The average time from thinking to have a child to delivery is about 1.5 years in Europe, the adoption process is taking 6 months with a overall average of 1 year. I know that in this situation time is a killer, but have a though of this numbers when you are distressed by the waiting.
Pre Process Suggestions:
- Before applying for adoption or fostering, I would highly recommend to start volunteering with a local association that offers activities with children of various age and particularly children with needs similar to those in care. Experiencing time with children will give you a better idea of multiple personal aspects that can help you during the child selection in the following adoption process.
- Visit First4Adoption’s website and search in their data base for 2 or 3 agencies within 1 hour from your home. Start contacting them and asking questions, before choosing the “one agency”. It is wise to have a chat, emails exchange and phone conversations with multiple social workers from different agencies, at the end of this process you will fell more comfortable in choosing the agency that will suite better your persona.
- Watch and listen to podcast and videos related to adoption stories, start reading books, there is a dedicated section in the web site.
- Attending an event with the agency that you have choose, usually are monthly event so you need to plan this in advance.
- Considering your home situation – no plans to move or have renovations during the adoption process and for at least two years after the children will move in. Obviously the time after adoption is suggested and highly depends on the child, however changing house could trigger the feeling of high instability in the child.
- Awareness of need for references and overseas checks if you have lived abroad, you need to provide at least 3 reference. It is important also to be able to provide connection with your area and your neighbors as well as emergency contacts (those rare friends or relatives you can call 24/7)
- Initial interview with the Agency Social Worker
- Completing a Registration of Interest Form
- Statutory checks made (including DBS (Police Check), Local Authority Check and Health Assessment)
- References obtained
- Attend initial Preparation Training Course
- Undertake some reading / additional learning activity
- Continue voluntary work experience
- Assessment with your allocated Social Worker
- Assessment Report (PAR) presented to the Agency Adoption Panel, approval of applicant/s.
- Further training for you and your family
- Register with The Adopter Hub for online support
- Linking you with a child or children
- Local Authority Matching Adoption Panel Approval
- Introductions – visits (around 10 to 14 days) to enable you to get to know your child(ren)
- Placement of child(ren) in your home
Establish your family
- Becoming parents
- Support and Reviews of the placement
- Legal Adoption Order and Celebration Hearing (4 – 12 months after placement)
Ongoing adoption placement support
- Continuing training
- Support groups and family fun days
- Access to the Agency post adoption services
For further examples and information download PACT guide to adoption.
E-learning modules to help prepare you can be found First4Adoption web site.