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Join us at our Adoption Information Event on 6/8/24

Find out more
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  • Book on to an Information Event
  • Download the Information Guide
  • The Children who need Adopting
  • The Application Process
  • Types of Adoption
  • Preparing for Adoption
  • FAQs
  • Adopter Stories
  • Ask the Adopter
  • Being an Adoptive Parent
  • LGBTQ+ Adoption
  • Early Permanence
  • Support and eLearning
  • Pre-Adoption
  • Post-Adoption
  • Adoption Support Fund
  • Education Support
  • Life Story Book
  • Talking About Adoption
  • Support for Adopted Children
  • Support for Adopted Adults
  • Support for Birth Families
  • Adoption Support Training Hub
  • Leicester
  • Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire and Rutland
  • North Lincolnshire
  • Northamptonshire


The Adoption Process

Application process

We're passionate about preparing our adopters in every way and this starts with the adoption application process.

Featuring a comprehensive training programme, your own personal Social Worker and a defined time frame, you will be gently guided through a series of assessments to ensure that you understand and can respond to any adoption issues.

The process is very interactive and you'll be fully involved at every stage. We will discuss all of the necessary checks that we plan to undertake and are always on hand to discuss any worries/questions you may have.

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Initial enquiry and questions

Interested in proceeding with your adoption enquiry? Then the first step is to have an informal chat with an Adoption Social Worker from your chosen Family Adoption Links partner. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions that have arisen from your information gathering. Find their contact details here.

Informal home visit

One of our friendly Social Workers will come to your house to give you the opportunity to talk about adoption in greater detail. They will give you an insight into the children we are family finding for and discuss your own wishes and expectations. They will also discuss whether there is anything that could prevent you proceeding at this stage.

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Stage one

(to be completed in 2 months)

Registration of Interest

If you decide that you would like to adopt and we agree, we’ll send you a Registration of Interest form. This provides us with all of the information we need to take up the checks, references (3) and medicals required. To assist with this stage, you will be allocated your own personal Social Worker.

Adoption Preparation Training

You’ll be invited to our comprehensive 3 day training course. This interactive experience will give you an opportunity to learn from experienced adopters, hear about the children you may be matched with, learn adoptive parenting skills and meet other prospective adopters.

Remember the purpose of the workshops is to assist you in making an informed decision about adoption, so ask as many questions as you want. You are free to withdraw at this or any other stage of the process.

At the end of Stage One, a shared decision is made over whether it is suitable to make a formal application to adopt.

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Stage two

(to be completed in 4 months)

Formal application, further assessment and training

This assessment builds on Stage 1 and involves regular meetings with your Social Worker to compile the Prospective Adopter’s Report. More information will be given in the workshops about the information that is gathered and what you need to do at this stage.


All of the reports we have worked together on will now be submitted to an independent adoption Panel who will discuss and make a recommendation on whether you are suitable to adopt. When the Panel makes their recommendation on your suitability to adopt you will be informed straight away.


Once the Panel have made their recommendation to us, the Agency Decision Maker will make the final decision as to whether you are suitable to adopt. In Family Adoption Links, the Agency Decision Maker is the Assistant Director of Children’s Services or the named Principal Social Worker.

Family finding

Working with you, your Adoption Social Worker will now be busy finding a potential match. You will also be subscribed to our Linkmaker online matching service which allows approved adopters to be proactive in finding a match in the UK.

You will be given a lot of written information about the child and a chance to meet with their Social Worker to help decide if this match is the right one. If everyone agrees to proceed, the application will go to Panel and the Decision Maker once again.

After the match between you and the child has been approved there follows a carefully planned programme of introductions. Following these, you and the child will be given time to think whether or not this link feels right. Your Social Worker will support you throughout.

Coming home

If introductions progress successfully and all parties wish to go ahead, the day you have been waiting for can go ahead. Your Social Workers will continue to visit and contact you regularly during this exciting but sometimes exhausting time.

The Adoption Order

Your child will need to have lived with you for at least 10 weeks before you can make an application to the court to adopt him/ her/them. Your Adoption Social Worker will help you with your forms if necessary and the child’s Social Worker and your Social Worker will write a report for court. You will receive notification of the adoption hearing from the court, marking the end of a lengthy but worthwhile process.

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Contact and Post Adoption Support

It is likely that you will continue to have at least yearly contact with the Adoption Team to provide information for the birth family through the Letterbox contact system, or your child may have ongoing face to face contact. You will be asked to sign a written agreement regarding the agreed contact plan. We also provide a host of post adoption support services.

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Our Social Worker was organised, sensitive and supportive throughout. We have been very pleased with the service we have received, especially given the geographical distances involved.