If you are thinking of adopting a child, you should be aware of the various steps between deciding you want to adopt a child and getting the final adoption order. The following is a simple step by step guide to help you through the process;
1. Determine if Adoption is For You
The first step in the adoption process is getting as much information as you can to determine if this is the right path for you. The best way to do this would be to contact an adoption agency and have all your questions about the adoption process answered. Good adoption agencies will even arrange to visit your home for more detailed discussions.
2. Registration and Checks
Once you have all the information you need to make a decision and you decide that you want to adopt a child, the next step is to register with an adoption agency. Your adoption agency will then allocate a social worker to help you through the process. This stage of the process can take up to 8 weeks to complete and may include medical checks.
It is advisable to attend preparation training to learn more about the adoption process. Most adoption agencies will provide the training to help prospective adoptive parents learn the best way to take care of the child. At this stage you may also meet others who have already adopted children and learn from their experiences. We’d also recommend seeking professional advice and guidance such as with a reputable firm like Goodman Ray’s adoption solicitors.
4. Assessment and More Learning
The second stage of the adoption process begins when the adoption agency receives your checks and references, although it is up to you to decide if you want to continue with stage two. This stage takes about four months to complete and your social worker will arrange to meet and complete the assessment. During these meetings, the social worker will provide you with any additional information you may need about the process. At the end of the assessment the social worker will complete a report and discuss the types of children best suited for you.
5. Adoption Approval
The report and other information about your reference checks will be provided to an Adoption Panel. This is usually a group of people who know about the adoptions process and have information about children who need families. A medical advisor who is also part of the panel will be tasked with looking at your medical report. You will attend the panel with your social worker and at the end of deliberations, the panel will either approve you a suitable adoptive parent.
6. Finding Your Child
More than 3000 children are waiting for adopters and your adoption agency will work with local authorities to find new families for these children. Once you are approved as an adopter, the agency will link you and your social worker with the children’s social worker to find the right child for you.
7. Support For Your New Family
The final step is the adoption process is something most but not all adoption agencies will provide; support for the new family. The initial days of the adoption can be difficult for both you and the child which is why your social worker will continue to visit you regularly to provide the necessary support for as long as you need it.