Adoption gives children and young people an opportunity for a fresh start as a permanent member of a new family.


Pre stage

  1. After your initial enquiry, we'll:
    Bullet pointcontact you for an initial discussion within 1 working day.
    Bullet pointsend you an information pack within 5 working days.
  2. We'll invite you to an adoption information meeting.
  3. If you wish to proceed, we'll ask you to complete an expression of interest form.
  4. We may phone you for another discussion.
  5. We'll invite you to an adoption foundation day to help you prepare for adoption, learn about the process and understand the needs of adopted children.
  6. We'll make a decision to proceed to stage 1 of the adoption process with you. If we decide not to proceed, we'll give you clear written reasons why. Opening a new window


Stage 1 (usually a 2 month period)

  1. We'll ask you to attend 3 workshops covering:
    Bullet pointguidance to complete your written workbooks
    Bullet pointlearning about the backgrounds of children and understanding the impact of trauma on children's development
    Bullet point'early permanence', also known as fostering for adoption.
  2. We'll invite you to complete a registration of interest form and help you complete a home learning reflective workbook.
  3. We'll allocate a worker to support you through the process.
  4. We'll start background checks and references and you'll need to arrange a medical.
  5. We'll invite you to 2 days of adoptive parents training. We'll also ask you to attend a paediatric first aid course and complete the 'First4Adoption' e-learning modules.
  6. At our regular adopter network events, you can meet other adopters and hear about support available in Hertfordshire.
  7. Your worker will arrange a review meeting with you, then write up a summary and make a recommendation about your readiness to process to stage 2. If we decide not to proceed, we'll give you clear reasons why verbally and in writing. Opening a new window


Stage 2 (usually a 4 month period)

  1. We'll allocate a social worker to:
    Bullet pointvisit you at home, discuss the process, agree an assessment plan and sign a stage 2 agreement.
    Bullet pointvisit you at home a number of times and visit your personal references.
    Bullet pointwrite up a prospective adopter's report and share it with you. You'll have 5 days to comment on it.
  2. We'll invite you to another day of adoptive parent training.
  3. The adoption panel will:
    Bullet pointread your report
    Bullet pointmeet with you and your social worker
    Bullet pointlet you know their recommendation on the same day, then follow up in writing within 2 weeks.
    Bullet pointshare their recommendation with the agency decision maker, who will make a final decision regarding your approval.


Panel recommendations

If the panel thinks you are suitable, over the next 6 months we'll:

  • add your names to the Adoption Register
  • develop a matching agreement with you
  • match you with children we feel suit you and the skills you have
  • link you with children, following selection
  • support you before, during and after children are placed.
  • invite you to an adoption order and celebration hearing.

If the panel do not feel able to make a recommendation for approval, you will:

  • be given clear written reasons to explain the panel’s decision
  • have 40 days to request a review.


You can also get advice and information from First4Adoption.

Our statement of purpose and adopter's charter.