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What the adoption agency is looking for in the initial stages

On the initial consultation the adoption agency has to ascertain if you qualify for an assessment to become a prospective adoptive parent.

Before the adoption agency accepts your formal application and begin the Homestudy process, they have to establish that you fulfil certain criteria.

To qualify you must:


        Live within the local authorities or adoption agencies physical boundaries,


         Satisfy the eligibility criteria, requirements, and procedures of both the United Kingdom and the child's country of origin.

          Plan to work through an approved adoption agency or accredited and recognised charitable organisation in your country of choice which 'operates proper safeguards and controls, exchanges reports at agency or government level, and only places children when requirements of both countries are met.'


The adoption agency (under Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, 21 and Adoptions with a Foreign Element Regulations 2005, 14) is obliged to provide you with information and counselling about adoption.

In practice, the agency’s duty to inform and counsel potential applicants is best provided in three segments: written information, information group meetings and initial counselling.

The agency has flexibility about the sequencing of the segments. Thus, some agencies choose to provide one-to-one counselling before inviting prospective adopters to information group meetings, others will ask for you to have attended the group meeting before they will meet with you.

As a potential applicants you will need general written information which summarises the adoption process, the time it may take and the consequences of caring for and adopting a child. The agency needs to make available this information in appropriate formats.


When you make preliminary enquiries about starting an inter-country adoption the adoption agency will:


  • Check if you live within the area they work
  • Consider if you meet the eligibility criteria based on the information you provide
  • Send you an information pack which should include information about eligibility criteria, the procedures, useful addresses for further information and an outline of their fees.


If, from the information you have provided, the agency feel you fail to meet their criteria, they will advise you and offer other options available for you to pursue.


If, the agency acknowledge that you fulfil their criteria and after reading their information material, you want to proceed, then you must notify the Adoption Team and they will schedule the initial interview.



Counselling Interview

The adoption agency needs to consider if they should provide you with a formal application form to start your adoption.

They use the initial interview to:

• Explore why you want to adopt and whether you have considered adoption from within Britain.


• Needs to ensure that you fully understand the issues and challenges involved in adopting from overseas.

• Confirm that you are aware of, and can satisfy, the eligibility requirements and procedures of both your country of choice and the U.K.


• If you are undecided about the country of choice, the agency should provide brief information and advice about specific countries. They should also be able to direct you towards where further information can be obtained.  

• Identify, discuss and advise on any factors which might have an adverse effect on your application. They should also outline any tasks they feel you will need to complete before you may proceed to a formal application.


• Outline their practice for preparing and assessing prospective inter-country adopters


After the counselling interview, the agency will decide whether you are eligible to proceed with your adoption and will send you a formal application.


You may also be asked to attend a preliminary information or Consultation Day. Run monthly, by the Inter-country Adoption Centre on behalf of Local authorities, there is a charge or approximately £50 plus VAT for this information day.


Following attendance at this consultation day, you will be asked to notify your adoption agency that you wish to proceed, by completing the formal application


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