Becoming an adoptive parent

This section contains information about the process of adoption. It explains all the things we will need from you and all the things you need to prepare if you decide to apply to adopt a child.


For more in-depth information about some of the stages visit the other pages in this section.

First contact

Make your first steps towards adoption by getting in contact with us on freephone 0800 083 7744, 01629 533190 or email adoption@derbyshire.gov.uk or fill in an initial enquiry form on our apply to adopt page (opens in a new window).

Once you've made initial contact by one of the above methods, Call Derbyshire will send you an information pack.

After you have had time to read the information, a social worker from the adoption team will be in contact.

For more in-depth information on what to expect during this stage please see the First Contact page.

Adoption Assessment Stage One

Over the next two months we'll carry out a range of checks and references including statutory checks, financial information and personal references.

You will need to undergo an adoption medical with your GP.

For a more in-depth look at stage one of the adoption process please see the Stage One assessment page.

If you are accepted to proceed to stage two then you will have six months in which to decide whether you want continue. If you take longer you will need to make a new enquiry.

You will need to inform us in writing of your intention to proceed; we will then complete your full adoption assessment within four months.

Adoption Assessment Stage Two

If, once you have completed stage one, you are approved to continue then you will move onto stage two of the adoption approval process.

During this stage you will take part in a three day training course, we will make a number of visits to you at home and there will be lots of reading and research for you to carry out.

We will also arrange dates for interviews and a date for your approval to be considered by the Adoption Panel.

For a more in-depth look at stage two of the adoption process please see the Stage Two assessment page.

Adoption Panel

This is a body of experienced people with a broad knowledge of adoption and the range of children who are placed with families. A recommendation is made by this panel as to whether or not you should be approved as adoptive parents.

After approval

After the approval panel, if you're successful in being approved as an adoptive parent, then your report will be read by social workers who are looking for families for their children in care in Derbyshire.

The wait and search for the right child can be a long one. You may need to be prepared to consider a number of children before everyone concerned is happy to move towards the child joining your family.

It is impossible to say how long it will be before the right child is matched, but we are committed to finding the right child for you as quickly as possible. Once a child is identified for you a report is presented to the Adoption Panel for approval.

For more information on what happens after you're approved as an adoptive parent see the after approval page.

The full guide to the adoption assessment process can be found in the related documents section.

Related documents

The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)