The adoption process

The adoption assessment process will help you to make sure that adoption is the best choice for you and your family.

Decision making

  1. Get in touch with us for an informal chat by calling 01634 335 676, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm
  2. Attend an information evening to learn more about adoption and meet the adoption team and other people that have adopted a child. You can request an invitation by phoning us on 01634 335 676, emailing adoption@medway.gov.uk or contacting us on Facebook @medwayadoption
  3. Complete an initial enquiry form to show your interest in continuing the process
  4. An adoption social worker will visit you at home to answer any questions you may have

Registration, checks and training: up to 2 months

  1. Apply to adopt: complete the registration of interest form given to you at the home visit
  2. Checks and references: we’ll carry out a range of checks and request references
  3. About you: we’ll ask for information about yourself, your childhood and background, your relationship (if you’re applying as a couple), your support network and why you want to adopt
  4. Training: We provide training to help prepare you for parenting an adopted child and help you to complete your own research
  5. At the end of this stage, you will have all the information you need to decide if adoption is right for you and we will have the information we need to decide whether you are able to proceed. If not we’ll explain why and tell you what you can do next.

Assessment: up to 4 months

In this stage, you will be allocated a social worker who will visit you weekly to complete an assessment.

In this assessment we’ll find out more about you and your life experiences, your community and support networks, and why you want to adopt. We'll also talk about the adopted children’s needs and how you can meet those needs.

  1. Assessment: Your social worker will prepare a report based on the information you have shared during your assessment
  2. Decision: The completed assessment will be presented to Medway Council's Adoption Panel, which you will attend. The panel will make a recommendation to the agency decision maker, who makes the final decision about approving adopters.

Matching a child to you

Our assessments aim to find out all about you and your family so that we can find the most appropriate match for you, your family and the adopted child or children.

  1. Matching: This can take from as little as a month, up to a year or maybe more to ensure that the placement is the best match for everyone
  2. Placing a child with you: When a suitable child has been found, the match will be approved by an adoption panel from the area the child lives. We will then plan with you how to begin the gradual introduction of the child to you and your family. It is usually a few weeks before a child moves into their new home.

Once you have adopted your child

We will support you through the early days of placement while you get to know your child. Once you’re ready and your child has lived with you for 10 weeks you can apply for your adoption order. Once an adoption order is made, you will have full legal responsibility for looking after the child.

We will continue to support you if needed after an adoption order has been made and you are always welcome to contact us for support, advice or further assessment.

We also regularly host fun events for you and your family such as bowling parties, summer picnics and Christmas parties.