Applying for the adoption order

When a child is placed with you, you will have parental responsibility for that child. This will be shared with the agency and the birth parents but you will be able to make the day-to-day decisions about the child’s care. When the agency and the adopters and, if appropriate, the child, have agreed that the placement appears to be going well and everyone feels comfortable taking the next step, the adopters can make their application to the court for an adoption order. The child must have lived with them for at least 10 weeks before an application can be made.

The court requires the adoption agency to provide a report, which sets out the background information about the child and the reasons why the child has been placed for adoption. The court, alongside the Cafcass officer, will consider the report in making their decision whether or not to grant an adoption order. The actual hearing may only last for a short time and the decision will be given at the hearing.