Before parents think about adoption, they should make sure that they meet the requirments. In general, adoption agencies will be looking for the following:
Age: The prospective parents will need to be 21 or older. There is no upper age llimit. However, adoption agencies will want to make sure that parents have the lifestyle and energy to look after young children.
Criminal Record: In most cases, the adopting parents should have a clean criminal record. However, offences that are minor and not child related are usually not an issue and will not become a roadblock in the adoption process.
Medical Examination: The adoption agencies want to send children into a healthy home, which is why the authority schedules a health investigation process.
Disabled or Single: New rules allow gay couples, unmarried couples and single parents to adopt.
A parent who wishes to adopt a child in London will have to contact an adoption agency. There are two types of agencies; voluntary organizations and local authority children's services. Prospective parents should locate one that is close to their residence. You can take help from the agency directory. It is only allowed to have an application for adoption with only one agency, but checking out different agencies before applying is suggested.
Approval for adoption
The adoption agency will give approval for adoption after a social worker has thoroughly investigated the parents and they have met the adoption panel. This process can take six months and is very thorough as the social worker will check medical records, criminal records and will try to build a relationship with the applicants.
Rejection and Review
Sometimes a panel may reject an applicatin for adoption. If this is the case, parents can apply for a review of the rejection. This process varies in different areas but in London the review can be undertaken by the Independent Review Mechanism or by sending a representative to the orignal panel.
Approval and matching
Once an approval has been given, the adopters and the child will be matched with each other. This is done by the agency. However, parents can also go through the Adoption Register, which is a matching service. Once a child is matched with a family, an adoption panel has to give its approval so that the child can be placed with his or her new family.
Once a child is placed with a new family, the legal paperwork cannot be finalized right away. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have slightly varying rules. They all do state that a child must be living with the new parents for an extended period before the courts give a final order.