The views and experiences of prospective adopters in five regional adoption agencies

Julie Selwyn, Shirley Lewis

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Those wishing to adopt can apply to adopt through a Regional Adoption Agency (RAA), a Voluntary Adoption Agency (VAA) or through their local council if the council is not part of an RAA. Individuals usually begin by contacting their selected agency and having a home visit from a social worker who explains the process. If they wish to continue, they register their interest and that formal registration begins Stage 1. During this stage references are taken up, a medical report is requested from the GP, and a check is made to ensure there are no previous criminal convictions that would exclude an individual from parenting
a child. The stage should take eight weeks. Based on the information gathered, the agency decides whether the prospective adopters can move to Stage 2. The assessment and home study visits begin and the prospective adopter report (PAR) is completed before being approved by a panel made up of adoption experts and experienced adoptive parents. Stage 2 should take no longer than four months. It is therefore expected that the process from registration to approval should take six months. Adoption agencies are monitored through score cards on their timeliness in respect of adopter approvals.1
Part of the preparation to become an adoptive parent requires attendance at preparation groups. They are intended to help individuals explore the benefits and challenges of adoption and understand the needs of the children waiting to be placed for adoption. The first part of this report considers how prospective adopters experienced and evaluated the preparation groups run by five RAAs. The second part considers the views and experiences of 30 prospective adoptive who had completed their preparation group training and were going through the assessment process to become an approved adoptive parent. Identifiers are not provided for the RAAs or participants to maintain anonymity.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment for Education
Commissioning bodyDepartment for Education
Number of pages59
ISBN (Electronic)9781838701208
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


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