The adoption process

The two stage adoption process is laid out by the Government. In Adopt London South, we like to get to know and to ensure that you have all the relevant information about the process, the children and the support you will receive from us, before you begin the assessment. To do this we like to meet you at a drop-in or information meeting and then have a longer chat with you at a drop-in after the information meeting. Email us on adoption@southwark.gov.uk for more details of the meetings and drop-ins and a reading list to get you started.

The adoption process

Stage One

Stage One lasts two months and is adopter led. Adopters will be expected to do lots of research into adoption and complete an adoption journey log. You will be supported throughout by an allocated social worker who will come and meet you at your home to do a health and safety check as well as just to touch base with you to make sure you are managing your homework.

During stage one, we will ask for references from your family members and friends as well as completing police (DBS), local authority and medical checks. You will also need to attend a mandatory four day preparation training course - if you are part of a couple, you both need to attend all the days. 

At the end of Stage One there will be a mutual review where you decide if you wish to continue and vice versa.

Taking a break

Prospective adopters are able to take a maximum of six month break between Stage One and Stage Two (agencies are also able to recommend that you take a break). If the break is longer than six months, you will be required to re-start stage one.

Stage Two

When you progress into Stage Two you will be allocated an assessing social worker who will visit you on average 6-8 times and write a report called the Prospective Adopters Report (PAR). Stage Two takes four months and at the end your social worker will present you and your report to an adoption panel. If appropriate, the panel will make a positive recommendation and the Agency Decision Maker (ADM) will ratify this decision. You will then be approved adopters and we will then start searching together for your child or children. 

Meet our adopters

Families who have already been through the adoption process tell you what it was like for them.

Can I adopt?

Take our quiz! Dash through the 13 quick questions in our adoption quiz to find out whether you can adopt.