Route to adoption

The route to adoption with the Calderdale Adoption Service changed in July 2013 in line with the Governments Adoption Reform Agenda.

New Adoption Regulations have been implemented and we have introduced the Governments new staged process to adoption assessment:

Step 1. Initial enquiry

Contact the Adoption Team.

You will be sent the Information Pack and an invitation to one of our regular Information Evenings.

Step 2. Information Evening

A child's drawing of their house

Contact us to make an appointment to attend an information evening where you will have the opportunity to learn more about the adoption and assessment process and to ask any questions you may have around adoption. These are held monthly there will be the opportunity to meet an experienced adoptive parent.

Step 3. Expression of Interest

If, following the Information Evening you would like to go one step further you will be invited to complete an Expression of Interest form. An adoption social worker will then contact you to arrange an information and counselling visit at your home.

Step 4. Registration of Interest

A decision will be made after the information and counselling visit whether the social worker feels we are able to continue with your application to become an approved adopter. If you are to proceed with the process you will be given a Registration of Interest form. On receipt of the completed Registration of Interest form the Adoption Team Manager will make a decision within 5 days about accepting your Registration.

Step 5. Stage One Pre-Assessment

Once we have accepted your Registration of Interest you will be allocated a social worker from the Team who will work alongside you and guide you through the pre-assessment process. This should normally take no longer than two months. During this time we will take up police and other checks and references. We will also ask you to attend for a medical with your GP. You will have a ‘Stage One Agreement’ with your worker and you will be advised about further learning and will need to attend our Preparation Training sessions.

Step 6. Adoption Assessment

A child's drawing of their pet 'Max'

At the end of Stage 1 you will need to notify us if you wish to proceed to be assessed as a prospective Adopter. 

Step 7. Stage 2 Assessment

Stage 2 should take four months up to the Agency Decision Maker reaching a decision that you are suitable to adopt. You will complete Preparation Training during this period and your worker will complete a detailed Prospective Adopter Report that will be presented to the Adoption Panel.

Step 8. Adoption Panel

Once completed, your Social Worker will present the assessment report to the Adoption Panel, with a recommendation about your suitability to adopt. If during the assessment you wish to withdraw your application you should notify the Team Manager in writing.

A child's drawing of their dad

Occasionally, concerns may arise during the assessment and the Agency may feel unable to continue. If this happens, we will discuss this with you and the options that are available. These include your agreement to withdraw, or to proceed to the Panel with a negative recommendation and the possibility of you asking for your case to be referred to the 'Independent Review Mechanism'.

You will be invited to attend the Panel which will reach a recommendation about your suitability to adopt and may give advice about the number and ages of child/ren they feel that the applicants are most suitable to adopt.

Remember, 94% of applicants presented to Panel are approved as prospective adopters..

The Agency Decision Maker makes the decision on whether to approve the applicants as suitable to adopt, or not. If the Applicants are not approved they have the right to submit any representations they wish to the Agency, or be referred to the Independent Review Mechanism.

Step 9. Matching you to a child

Once you are approved, your Adoption Social Worker will start the process of matching you to a child or children. 


No application is ever the same. However, the national guidelines state that Agencies should aim to present an assessment to the Adoption Panel within 4 months of proceeding to Stage 2.

Last Updated: 28/12/2016