Skip to main content

Adoption assessment and approval process

Adoption is life-changing and we’re here to support you every step of the way. We know it’s a big decision, even just to make that first call.

Whether you’re want to adopt straight away or would just like to know a little more, our friendly team are here to answer your questions.

Call us on 01234 718718 or email adoptionandfostering@bedford.gov.uk

Our adoption team are experienced workers who understand that the process can seem daunting and will support you throughout your assessment by providing  training, one-to-one advice and guidance. We’ll talk you through the process, answer your questions and help you decide if adoption is right for you.

It starts with a chat

When you contact us, you’ll have a chat with a social worker from the Adoption Team. Lots of people are able to adopt.

There are very few restrictions and we can go over them with you. three children

We will then ask you to come to an information evening. This gives you the chance to find out more and decide if adoption is right for you.

Attend an information evening

Our small, informal adoption information evenings are held once a month. They're the perfect opportunity for you to understand more about adoption and about the process.

You’ll have the chance to ask as many questions as you wish.

We also try to have one of our adoptive parents there too, who will share their story. If you decide to proceed, we’ll arrange an initial interview.

Adoption information evening dates 2020

Wednesday 10 June 6pm

Wednesday 1 July 6pm

Wednesday 5 August 6pm

Wednesday 2 September

Wednesday 7 October

Wednesday 4 November

Wednesday 2 December

All adoption information evenings will be held virtually via Skype until further notice.

Please call 01234 718718 or email adoptionandfostering@bedford.gov.uk to book a place. 

Initial interview 

At this meeting a social worker will discuss with you in more detail what is involved and answer any questions you may prefer to ask in private. It’s a chance to have a talk about why you want to adopt and for you to know more about the assessment process.

Following the initial interview, we will discuss with you, the timing of your progression to Stage 1 and the completion of the Registration of Interest (ROI).

There are two stages to the assessment process:

  • Stage 1 takes two months, is led by you and involves all the statutory checks.
  • Stage 2 takes four months and is more in-depth.

Stage 1

We will take up checks and references with:

  • The police
  • The local authority
  • Your employers (where appropriate)
  • Your landlord or mortgage company

In addition:

  • We will ask you to supply us with the details of people who can comment on your suitability to adopt
  • You will be required to have a medical with your GP.
  • We will ask you to attend training designed to support you in thinking about exactly what is involved in adopting children who need new families.
  • We recommend that you increase your experience with children and can support you to identify opportunities to do this.

Once we have collected all this information we will have a discussion with you and make a decision about whether to take your application on to Stage 2 of the approval process.

Your social worker will let you know our decision verbally and in writing.

The government has designed this two-stage process to ensure that those who enter Stage 2 are in a position to move forward with their application and are likely to be approved as adopters for the kind of children requiring families.

Stage 2

This is where we get to know you a lot better. In this stage, one of our social workers will visit you at home on a number of occasions to complete a Prospective Adopters Report (PAR).

We’ll also invite you to attend more training to prepare you for adoption. Once the assessment is completed you will receive a copy and are invited to make any comments about it.

The assessment is then presented to the Adoption Panel.

The adoption panel will consider all the information gathered during the assessment process and make a recommendation on your suitability to be an adoptive parent. You will have the opportunity to attend the panel if you wish.

The process may seem daunting, but it is very important that it is thorough and right, for both you and us.

Approved to adopt: next steps

Once you are approved to adopt, we will begin the search for a child whose needs you can meet. The matching process is vitally important as adoption is for life.

Once a child has been identified, you will meet the child’s social worker so you can find out more about him or her.

It’s very important that you feel positive about the child and that the child’s social worker feels that you would be well placed to care for the child.

A lot of detailed information is exchanged, including what contact arrangements are to remain in place with members of the child’s birth family.

If you and the social workers involved with you and the child want to progress with the match, this will again be presented to the Adoption Panel, who will make a recommendation about the proposed match.

Once a child is placed with you, we will continue to visit and support. You can apply for an adoption order after the child has been placed with you for a minimum of 10 weeks.

If you’d like a chat, call 01234 718718 or email adoptionandfostering@bedford.gov.uk