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There are numerous adoption agencies and it can be confusing but basically they fall into two categories – Local Authorities and Voluntary Agencies. All of these recruit adopters but only the Local Authorities have children in their care. Voluntary Agencies place children from all over the country with adopters in their area. It is sometimes helpful to discuss the differences and how that might affect you with someone who is experienced in this type of work. For this reason, the Fertility Service and Assisted Conception Unit has an Adoption Advisor who can give you independent advice.
There are various channels you can choose when considering Adoption. We are in partnership with both Ruth Parker and Calderdale Adoption Team. You may click on the links to the right of this page to find out more about their services.
Many children who are adopted continue to have some level of contact with a birth relative. It is common for there to be an exchange of written information via the adoption agency. There will be unique arrangements for each child based on their needs and this may involve some ongoing direct contact with a member of their birth family particularly brothers and sisters who may be placed elsewhere. Sometimes there may be direct contact with grandparents or even birth parents if this is felt to be in the best interests of the child.
Children should be brought up with awareness that they were adopted. There is an expectation that adopters will share information with their child about their family of origin and you will be given this information in a Life Story Book which will have been prepared for your child by the Social Worker.
Adoption agencies have a duty to provide post adoption support to you and your child.
The recommended length of time from your formal application to be assessed and to your adoption panel meeting is approximately 6 months according to guidance for England under the Adoption Act 2002. In some cases it can take longer but your agency should keep you informed during every stage of the process. Once you are approved, the process of matching you with a child can take from a couple of weeks to several months. Agencies use all the resources at their disposal to speed up this process however you need to be aware that it can take time to find the right child for you and you will need to be patient.