Becoming an Adopter

The process at a glance

                Request for Information

                                ↓

                Initial Telephone Discussion

                                ↓

                        Home Visit

                                ↓

                    Preparation Course

                                ↓

        Assessment as Prospective Adopters

                                ↓

                    Adoption Panel

                                ↓

                          Matching

                                ↓

            Placement of Child / Children

                                ↓

                Adoption Order Granted
            Child / Children Legally Adopted

If you are interested in adopting a child or children the process starts with a telephone discussion which is usually followed by an adoption worker offering to visit you at home. The purpose of this visit if agreed is to explore whether adoption is right for you and your family. We also need to look carefully at your circumstances and experience and what you would be offering to a child as adoptive parents. We need to consider how this matches with the needs of
children. This may take more than one visit. If it is agreed that you should proceed you will be required to attend an adoption preparation course. This is designed to give you further insight into the realities of adopting a child and the opportunity to meet experienced adopters.

If, on the basis of the information given on the preparation course you wish to apply to become an adopter and we agree it is appropriate for you to proceed, you will be asked to complete an application form and a full assessment of your capacity to become an adoptive parent will be undertaken. This will be done with you by an adoption worker. The focus of this is an exploration of your ability to keep a child safe, help them to thrive and to be committed to
them for life. This involves an understanding of your background and motivation. We also need to be sure that you understand the potential needs and issues that may arise for a child who is adopted. The assessment should be a learning process for you, and the expectation is that you contribute fully to it.

Progression of assessments will be based on prioritising the needs of children waiting for families e.g. priority may be given to applicants interested in older children, sibling groups, or children with developmental or legal uncertainty.
The Moray Council needs to be sure that there is no known reason why you should not be entrusted to adopt. For this reason the assessment process requires that a number of checks be undertaken and references sought. Personal references also broaden the picture we have of you and your family.

The checks carried out and references taken up are:
Police records
You will be required to undergo a check by Disclosure Scotland (Protecting Vulnerable Groups Check) - the agency handling criminal records. You will receive a copy of their information. Only certain offences would automatically prevent you from applying to adopt.

Local Authority checks
Checks will be undertaken of all the authorities where you have lived since the age of 18. This is to ascertain if you have had any previous contact with social work which may be relevant to your application.

Medical
You will be asked to have a medical examination and your GP will provide a full report. The Adoption Panel’s medical adviser will assess any issues arising from this.

Health and safety check
A health and safety officer from The Moray Council will carry out a check of your home and may make recommendations.

Referees
You will be asked to provide names of a relative, and 2 other non-related people who know you well. We will also seek a reference from your current and/or previous employers. 

Other checks

With your permission we will also make contact with others who may have relevant information, for instance if you have young children these would include health visitors, nurseries and schools

If you have had a previous marriage/civil partnership, or a significant past relationship we will be likely to make contact with your ex partner and any adult children. 

We also ask you to verify personal information by producing birth certificates, marriage documents etc.

If you have pets we will need to talk to you about how they are likely to be with children. The main issues for us are to do with safety and hygiene.

Once the assessment is concluded, a report is written by the worker. You will be invited to read it and add your comments. This report will then go to the Moray Adoption Panel which meets monthly. You will be asked to attend and to join in part of the discussion. The Panel makes a recommendation to the Agency Decision Maker as to your approval as prospective adopters. Within 21 days of receiving this recommendation the Agency Decision Maker will write to you to give his decision.

Contact Us

Fostering & Adoption Team
Rose Cottage
PO Box 6770
Elgin
IV30 9BX

01343 563568

foster.adopt@moray.gov.uk

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