It’s different for every adoption.

Once you are matched with a child, your social worker will give you more information about the child. There will be a matching panel to legally matched with the child.

4. Introductions & moving in

The moment you’ve been waiting for, time to take your child home. For the first month your social worker will visit weekly to check the child is ok. Then fortnightly and after 3 months you’ll have a review with your socila worker, the assessing social worker and a health visitor. If all is going well you can now apply for an adoption order in England. You’llalso have to have the adoption order approved in Northern Ireland but this is more like a celebration in court.

Lastly the childs social worker will provide you with a book that tells the childs life story so you can help them learn about their past in a positive way from the begining.