Frequently Asked Questions
Who can adopt?
You can be:
Single, married or living together
From any ethnic or religious background
Any sexual orientation or identity
A homeowner or living in rented accommodation
At Adoptionplus we believe that children are all unique and so we are looking for lots of different types of families to provide loving homes for them.
Who are the children that need adopting?
In England there are many children waiting for loving adoptive parents. They are a range of ages, from a variety of backgrounds. What they have in common is a difficult start in life and that they can no longer be brought up by their birth families.
All these children need safe, loving, stable homes. They need parents who will stick by them through the good times and the bad. They need support and love to help them make sense of their past in order that they can have a more positive future.
How long does it take to adopt?
The adoption assessment process is around 6 months, from start to approval at adoption panel, however there is flexibility if you wish to slow things down. Your assessment will be in 2 stages, the first stage, which is about 2 months long is led by you and allows you to find out more about adoption, and allows us to gather information and references and complete statutory checks. The second stage is 4 months long and involves a social worker meeting with you and getting to know you well in order to complete your assessment report.
What if I have a criminal conviction?
We ask that you are honest from your initial contact with Adoptionplus and disclose any criminal convictions, cautions, cases pending and allegations. Many offences do not preclude you from adoption, although we need to ensure that children are kept safe and any offences will be thoroughly looked into. Any offences against children will rule out an application.
Children who are placed through Adoptionplus may well have previously been hurt by adults. It is our responsibility to safeguard them against abuse and as a result each adult in the adoptive home will need to have a satisfactory DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check as well as a range of other checks and references.
Why should we choose Adoptionplus?
At Adoptionplus we feel that we can offer you a unique service. As a small friendly adoption agency we can ensure that your assessment with us is personally tailored to your needs and commitments. We have very strong links with our partner local authorities and have been able to link most of our adopters to children within their assessment, minimising any delay in placement for both you and the children waiting.
What also makes Adoptionplus different is that our service provides families with access to additional therapeutic support throughout childhood, with no cost to the family and no long waiting times. We employ a team of specialist therapists who are considered experts in this field. Families may not need the support, but people tell us that it's nice to know it's there if it's needed. We feel that this is one reason why our families are settled and doing well.
What sort of child or children might be placed through Adoptionplus?
The children we place for adoption are likely to be aged 4 or over. We do place younger children but these children may have additional health needs. Some children may need to be placed with siblings whilst others may need to be placed on their own. Children needing adoptive families could be from any ethnic group and are likely to have a range of additional needs as a result of their previous experiences, such as special educational needs, difficulties trusting adults and difficulty understanding and managing their emotions. Children may have had frightening and confusing experiences in their pasts and will need help making relationships and understanding their past. As part of the process we will prepare and support you for many of these challenges.
Will my health issues impact on my assessment?
Children need to be placed with families who can meet their long term needs. Children will have bundles of energy and your health needs to be good enough to be able to cope with this. There are very few medical conditions that in themselves would preclude you from adopting. Your health will be considered as part of the process and you will need a medical report from your GP. We ask that you speak to us early in the process about any health conditions you may have.
If you currently smoke (even if you smoke outside your home), we advise that you give up, as smoking can have an impact on the health of any child placed with you.
How much does it cost to adopt?
You are not expected to contribute to the cost of your assessment. As part of the process you will need a medical report from your GP and they often charge you between around £100 for this.
Is there any financial support?
Some children have quite specific needs and the local authority is required to consider whether providing financial support to the adopters is necessary. Any financial support will be assessed in relation to your income.
Depending on your income you may be entitled to claim child benefit from the day the child moves in with you. You may also be eligible to child tax and working tax credit, depending on your situation.
We understand how important this decision is to you and are happy to help in any way that we can. No question is too big or too small so please don't hesitate to contact either Claire Grady, Mary Kennedy, or Pippa Bolger on 01908 218251 01908 218251 and have a chat.
'Events' page for dates of our adoption information events