How do I apply to adopt?

We are looking for potential adopters from all sections of the community who are able to provide a supportive and stable home for children through to adulthood.

If you are over 21 (there is no upper age limit) you may qualify to adopt a child.

You can adopt if you are:

  • Single
  • Married
  • In a civil partnership
  • An unmarried couple

Can I adopt a child if I smoke?

For health reasons, we are unable to place any child who is under the age of 5 for adoption with smokers.

​The adoption process

Initial steps

Register interest

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Following your initial enquiry, if you decide that you wish to proceed, you will need to complete a registration of interest form.

If this is accepted we can move you onto stage 1 of the approval process.

Stage 1: Checks and preparation

This process takes approximately two months from the submission of the registration of interest form. You will have the same point of contact (a social worker) who will support you throughout this stage.

The key parts of this process include:

  • Attending a one-day training course
  • The adoption team carrying out medical checks, criminal background checks and contacting referees
  • An end of Stage 1 meeting

At this point we make a joint decision on whether to proceed.

Stage 2: Assessment and approval

This stage takes approximately four months and you will have the same point of contact (a social worker) throughout this.

The key parts of this process involve:

  • Ongoing training focusing on adoption issues
  • Meeting with your referees
  • Meeting foster carers and other key people involved in the adoption process
  • Full family assessment looking at all aspects of your life

The assessment (which you can provide input on) is then referred to an independent eight-person panel who will decide if you are approved for adoption.

The matching process

If you are approved, we will then work with you to match you with the right child(ren). You can:

  • Attend an activity day to meet the children looking for adoption
  • View videos and profiles of children looking for adoption
  • Get advice and support on parenting skills

For the adoption to be agreed:

  • You will meet the carers and those involved with the child(ren) you are hoping to adopt
  • The adoption panel will confirm that you can be matched with the child(ren)

We will continue to provide you with support until the adoption is made legal.

Northamptonshire County Council

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