How to apply

Step 1 – Request an information pack

Our comprehensive information pack will provide you with everything you need to know about the adoption process and will help you decide whether adoption is right for you.

To request an information pack email

Step 2 – Contact the initial enquiries team

If you would like to continue with the adoption process after reading the information pack, please email your completed contact form to

Our friendly initial enquiries team will then arrange for you to complete an initial enquiry form (which takes around 15 to 20 minutes) and will find a consultation evening for you to attend.

Step 3 – Attend a consultation evening

Consultation evenings take place across Bexley, Kent and Medway every month.

They last about 1 and a half hours and will give you an opportunity to hear from someone who has already adopted.  You'll also get some one-to-one time with an adoption social worker, who will answer any questions you have about whether it's the right time for you to adopt.

Step 4 – Register your interest

If you'd still like to adopt after the consultation evening, contact us again on 03000 422373 to request a registration of interest form.

Complete, sign and return the form to us and we'll let you know whether it has been accepted within 5 working days.

Step 5 – Stage one assessment

Once your registration of interest has been accepted, you will start the first round of checks and preparations which is stage one of the assessment process.

This stage is adopter-led  and you will be provided with self-assessment forms, 3 days training and access to eLearning.

Once you have successfully completed all parts of the stage one assessment, you will receive a letter inviting you to stage two.

Step 6 – Stage two assessment

Stage two is the home study assessment. You will be allocated a social worker who will visit you at home to find out about your family background, lifestyle, your support network and your strengths and weaknesses.

Your social worker will then write a report called a Prospective Adopters Report (PAR) which you will be able to read and comment on.

As part of this assessment you will need to attend stage two adoption preparation group sessions. These will be run over 2 days and will give you the opportunity to:

  • learn more about children’s needs
  • learn strategies for parenting adopted children
  • meet other potential adopters.

Step 7 – The adoption panel

Once the report is complete, your social worker will present your recommendation of adopter approval to our adoption panel.

The adoption panel is a legal requirement of adoption agencies in England and Wales and has responsibility for recommending whether applicants should be approved as adopters.

The Head of the Adoption Partnership South East will make the final decision about whether you become an approved adopter or not.

Step 8 – Matching you with a child

Once you've been approved as an adopter, we will then try to match you with a suitable child.

We'll speak to you about any child that has been identified as a possible match, but It can take some time to identify an appropriate match.

All matches are presented to our adoption panel and the match is then formally agreed by a senior manager from the children’s service.

Step 9 - Placement

Once a match has been agreed, a child will be placed with you in a planned move.

Step 10 - Adoption order

With our support, you can apply for an adoption order once a child has been with you for 10 weeks. Once an adoption order is made, you have full legal parental responsibility for the child and the child will take your surname.