The adoption process

Adopting is a long journey, so we support you at every step. If you want to know more about the process of adopting a child, this page will tell you what happens at each stage and what you can expect.


Pre-stage 1

This is all about you finding out more information about adoption.

You will have a chance to find out about what different local authorities and children’s charities like us can offer you. Key areas for you to consider are the breadth and the profiles of children placed, different levels of support offered pre and post adoption, matching and preparation courses.

You will be offered materials to read, invited to an information event and will have an initial meeting with a social worker. At the end of this process you can register your interest with us.

  • 94% of adopters said that the information they received was very good or good.
  • 92% of adopters said that the helpfulness of staff was very good or good.

Stage 1

This stage is about gathering information about you, checks and preparation groups.

Once we have received your registration of interest and we have decided to proceed, you will receive a welcome pack from us and meet with one of our friendly social workers. We will then start the checks and references; you will do some self-evaluation and attend some training. This should take approximately two months.


Stage 2

This stage is about assessments and intensive training.

At this stage your social worker will meet with you regularly to carry out your assessment and you will undertake your training. Your social worker will meet your referees and you will be given a date for panel. This process should take approximately 4 months.

What to expect after you have been approved and have adopted

Once you are approved

One of the advantages of adopting with Action for Children is that you will be given the opportunity to consider a match with a child or children right across the UK. Once you are approved as an adopter, we will work with a range of local authorities to find a match. You will be asked to consider children’s profiles to see if you might be a suitable match for them. We work with both individual local authorities across the UK and with national organisations who specialise in finding families for children, such as Adoption Match, Linkmaker, New Family Social and  Coram BAAF.

Once a child or children are placed

We understand the particular challenges that you and your child(ren) may face. Your social worker will visit you regularly to make sure you and your family receive all of the support you need.

In addition to the support offered by the team at Action for Children, we organise support groups and social events where you will meet other adopters and learn from each other.

We’ll stay in touch and continue to support you and your new family for as long as you need us. We’re always happy for our friendly, qualified team to answer your questions and give advice.

"Our adoption preparation classes enlightened us and we met two of our closest friends there, who have been a great support to us."

Action for Children adopter

At Action for Children we'll support you at every stage:

  • We visit you regularly.
  • We give you more training.
  • We help you keep in touch with other adopters.
  • We host social events for adopters.

Call us on 0845 355 5533

For an informal chat with one of our friendly team. Open from Monday to Friday 9.30 - 4.30

In order to reduce the spread of Covid-19, we are limiting all non-essential face-to-face contact. This means your enquiry might progress a little slower than we’d normally like. We will do our best to support you and give you a call to make sure you have all you need.