Adoption

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Who can adopt

Children need parents who can offer them love and support throughout their childhood and beyond. If you believe you can offer one or more children the commitment they require, we would love to hear from you. We welcome enquiries from people over the age of 21, who are UK residents or domiciled in Britain and hold no criminal convictions against children. 

We welcome people of all ages, who are in good health, have energy, patience, able to understand children’s feelings, and see the world from their perspective, a sense of fun, and the motivation to persevere through difficult times.

If this sounds like you, please get in touch using the contact details below, you will be welcomed.

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Before you get started

Adoption is an enormous undertaking for you and the children involved. We understand your need for information and we are committed to making the process as smooth as possible for everyone involved. Our friendly team will support you during the adoption process and for as long after as you require. We work to ensure the future stability and happiness of all our adoptive families.

We recommend that you do as much preparation as possible to find out if adoption is right for you.

First4Adoption offers lots of helpful information and advice, including an interactive step-by-step guide all about the adoption process. Their helpful advisors are also on hand to answer your initial questions.

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Registering an interest

To register an interest in adoption and to request an information pack, please call 0800 3288433 or email to fosteringandadoption@peterborough.gov.uk

After a telephone discussion with a duty social worker, you will be invited to attend an information evening with other people who are interested in adopting.

At the information evening there will be an opportunity to request an individual meeting. During the individual meeting a social worker will visit you at home to discuss with you in more detail what is involved and answer any questions you may have.

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Assessment process

Stage one: References, training and preparing to adopt

You will have a social worker who will work with you and get to know you and what your strengths as an adopter are likely to be. They will support you through the process as you learn more about what adopting is all about.

  • We will take up checks and references with the police, the local authority, your employers (where appropriate).
  • We will ask you to supply us with the details of people who can comment on your suitability to adopt
  • We will ask you to take a medical and complete a self-assessment questionnaire.
  • You will be invited to training designed to support you in thinking about exactly what is involved in adopting children who need new families

Once we have collected all this information we will make a decision, after discussion with you, as to whether to take your application to Stage 2 of the approval process. Your social worker will let you know our decision verbally and in writing.

The Government has designed this two-stage process to ensure that those who enter Stage 2 are in a position to move forward with their application and are likely to be approved as adopters for the kinds of children requiring families.

Stage two: Getting to know you and the adoption panel

In this stage of the approval process a social worker will visit you at home and  talk through with you why you want to adopt, the kind of child you would best be able to care for and your overall strengths and suitability. You will also be invited to attend more detailed training to prepare you for adoption.

Once the assessment is completed, your social worker will write a report for an independent Adoption Panel. The panel is made up of adoption experts and experienced adopters who will consider all the information gathered during the approval process and make a recommendation on your suitability to be an adoptive parent. You will have the opportunity to comment on the report and to attend the panel if you wish.

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Adoption searches

Once you are approved to adopt, we will begin the search for a child whose needs you can meet. 

We will be there for you during the period where you are getting to know the child who has been identified as a possible match for your family and help you prepare to bring him or her home. You will meet the Family Finder and the child’s social worker so you can find out more about him or her - it is important that you feel positive about the child and also that the child’s social worker feels that you would be well placed to care for the child. Detailed information is exchanged before decisions are made.

Children may be found via:

  • Children for whom Peterborough Local Authority are seeking adopters
  • Linkmaker – a website enabling matching children to their adoptive parents
  • Be My Parent (a newsletter published by British Association for Adoption and Fostering)
  • Adoption UK
  • Direct referrals to Peterborough from other Local Authorities

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Further support for adoptive families

We offer continuous support to our adoptive families. Our adoption support team specialise in working with adoptive families and children and you are welcome to contact us at any time while your child or children are growing up.

You can speak to a duty worker by calling 0800 3288433 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).

You may find it helpful to attend one of our free support groups for adopters, these include:

  • Stay and play sessions 
  • Adoptive parents support group
  • An adopter led support group
  • Activities/Events throughout the year

Specialist services, interventions and educational support

Our Adoption Support Team is very experienced and can help work with you and your family in accessing specialist services, interventions and educational support your family if required. These include interventions such as Therapeutic Parenting, Theraplay, Family Therapy in addition to Creative Therapies, such as Art Therapy, Music Therapy and Drama Therapy. This can be funded through the Adoption Support fund - a national fund, we can apply on your behalf based on your families' adoption support needs.

Support groups and training

We also run support groups and a training programme which includes therapeutic parenting approaches.  The training opportunities will provide you with a 'toolkit' of strategies to encourage positive behaviour.  It also gives adoptive families a chance to meet others in a similar situation.

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Intermediary services for adopted adults and their birth relatives

We provide an intermediary service for adopted adults and birth relatives of adopted adults who live within the Peterborough local authority area, please call 0800 3288433 or email fosteringandadoption@peterborough.gov.uk for more information.

Accessing your birth/adoption records

Your birth record is held by the General Registry Office (GRO) and is made up of the information entered onto your original birth certificate. To apply for a copy of your birth registration details you will need to contact:

  • The General Registrar, Home Office, Passport & Identity Service on 0300 123 1837 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. Saturday 9am to 4pm).
  • Or apply online at Gov.uk

If you were adopted before 12 November 1975, the GRO will send the information they hold directly to the Adoption Agency (in this case Peterborough City Council as your local authority registered adoption agency) and you are required to meet with an Adoption Support Worker to receive this information. This is because before 1975 promises of complete secrecy were made to birth and adoptive families and it was not expected that people would ever access information about their adoption. The Adoption Act 1976, which allows adopted adults to gain information about their adoption was made “retrospective”, that is, it affected people adopted before 12 November 1975 as well as after.

Once this information is received, your adoption support worker will arrange to meet you to share the information held.

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