Preparing to adopt (stage 2)

Stage 2 begins with your home assessment and ends when the Adoption Panel and the Agency Decision Maker tell you whether or not you’ve been approved as an adoptive parent.

This process takes four months to complete; this may seem like a long time, but a lot happens during this time. This is when your intensive training and assessment takes place.

In this period you’ll work with the adoption team to prepare your assessment for consideration by the adoption panel. You’ll also attend four days of preparation training; these can take place midweek or during a weekend.

Your assessment

When you tell us you’re ready to start stage 2, we’ll allocate one of our adoption social workers to work with you to complete your assessment. They’ll want to meet you in the first week of stage 2 to plan your assessment and the work you’ll need to do. This will be your stage 2 plan or agreement.

We carry out your assessment by making a number of visits to your home. Each visit will last about two hours. We can make some visits early evening, but where possible, we’ll ask you to make some time available during the day.

We may ask you to do some preparation before a session and we’ll ask you to contribute some written work.

Why we do the assessment

The assessment is all about getting to know you. It gives your adoption social worker a chance to ask you questions about your lifestyle, family, relatives, relationships, and the support you have.

Try not to worry about the assessment. We know it can feel quite daunting, but it’s important that you’re open and honest with us about your circumstances.

The more we get to know about you, the easier it is to identify your strengths as an adopter and make sure you’re the right match for a particular child.

Your adoption worker will prepare a report about your assessment, which they’ll submit to the adoption panel within 10 weeks from the start of stage 2. They’ll encourage you to contribute to the report and work with you to help you do this.

Your adoption worker will show you the final report before it goes to the panel to make sure you’re happy with everything they’ve written about you.

If you’re not happy about anything, talk to your adoption worker. You’ll also be given the opportunity to submit your comments to the adoption panel.