Assessment Stage One
For the next two months a range of checks and references will be taken up - these will include statutory checks such criminal records, a financial form and personal references including ex-partners and any children you may have parented.
You will also be required to undergo an adoption medical by your GP.
You will be required to have a medical examination. This will be carried out by your GP who will usually charge for this.
We need to make sure that you are in good physical and mental health and that there are not any issues that may impact on your ability to provide a safe, happy home.
Our medical advisor will make recommendations based on the medical report and may, if you are in touch with other medical professionals, contact them for more information with your consent.
When looking at your medical report the medical advisor will consider:
- Life style and family history, this will include diet, weight, smoking and alcohol use
- Current guidance is that no children aged under five or children of any age with respiratory problems should usually be placed within a smoking household
- Mental health issues are given careful consideration. We understood that many people may have experienced depression linked to specific life experiences and this does not necessarily affect your suitability to adopt.
The results of your medical, along with the references we take up, all help us to reach a decision on your suitability as a prospective adopter.
Training, preparation and additional information
During stage one you might also be asked to gain additional childcare experience. This may be by volunteering at a nursery or preschool. You will be advised if we think this is necessary.
This will help you find out more about what it means to adopt and whether this is right for you and your family.
Applicants will be required to complete a workbook which will need to be completed before they can move on to Stage 2. The workbook is not hard to complete, it just requires applicants to provide some information about themselves, do some reading and complete some exercises. It will be available in electronic or hard copy form.
You will be asked to complete a personal chronology, family tree and eco-map which is a structural diagram of your most important relationships with people, groups, and organisations. Support will be offered if you need it.
Finally during stage one you will complete a health and safety form and a pet questionnaire if appropriate.
Once all this is completed an adoption manager will decide whether you can continue onto stage two of the adoption assessment process.
This is known as a pre-assessment decision. If you're not accepted to proceed at this stage you will be given clear reasons why.
If you are accepted to continue onto stage two of the process you will have six months to decide whether you want to proceed.
If you take longer to decide then you will need to make a new enquiry.