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

Adoption recruitment process

Pre stage

  • you contact us by phone or email to tell us you're interested in adopting
  • you have an initial discussion with our recruitment team within a day of your enquiry
  • we send you an information pack within a week
  • we invite you to attend an Adoption Information Meeting
  • following this, you can decide to complete an Expression of Interest form
  • you are invited to attend our Adoption Foundation Day. This will help you learn more about the key issues in preparing for adoption, the process and better understand the needs of children requiring adoptive homes in Hertfordshire
  • we make a decision with you regarding commencing Stage One
  • if you can't continue the process, we'll give you clear written reasons why.

Stage 1 (usually a 2 month period)

  • you will be invited to complete a Registration of Interest and attend Workshop One
  • the home learning reflective workbook will be issued and you will be given support and guidance to complete this
  • background checks and references will be commenced, you will also need a medical
  • you will be invited to attend the 2 days Adoptive Parent Training which will help prepare you for adopting
  • A mid-way review is held to follow up on any issues or queries that have come up in the training or process so far
  • you attend workshop 2 to learn more about understanding and supporting children who have experienced trauma 
  • you are invited to attend workshop 3 on 'Fostering for Adoption'
  • you will complete your workbook and your social worker will complete a Stage One summary
  • a recommendation will be made regarding your readiness to move to Stage 2
  • if you can't continue the process, we'll give you clear written reasons why.

Stage 2 (usually a 4 month period)

  • you will be allocated a Social Worker who will visit you at home to discuss the process, agree an assessment plan and sign a Stage 2 agreement
  • your home study will commence, usually consisting of a number of visits to your home to complete your 'Prospective Adopter's Report' (PAR)
  • your Social Worker will visit your personal references
  • you'll do a further day of Adoptive Parent Training
  • your Social Worker will write up your PAR and share it with you. You'll have 5 days to make any comments on this
  • the adoption panel will read the report
  • you'll attend an Adoption Panel with your Social Worker
  • the chair of the Adoption Panel will let you know of their recommendation to approve on the same day and within 2 weeks in writing
  • the Panel's recommendations are shared 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 you'll:

  • be added to the Adoption Register
  • develop a matching agreement with your Social Worker
  • be supported to be matched with children we feel suit you and the skills you have
  • be linked with children following selection (We'll match you with children we feel suit you and the skills you have)
  • support you before, during and after children are placed
  • attend 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.

See our adoption recruitment process chart for your reference.

You can also get advice and information from First4Adoption.

Adopters Charter

We have recently signed up to the Adopter's Charter so we can give support and better outcomes to all people directly affected by adoption.

Statement of purpose

Adoption service statement of purpose