What happens next?

Once your application to adopt a child has been successful both you and Parents for Children will be keen to match you with a child

Finding a child to adopt

There are several ways you could find a child to adopt:

How long will it take?

There's no typical time period for approved adoptive parents to be matched with a child. There are always children waiting for new families, but the wider the age range of child you are happy to adopt, the more likely you are that a suitable child will be found quickly.

It can be frustrating to have to wait when you know there are children needing loving families, but it is important to find the right match between child and family, and when you meet your new child, it will all seem worthwhile.

What happens while I'm waiting to find a child?

Your Parents for Children social worker will maintain regular contact with you while you're waiting to be matched with a child. There are plenty of things you can do to prepare while you're waiting.

  • There will be Parents for Children workshops, seminars and conferences that you can attend to learn more about caring for children with special needs
  • There are lots of helpful books you can read – we'll be happy to provide you with a book list, and with access to the Parents for Children library
  • You can prepare an album, ready for your child to see before they meet you. Your social worker will have suggestions about the type of thing to include in your album. Usually albums contain photos of you and your children, your home and your pets. Short explanations about each picture are helpful. It will all help to make the child feel truly at home with you as quickly as possible.

How does matching work?

Child appreciation day

Every child seeking adoption will have a social worker from their local authority. This is a picture of two little girls with their baby brother.The child's birth family will also have a social worker, who will have been helping them throughout the pre-adoption process. The child is likely to be living with a foster carer pre-adoption.

As an adoptive parent, you will have a chance to meet the child's social worker and current foster carer as well as their school teacher and possibly other professionals such as a paediatrician, physiotherapist, play therapist or counsellor. These meetings often take place at a child appreciation day where as many people as possible who have cared for the child will be invited to attend. This gives you a unique and valuable insight into the child's life to date and how they have come to be placed for adoption.

Matching panel

One you and Parents fof Children have agreed that you want to go forward to adopt a child, a matching panel will be arranged by the local authority under whose care the child is. The matching panel operates in very much the same way as the approval panel.

The matching panel will give their recommendation to Parents for Children. Parents for Children's director has responsibility for making the final decision, after giving careful consideration to the panel’s recommendation. This decision must be made within seven working days of the panel meeting.

Once the decision is made to go ahead, a meeting will be arranged so that an introduction plan can be put into place.

Photo © www.johnbirdsall.co.uk