The Adoption Process - Ten Steps to Adoption

On average, it takes just eight months to become an adopter with WWiSH. We continuously strive to shorten the time it takes, however, our main priority is of course ensuring the wellbeing of children who are being adopted.

1. You contact us

You can contact us via telephone, email or through this website to find out more about adoption.

2. We send you an initial information pack

Have a read through the information. If you decide to progress, you can complete the Initial Enquiry Form which is included within the pack and send it back to us.

3. We contact you

We will get in touch to let you know we've received your form and invite you to attend an informal information session to find out more.

4. You attend an information session

At the information session you will be given a further information pack which contains our Application to Adopt form for you to fill in. You can hand this back to us at the time, or take it home to fill out and send back to us.

5. An initial home visit takes place

We'll arrange an initial visit to your home. A friendly member of the team will chat with you about your individual circumstances and write a short initial report.

6. You attend a three-day preparation session

You will be invited to a three-day preparation session, with other prospective adopters. They run six times a year. They provide you with the opportunity to find out more about the process, see how adoption will impact upon you and help you to think about the skills you may need to develop as an adoptive parent.

7. Series of home visits

A Social Worker will arrange a series of visits to your home, to begin your official assessment, working hard to get to know you and your family.

Background information will be gathered about your own upbringing, household routines, relationships, proposed parenting skills, existing support networks and what you could offer a child.

Your permission will be gathered to undertake an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure (CRB check), on you and other adult members of your household. You will be expected to attend a medical and provide personal references to support your application. You will be required to cover the costs of the medical and possibily some other checks, such as an overseas check.

8. Social Worker Report

The Social Worker will then put together a report of all the information they have gathered about you and the type of adoptive home you could offer.

You will see this report and be able to comment and have your input into it before it is presented to the Adoption Panel.

9. Adoption Panel

You will receive a letter inviting you to the next meeting of the Adoption Panel, who will discuss your application in depth. The Adoption Panel will then make a recommendation as to whether they believe you would be suitable to adopt.

10. Adoption Agency Decision Made

If the panel decides that you are suitable, the recommendations made at panel will be sent to the Agency Decision Maker for formal approval.


You are now approved as an adopter with WWiSH. Social Workers may already have a suitable child/ children in mind and will be working hard to ensure that a child is placed with you as soon as possible.


Download our 10 Steps to Adoption Process