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Your adoption journey...

What is Adoption?

Adoption is a permanent, life-long commitment which offers children who are unable to live with their birth family the opportunity to grow up in a family where they can be offered love, care, stability and security.
Adoption is also a legal process which transfers all legal and parental responsibility from the child’s birth parents to their adoptive parents. Without a doubt this will be life changing and an opportunity to help children achieve their potential. As with all parenting experiences there will be rewards and challenges, but you will be offered support and training to enable you to prepare for your new role and adoption journey.

Step 1 - Contact us

By email: AdoptFostRecruitment@aberdeencity.gov.uk

By Phone: 01224 694554

Pop in: We are situated at The Quarry Centre, Cummings Park Crescent, Aberdeen AB16 7AS

Fill in our contact form

Attend one of our Information Events: You are welcome to attend any of our Adoption Information Events, if you can let us know that you are attending and we can make sure we have the right people for you to talk to.


A member of the team will gather some basic information from you and then a member of the Recruitment Team will link in with you and take a referral, this will be within 5 working days. We would hope that we can then proceed to a home visit to meet you (and your partner if this is a joint enquiry) at your home.

Step 2 - The Home Visit

This meeting is an opportunity for an exchange of information about the process and your individual circumstances including an assessment of your home environment. Following this initial meeting we will need to ensure that this is the right time for you and everyone in your family and so a decision will be made on the suitability to progress to our Preparation Group.

Step 3 - Preparation to Adopt Group

The next stage is an invitation to attend a four-day Preparation to Adopt Course, this will give you further insight into the realities of adopting a child. The course involves case studies of children, an overview of the process of adoption, as well as hearing from the medical advisor, foster carers and experienced adopters.  You will also find out the support that will be on offer to you including training courses, support groups and other resources you will be able to link in with. Preparation to Adopt takes place during the working week, so we will give you advance notice of training dates so that you can make the necessary arrangements. This course is mandatory.

Step 4 - Feedback

Within two weeks of completing the Preparation Course the group facilitators will provide feedback on whether we can progress to the home study stage, at which time you can be invited to make a formal application. 

Step 5 - Assessment

Adoptive parents have to be able to care for a child into adulthood. This requires commitment, motivation, skills and knowledge. A social worker will be allocated from the Recruitment Assessment and Training Team and will make a number of visits to your home and will try to get to know you by exploring your own family background, your childhood experiences and your present circumstances. If you are a couple, the social worker will see you together and individually. PVG/Disclosure checks and a medical assessment are an integral part of the process. Appropriate references are also sought. A report called a Form F needs to be completed and the timeframe for this is usually 4-6 months. You will have the opportunity to read and comment on your report.

Step 6 - Panel Approval and Registration

The assessment report is presented to the Adoption and Permanence Panel and you will be asked to attend this alongside your assessing worker. Following the Adoption and Permanence Panel meeting a recommendation is passed to the Agency Decision Maker, who must consider the Panel’s recommendation within 14 days and inform you in writing within 7 days of his/her decision.

Step 7 – Transfer to the Permanency Team

We will be working alongside the Permanency Team throughout our assessment but at the stage of approval you will be formally transferred to a member of the Permanency Team who will take on the role of family finding (if this has not already begun) and of supporting you.

Step 8 – Matching you with a child

As an agency we will start to identify children within our service who you may be a suitable match as soon as possible. Initially your worker will approach you with written information about the child or children. You will then have the opportunity to meet with the child’s social worker, foster carer, medical advisor and nursery/school teacher. The process is designed to give you as much information as is available about the child to inform how we can proceed.  It is also an opportunity for you to demonstrate your understanding of the child and their needs, helping us assess if you are the right match for the child. There may be the opportunity for this to take place parallel with the assessment process as this can lesson delays for children.

Step 9 – Referral to Scottish Adoption Register

If, after 3 months we have not been able to identify a suitable match then we will add you to the Scottish Adoption Register. This Register pulls together adopters and children throughout Scotland facilitating family finding on a nationwide basis.

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