Route to adoption

The route to adoption is changing slightly and becoming more regional. This takes place on 1st April 2017, when we become the One Adoption Agency. The change means you can choose the most convenient information event for you to attend.


Step 1. Information Event

A child's drawing of their house

Drop in to an information event, details of these are further down this webpage. You can choose an information event held in any of the One Adoption Agency locations. Choose the event that is the most convenient for you to attend. There are locations in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Calderdale or Kirklees. At the information event, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the adoption and assessment process. You can ask any questions you may have around adoption and you will have the chance to speak to adoption social workers and experienced adopters.

Step 2. Home Visit Request

If, following the Information Event, you would like to go one step further you will be invited to complete a ‘Home Visit Request Form’. You will need to return the form to One Adoption Agency in Leeds who are the host agency. An adoption social worker will then contact you to arrange an Information and Counselling Visit (ICV) at your home.

Step 3. 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 4. 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 5. 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 6. 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 7. 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 8. 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: 15/02/2017