Adoption: Choosing Which Agency to Adopt With
The first step in becoming an adopter is to choose who – or which agency- you want to adopt through, it is always better to research this by looking online, and seeing what other people who have used them are saying about the agencies before you call them. What you may not know is it costs you nothing at all to go through an agency!
Most people simply go to their local councils, but others research and see who actually best meets their needs. Sometimes it’s about who they feel most comfortable working with, for example a small agency may be able to offer a more personal touch or specialise in ongoing support even after the child has been adopted, some agencies offer specialist services like overseas adoption for example. It all comes down to what you choose to do! Most people do not realise that there are more options than just the Local authority. I would suggest looking around, finding out what other people are saying online and just call the agency involved to have a chat, if you like what you hear they can come out and talk to you this is called a screening visit, you might also go to an information evening.
In the screening visit someone will come to your home and talk to you and give you the information you need as well as ask about you generally to get some idea of who you are and why you are thinking of adoption. If you still want to go forward the next step is doing all the police, medical and other checks, they have to be done first as everyone has to be sure there is no reason you can’t adopt, this could be for medical reasons or if there are concerns around children relating to you.
There will be some training to go to that should give you lots of information about adoption and the decision your making.
After this you will go through your assessment, it shouldn’t be traumatic but it is a lot of work and you will be asked some difficult questions. Assessments can take some time to do but don’t be disheartened they have to be thorough and the assessor and the agency need to know all about you to make sure they can place children with you.
The next step is the adoption panel, this is basically a group of people from all walks of life who come together to read and discuss your assessment, they may want to ask some questions but not usually a lot, they make a recommendation if you should pass – and become adopters or not.
And that’s basically it! It’s not really a very complicated process but its so important that you choose who you want to adopt with. Each agency has something to offer that’s different, I suggest you shop around and see which one best suits you, either in how long the process takes with different agencies (which can vary hugely!) or what their philosophy is, it might even just be about how you feel after speaking to them.
Remember it’s all about who you choose to adopt with! Do the research!