What is adoption?

Adoption is a way of providing new families for children who cannot be brought up by their birth parents or within their birth family.

The granting of an adoption order transfers all legal responsibility and rights to the adoptive parents. Adoption is a lifelong commitment to the child or children who become a full member of the adoptive family.

Who can adopt?

Most people are eligible to adopt.

You must:

  • be over the age of 21
  • show that you can provide a nurturing, stable family environment
  • show that you can afford to look after a child, although you do not have to be particularly well off
  • meet the requirements of the necessary medical, work and personal references and criminal records checks.

It doesn't matter whether:

  • you rent or own your own home
  • you live within or outside the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

The most important thing is that the needs of the child must be considered and prospective adoptive parents are chosen for their ability to meet these needs.

Children in need of adoption

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is currently looking for adopters who can provide a permanent home to the following groups of older children:

  • children from black and minority ethnic groups and with varying cultural and religious backgrounds.
  • sibling groups - if appropriate we always try to place brothers and sisters together in the same family
  • school age children
  • children with a disability.

If you are unsure about whether to apply, please contact the Adoption team and ask to speak to the social worker on duty.

The adoption process

The whole process is focused on finding the right homes for the children who are currently in our care, so understanding the kinds of children you could support is very important.

We look at all aspects of a child's background, religion, language and culture to help ensure that you are a suitable match for each other.

Attend an adoption information session

To find out more about the process with the Royal Borough of Greenwich you will first need to attend an adoption information session to be able to register your interest.

Sign up for an adoption information session

Register your interest

After you attend the information session and you are happy that all your questions have been answered and you wish to pursue your interest in adoption further, you will need to complete a registration of interest form.

Once we have received the registration of interest form, we will make contact and have a detailed telephone conversation with you. We will decide whether to accept or reject your application within five working days.

Stage one - pre-assessment

Once the registration of interest has been accepted, this starts the formal assessment process. This focuses on initial training, preparation and undertaking checks and references to decide whether you are suitable to adopt a child or children.

This stage should be completed within two months and a decision will be made on whether your application will be able to proceed to stage two.

Stage two - assessment

This is the formal assessment phase of the process and it should be completed within four months.

During this time you will be assigned a social worker and they will get to know you and your family and spend time helping you think about what strengths you could bring to adoptive parenting, in order to complete the home study report.

We will be trying to establish that you have the resilience and emotional maturity to be a good parent, and that you have a good support network around you in friends and family.

Completion of assessment

The social worker will gather all of the information together into a prospective adopter's report, which is shared with you and presented to the adoption panel.

The panel will make a recommendation of whether you're suitable to adopt to the adoption agency decision maker (AADM), who will make the final decision.

Matching a child for adoption

If you are considered suitable to adopt, there may be a wait before a child is matched to you.

Your details will be shared with the member boroughs of the South London Adoption Consortium and also with Adoption Match, which is a register operating in England and Wales that has details of all available approved adopters and children who are waiting to be placed.

The crucial part of the matching process is to consider your strengths and abilities in meeting the needs of a child or children, therefore ensuring a successful outcome for any child placed with you.

Once a match has been made

Once the match has been considered by the panel and the adoption agency decision maker, there will a period of introduction before the child moves in with you.

Our principles and objectives

Our annual statement of purpose explains what the Council aims to achieve and how the adoption service is managed.

Download the annual statement of purpose