Following your approval to adopt we will begin to identify children whose needs you can meet and who fit your profile. We have good links with frontline social workers who are responsible for children with an adoption plan and will work closely with you throughout this process. You will have professional support from your allocated social worker and our dedicated Family Finders who work hard to make sure that you are matched with the right child as quickly as possible.
We start by looking at children in Doncaster who are waiting for adoption, and then nationally who are waiting for a loving and permanent home.
This is done through a range of methods including regional and national events as well as Adoption Match and Link Maker. We also work closely with the organisations in One Adoption Yorkshire and Humber, Be My Parent, Children Who Wait and the Adoption Match Register.
The drop down boxes below give more information on the matching process, step by step.
We will look to identify a link between you and a child whose needs you can meet and who will potentially fit your profile. As part of this, foster carers and professionals in the child’s life will share information with you in the form of reports and face to face meetings.
- Life Appreciation Day
Once you we have identified a link with a child and yourself we will hold an event known as a Life Appreciation Day; this is before a placement is made. During this you will be given detailed information about the child by relevant professionals and people who have been a part of their life. This includes information about the child’s background and medical history as well as their character and personality. We make sure that you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision about proceeding with a link at this stage and setting up any placement.
Following from the Life Appreciation Day, and you making the decision to proceed with your link, you and the child will be identified as a suitable match. At this point a comprehensive report including details of the support offered to you, the child and your wider family will be presented to our Adoption Panel. You will be invited to attend the Adoption Panel; the panel will consider the match between you and the child and make their recommendation on this to the Agency Decision Maker (ADM). The ADM will use this recommendation to agree the match.
We will draw up a plan to introduce you to the child you have been matched to adopt, this will usually happen over a few weeks so you and the child are able to get to know one another. This gives you the chance to get to know their routines, likes and dislikes and their personality, as well as giving them a chance to get to know you too. At the end of the planned introductions the child will come to live with you. Throughout this period you will be in regular contact with your allocated social worker and will be offered comprehensive support.
- Becoming parents – placement
When the child comes to live with you, it is formally known as placement. At this stage of the adoption process you will share parental responsibility for the child with Doncaster Children’s Services Trust (or the Local Authority which the child comes from) and the child’s birth parents. During this time there will be visits from your allocated social worker as well as the child’s social worker. This is to make sure that, as a family, you are receiving all the support that you need and can make referrals for, for example, therapy if needed or group support. This help will be provided until the Adoption Order is granted.
During the placement period we will review how you are getting on and identify any support needs you, or the child, may have. After your second review, or after ten weeks of the child living with you, your Reviewing Officer can recommend submitting an application to court for an Adoption Order.
- Adoption order
Once the child has lived with you for at least ten weeks, or after your second review, you will be able to apply to court for an Adoption Order. When this is granted by the court you will have legally adopted the child. The court will issue you with a copy of the Adoption Order and you will receive a new birth certificate for the child, naming you as their parent.
- Post adoption support
Support is offered to yourselves and the children until the turn 18 years old if you live in the Doncaster area. In Doncaster we have an adoption support team who can offer different levels of help and support. Our team can provide you with further information regarding the support we can offer you when you begin to discuss adoption with them.
Use our frequently asked questions page to find out more about some of the people mentioned in the process above, terms and more.