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The adoption journey

We know choosing to adopt a child is a huge decision and our team will give you all the support you need and answer any questions you may have.

We are here to help and support you every step of your adoption journey. We make sure you are able to adopt and know what to expect, answer any questions you may have and also try to find a good match between your family and the children we have who need a forever home.


Here are the different steps of the adoption journey:

Before making a formal enquiry, you will need to attend one of our regular information events.

They are the perfect way for you to get a feel for what it's like to adopt with us.

At our information events:

  • we give a short presentation about the adoption journey and the different options available to you
  • we will tell you about our children who are waiting to be adopted and all the support and training that we can offer before and after adoption
  • you will have the chance to meet and chat to our friendly adoption social workers who can answer any questions you may have

Book a place at an information event

If you'd prefer to speak to someone, then give us a call on 0300 123 6727 and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Step one is known as the pre-assessment process and normally takes two months to complete, unless there are exceptional circumstances. A personalised plan is created for you. This stage helps you decide if you want to continue the adoption journey.

The second stage of the adoption process should take around four months. You will be assigned a social worker who will find out more about you and help you think about how a child might fit into your life.

Your social worker will also help you consider the experiences a child may have had before coming to live with you – and what this might mean for them and for you.

A report is then prepared by your social worker ahead of Adoption Panel which is the next stage in the process.

Attending Adoption Panel is a big day as this is when you get an adoption recommendation with a final decision made within two weeks.

We know you will be nervous but we make sure you are prepared and know exactly what to expect – letting you know who will be on the Panel and the questions they are likely to ask you.

Our Panels take place at either Bickerstaffe House in Blackpool or County Hall in Preston. 

Congratulations – you have been approved!

Your worker will now help you to find the right match for you. For some adopters this may not take long whilst for others it may take longer. It's important to get the right match as there will be lots of information about the child and people to meet.

When you and the workers are happy to proceed, the proposed match then goes back to the adoption panel where you get a match recommendation with a final decision being made within two weeks after panel.

We will work with you to agree a moving in date and to arrange introduction meetings - you will both be nervous and excited at the same time. It’s the start of a whole new phase of your life after all!

Once your child moves into your home you will continue to get visits from your social worker who will help make sure everything goes to plan.

You can apply to legally adopt the child after 10 weeks.

Don’t worry – there’s plenty available.

We know this is a nervous time and you will be keen to do everything right.

It’s normal for there to be a few ups and downs – and we will be there to help and support you as you both transition to your new life as a family together.