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8.2 Placement for Adoption

Contents

  1. Identification of Adoptive Parents
  2. Approval of Matching with Prospective Adopters
  3. Planning the Placement 
  4. The Placement
  5. Children Approved for Adoption for Whom no Placement has been Identified
  6. Adoptive Placements Abroad


1. Identification of Adoptive Parents

See also Early Permanence Placements / Fostering for Adoption Procedure.

The adoption agency has a duty to identify prospective adopters as soon as reasonably practicable. Family finding should begin as soon as adoption is under consideration, and before the Agency Decision Maker decides that the child should be placed for adoption or a Placement Order is made.

In determining whether a prospective adopter may be suitable to adopt the child, an assessment must be made of the ability of the prospective adopter to meet the needs of the child throughout childhood.

Consideration must be given as to whether there are suitable carers available under the Early Permanence Placements / Fostering for Adoption Procedure.

The overall time-scale for matching a child with a prospective adoptive family is:

  • The match is to be identified, recommended by the Adoption Panel and approved within 6 months of the agency decision that the child is suitable to be placed for adoption, except in the following cases:
    • Where a parent requests adoption for a child of less than six months of age, the match is to be identified, recommended by the Adoption Panel and approved within 3 months of the agency decision that adoption should be the plan for the child.

The timing of the start of the family finding will depend on the legal position and be agreed by the child's social worker and the linked family finding adoption social worker.

When a plan for adoption has been agreed by the Agency Decision Maker, the child's social worker and their manager should meet with the Service Manager Adoption to agree the family finding process.

This meeting will be minuted and a copy sent to the IRO. It will address the following issues:

  1. The level of support to be provided to the child's social worker by the adoption team and the worker in the adoption team that will provide this support; If the social worker is experienced in adoption work, the adoption family finding worker will act just in an advisory capacity. If the social worker has little or no experience of adoption, the adoption family finding worker will work closely alongside the social worker throughout the family finding process;
  2. The preparation of the child's profile and to identify any other information about the child, which is needed in order to identify a suitable family;
  3. To consider how the child may be involved in and express views about the process of finding a family;
  4. To discuss parental involvement in the placement process (and parental consent to advertising, if applicable);
  5. To agree that the social worker will keep Legal Services informed of developments and where appropriate seek the Court's leave to advertise while Court proceedings are on-going. If required, the social worker should obtain for court proceedings details of families available on the National Adoption Register (Adoption Match) during the Care Proceedings. Permission must be sought from court to do this, as without leave of court or a Placement Order, the Adoption Match / One Adoption Yorkshire and Humber can only be searched with basic details such adopters approved for as gender and age of child;
  6. To consider whether or not the child's current carer would be appropriate as a prospective permanent placement;
  7. To plan the family finding work, giving consideration to the availability of suitable One Adoption Yorkshire and Humber families. If there are no suitable families who have been approved with One Adoption, in the Consortium, the child's details should be placed on the Adoption Register (Adoption Match). A child’s details can only be sent to Adoption Match and One Adoption once a child is made subject to a Placement Order or if leave of court has been granted;
  8. To agree time-scales for the family finding work including the holding of progress meetings. A further meeting will be set up after 2 months if a match has not been found, which will look at if any update is needed of the Child Permanence Report (CPR) or profile. Any forthcoming National Exchange events will also be considered at this time;
  9. A further meeting will be set up at the point of identifying a family or where more than one family is being considered. This meeting will look at the next steps including the Life Appreciation Day and who is best placed to visit the prospective adopters;
  10. The child's social worker and the current foster carer will complete the child's profile, supported by the family finding adoption social worker, identifying the child's needs in relation to a new family, including ethnicity, culture, religion, language, contact with birth family and existing networks, education, health, other special needs and location, and the qualities required in the adoptive family, based on the child's identified placement needs. The profile should identify which needs are essential and which preferred. (Note: If the prospective adopter can meet most of the child’s needs, the social worker must not delay placing a child with the prospective adopter because they are single, older than other adopters or does not share the child’s racial or cultural background);
  11. Where foster carers express an interest in adopting a child placed with them, see the Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters Procedure, Fast-Track Procedure for Approved Foster Carers and Previous Adopters Who Wish to Adopt;
  12. From the list provided by the One Adoption/Adoption Match administrators, prospective adopters’ social workers should be contacted for a preliminary discussion about a potential match. If there is a delay in making phone contact, send the child's profile by secure email and ask the prospective adopter's social worker to respond if they feel there may be a potential match;
  13. If there is interest from both agencies in proceeding, request the Prospective Adopter Report (PAR) and send the Child Permanence Report (CPR) via secure e-mail or through post (recorded mail);
  14. In reading a Prospective Adopter Report (PAR) to identify a suitable family or to shortlist families (this will depend on the number of potential matches available), issues to cover include:
    • Any safeguarding issues? BMI and all health/medical issues (to include referrals for counselling, psychiatrist involvement and any therapeutic intervention either as a couple or as an individual);
    • Do the family have any pets? What are they? Any issues relating to pets (request pet questionnaires completed if necessary);
    • Are they currently considering any other child/ren? Are there any other children in the family? - Are they birth children/adopted children? If so, how old are they?
    • Where do they live? Have they any links with York?
    • Child care experience/Support networks;
    • Plans for adoption leave/ Support offered by agency/ Financial stability.

      If there are any issues with the Prospective Adopters Report the prospective adopter's social worker should be asked for clarification;
  15. If there is more than one potential match, a meeting should be held with the child’s social worker, their manager, the adoption social worker and the adoption service manager to determine which family best meets the child's needs and, if a child is over 3, whether more than one family should be visited. The meeting should agree who are the most appropriate people to undertake this visit. This will depend on the placement experience of the social worker/ the child’s relationship with the foster carer etc. The meeting should also agree issues to be covered during the visit;
  16. If a family is identified to visit, the adopter’s profile should be shared with the foster carers and  details regarding family lifestyle that will impact on the child, to gain the foster carer’ s views on this, but personal history etc gathered from the PAR must not be shared (the PAR must not be shared).

Where there are potentially families indicating an interest, the child's social worker will visit accompanied by their Service manager or the family finding social worker from the adoption team.

  • Feedback must be given to the prospective adopter's social worker in all instances, as to why a decision made to proceed or not with the family.  All decisions, and the reasons for these, must be recorded on the child's adoption file;
  • The foster carer's supervising social worker should be kept up to date with the family finding process throughout. This will enable the supervising social worker to share some information with the foster carers about how the process is progressing and alleviate any anxieties the foster carers may have. No identifying information about prospective adopters is to be shared at this stage.

If a suitable family is identified the child's social worker, their manager and the adoption Service Manager and the family finding adoption social worker will meet. The purpose of the meeting is to consider:

  • The preparation of the child, the present carers and the prospective adopters for the proposed placement, including the sharing of information with the prospective adopters; setting up a Life Appreciation Day;
  • The preparation of the birth family and the information to be given;
  • The allocation of preparatory tasks for the introductory work;
  • The child's social worker should contact the Panel Administrator to arrange a date for the Adoption Panel to consider the proposed placement and inform the prospective adopter's social worker;
  • All necessary papers regarding the prospective adopter's for matching panel should be requested from the prospective adopter's social worker:
    • Signed copy of the Prospective Adopters Report (updated if appropriate);
    • Minutes of the Adoption panel recommending approval and copy of agency decision;
    • AH report/s (medicals) and any medical updates. The prospective adopter’s social worker should be asked to send these directly to York’s Medical Adviser to Panel (Dr Robin Ball/Liz Baker at York District Hospital), not via the Panel Administrator.
  • The supervising social worker for the foster carers should support them to complete an updated Foster Carer’s Report and an All About Me Book;
  • Arrangements should made for the child's social worker to meet with the prospective adopters' link worker to discuss:
    • The proposed Adoption Support Plan and any proposed contact arrangements;
    • The designated roles and responsibilities for completing the Adoption Placement Report and the Adoption Support Plan.

Ethnicity must not be placed above everything else when identifying potential adopters for children.

It is unacceptable for a child to be denied adoptive parents solely on the grounds that the child and prospective adopter do not share the same racial or cultural background.

If a prospective adopter can meet most of the child's needs, but, for example they do not share the child's racial or cultural background, the core issue is what qualities, experiences and attributes the prospective adopter can draw on and their level of understanding of the discrimination and racism the child may be confronted with when growing up at both an individual and institutional level. A prospective adopter can be matched with a child with whom they do not share the same ethnicity, if they can respect, reflect or actively develop a child’s racial identity from the point they are matched and as they develop throughout their childhood. The prospective adopter needs to demonstrate that they fully understand that having a child from a different ethnic group will present a number of challenges, not least that there may be visible differences that can affect a child’s self-esteem and increase their possible feelings of difference. For example, the child may have to deal with questions from their peers about why they are ‘different’ to their family.

With effect from July 2014, by virtue of the Children and Families Act 2014, adoption agencies no longer have to give due consideration to a child’s religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background when matching a child and prospective adopters.

When a child has developed a sense of his or her culture or religion, and where he or she has already begun to speak a language other than English, it is important to find prospective adopters who, while not necessarily sharing any of these, are willing and able to help the child develop these important elements of their future identity.

Where a child is very young, particularly when still in infancy, it is important not to make assumptions about religion, culture or language A sense of one’s culture is developed over time and these issues can be explored with the child as he or she grows up. A sensitive adoptive parent will encourage the child, if he or she wishes to do so, to understand these aspects of their birth parents’ background. All prospective adopters should help children placed with them to understand and appreciate their religion, linguistic or cultural background, promoting a positive image of these by or example, celebrating cultural or religious festivals. Prospective adopters should be able to access support, education and training to strengthen their skills together with their knowledge and understanding of the child’s birth heritage, to help the child develop a healthy sense of identity.

The child's social worker will provide the selected prospective adopters with full information on the child, including the Child's Permanence Report, the child's profile, a full description of the birth family including any siblings and the reasons for any decision to place the child separately, the child's medical history (including the birth details), the carer's report on the child, the current school reports and the child's PEP.  The items provided should be clearly recorded and the prospective adopters should be asked to sign confirmation of receipt of this information.

A Life Appreciation Day should be arranged for the prospective adopters to meet with the child's social worker, foster carer and others involved with the child to give any further information to them and ensure they have a clear picture of the child and understand fully the implications of the information they have received. The prospective adopters should have the opportunity to meet with the Medical Adviser and any other specialists involved with the child.

Where foster carers express an interest in adopting a child they are looking after, and there is an adoption plan for the child, the family finder will talk to them about the implications of adoption and will convene a Matching Meeting involving the child's social worker, his or her line manager and the foster carers' supervising social worker (with his or her line manager). The chair of the meeting will be the Adoption Service Manager or his/her nominee. If the outcome of the meeting is that the foster carers appear to be able to meet the child's essential needs, the case will be allocated for an assessment of the foster carers as adopters to proceed (see Assessment and Approval of Adoptive Adopters Procedure).

If they are approved as adopters, the requirements set out in Section 2, Approval of Matching with Prospective Adopters as to the approval of the matching and in Section 4, The Placement as to the provision of information and notification of the placement must be followed.

If the outcome of the meeting is that the foster carers are not able to meet the child's essential needs, the recruitment of adopters as set out in the preceding and following paragraphs of this chapter will apply. The foster carers' supervising worker will provide support and counselling to the foster carers as appropriate.

If the foster carers decide to proceed with an application to adopt the child without the agreement of the agency, the procedure set out in Non-Agency Adoptions will apply.

Once a suitable match has been identified, the child's social worker and the prospective adopters' link worker should prepare an Adoption Placement Report with a proposed Adoption Support Plan giving details of the family recommended, evaluating how this family may meet the child's needs and setting out the proposed adoption support services to be offered to the child, adoptive family and birth family. This will include the support to be provided to the prospective adopters to promote the child's educational achievements and participation in leisure activities; to help the child develop positive relationships; and to manage any challenging behaviour which the child may display, The support plan will also cover arrangements for contact including how to deal with unauthorised or unmediated contact through online social networking sites. For further information, please see Adoption Support Procedure. Any proposal for financial support must first be agreed by the adoption service manager before any discussion with prospective adopters.

The Adoption Placement Report must be written by a qualified social worker with suitable experience (see Adoption Panel Procedure) and must include the prospective adopter's views on the proposed placement, contact arrangements (including meeting with the birth parents), adoption support and any proposed restrictions on their exercise of Parental Responsibility after the placement.

The child's social worker, the prospective adopters' link worker and their respective managers should sign the documents.

The child's social worker will keep the parents and child informed of progress (unless the parent has stated that he or she do not wish to be kept informed).

The child's social worker should provide a copy of the Adoption Placement Report to the prospective adopters and give 10 working days to them to submit any written comments on its contents, or ask them to sign a disclaimer if they do not require the full 10 working days. A copy of the signed disclaimer should be held on the child's Adoption Case Record.

The child’s social worker should leased with the IRO to identify a provisional date for a Pre placement planning meeting.


2. Approval of Matching with Prospective Adopters

The overall time-scale for matching a child with a prospective adoptive family is:

  • The match is to be recommended by the Adoption Panel within 6 months of the agency decision that the child should be placed for adoption, except in the following cases:
    • Where a parent requests adoption for a child of less than six months of age, the match is to be recommended by the Adoption Panel within 3 months of the agency decision that the child should be placed for adoption.

Where these timescales are not met, the Adoption Panel should record the reasons.

Presentation to the Adoption Panel

The child's social worker must present the following reports to the Adoption Panel:

  1. The Child's Permanence Report (with an update medical report no more than 6 months old). The Child Permanence Report must also be updated to reflect changes and development in the child's life unless the plan was presented to Panel within the last 3 months;
  2. The Prospective Adopter's Report, updated as necessary, on the identified prospective adopters and a recent medical (in the last 2 years);
  3. Minutes of the Panel that recommended approval of the prospective adopter;
  4. The Adoption Placement Report;
  5. The proposed Adoption Support Plan;
  6. The proposals regarding post-placement and post-adoption contact;
  7. The views of the prospective adopters on the Prospective Adopter's Report and the proposed contact arrangements.

The child's social worker will send the relevant reports to the Panel Administrator at least 10 working days before the date of the Adoption Panel.

The Panel Administrator will arrange for the Panel minutes in relation to the recommendations that the plan for the child should be adoption to be circulated to Panel members, with the reports.

The child's social worker, and the prospective adopters' link worker will attend the Adoption Panel during consideration of the matter. Where a Children's Guardian has been appointed, consideration should be given to inviting the Children's Guardian to the Panel during consideration of this item.

The Adoption Panel's recommendation as to whether the child should be placed for adoption with the particular prospective adopters will be recorded in writing, together with reasons, in the Panel's minutes.  The Panel must also consider and may give advice in relation to the proposed adoption support, the proposed arrangements for contact and any proposed restrictions on the exercise of Parental Responsibility by the prospective adopters and/or the birth parents.  A copy of the relevant minute must be placed on the child's and the prospective adopters' Adoption Case Records.

The prospective adopters' link worker will convey the Panel's recommendation orally to the prospective adopters within 24 hours.

After the Panel has considered the reports and made a written recommendation, the minute and reports considered by the Panel will be sent to the Agency Decision Maker who will make a decision based on this information within 7 working days of receiving the final draft of the the Panel minutes. The decision will be recorded in writing.

If the Panel has given advice in relation to adoption support, proposed contact and/or the exercise of Parental Responsibility by the prospective adopters and/or the birth parents, the Agency Decision Maker may express a view on such advice.

Where the Agency Decision Maker is minded to disagree with the Panel recommendation, he/she must first discuss the case with another senior officer with relevant experience, who must not be a Panel member.  This discussion must be recorded and placed on the child's and the prospective adopter's Adoption Case Record.

The child's social worker will convey the decision orally to the parents within 2 working days.

The prospective adopters' link worker will convey the decision orally to the prospective adopters within 2 working days.

The Panel Administrator will prepare written notification of the decision to be signed by the Agency Decision Maker and once signed, sent to the child's social worker for sending by recorded or hand delivery to the parents within 5 working days.

The Panel Administrator will send the written notification, signed by the Agency Decision Maker, to the prospective adopters' link worker for sending to the adopters within 5 working days. Copies of this letter will also be sent to the child's social worker.

The a family finding adoption social worker will Set up case file for the prospective adopters The file will hold all information on the adopters received from the other agency. This will include minutes of their approving panel, and copies of adopter’s medicals provided for panel medical adviser, alongside all paperwork from York.

They will Send claim forms for the adoption placement grant and, if agreed with Adoption Service Manager, assessment for on-going financial support forms to the prospective adopter(s) and complete the OLA notification form including contact names and full postal addresses. They will complete matching certificate, including the proposed placement date of the child with the adoptive family and send to the adopters.


3. Planning the Placement

Once the matching has been approved and the legal position allows it, the child's social worker will convene a Placement Planning Meeting to draw up an Adoption Placement Plan, confirming the details of the introductions, placement and post-placement work. The child's Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) will chair the meeting. Prior to this meeting taking place the child's social worker will complete a draft adoption placement plan, including a plan for introductions and send this in advance to the child's IRO.

The CoramBAAF Form H1 must be sent in advance to the Service Manager Adoption for completion.

The purpose of the first Placement Planning Meeting is to draw up a proposed Adoption Placement Plan.  The Adoption Placement Plan should include:

  • Whether the placement is to be made under a Placement Order or with parental consent;
  • The proposed date of the placement, who will be present when the placement takes place;
  • The Adoption Support Plan including the support to be provided to the prospective adopters to promote the child's educational achievements and participation in leisure activities; to help the child develop positive relationships; and to manage any challenging behaviour which the child may display;
  • Whether and how the exercise of Parental Responsibility by the prospective adopters and/or the birth parents is to be restricted, including the delegation of decision making to the prospective adopters about the child's health needs and under what circumstances consent to medical treatment needs to be obtained;
  • The arrangements for the monitoring and supervision of the placement (including contact details of key support staff during office hours and out of hours);
  • The date when the life story book and any Later Life letters will be passed to the prospective adopters (usually within 10 working days of the adoption ceremony, i.e. the ceremony to celebrate the making of the adoption order);
  • The date and arrangements for the first Adoption Review;
  • Any post-placement contact between the child and members of his or her birth family and/or the child and the foster carers; and
  • Clarification of who will make the necessary notifications of the placement (see Section 4, The Placement).

It will also set out the steps required leading up to the child's placement with the prospective adopters, including the first meeting between the child and the prospective adoptive family, the programme of and detailed arrangements for their introductions (dates, times, venues, transport and accommodation), the reimbursement of any expenses of the introductions, any other financial assistance to enable the placement to occur and, where appropriate, a meeting between the parents and the prospective adopters.

As part of the preparation of the child for the adoptive placement, information will be provided to ensure that s/he has a proper understanding about the accommodation and others living at the prospective adoptive home, the contact arrangements with the birth family and how to contact his or her social worker.

The Adoption Placement Plan will also address when the prospective adopters will be supplied with all relevant written information about the child and who will provide it (for a full list of information to be supplied - see Section 4, The Placement).

The child's social worker must ascertain the child's views and report these to the meetings.

Those attending Placement Planning Meetings will be the child's social worker, his/her manager as appropriate, the foster carers, the foster carers' supervising social worker, the family finding adoption social worker,  the prospective adopters and their link worker, and any other worker engaged in direct work with the child. The meeting will be chaired by the child’s IRO.

The child's first meeting with the prospective adopters should be on the child's familiar territory (unless the child is older and requests otherwise) and a social worker should be present. The pattern of introductory visits thereafter will depend on the child's age, needs and stage of development but consideration will be given to a gradual introductory programme involving visits increasing in length, progressing to an overnight stay, a weekend stay and in exceptional circumstances with an older child, a longer period prior to the final move. 

The child's social worker will be responsible for coordinating Placement Planning Meetings. However, all workers involved must be clear about their respective roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the plan, and what should happen in the event of difficulties. Changes to the Adoption Placement Plan can only be made with the agreement of the Chair of the meeting and must be notified to the prospective adopters in writing.

The child's social worker is expected to be in regular and frequent contact with the child, foster carer and prospective adopter during the period of the introductions and all involved share information with each other on a regular basis, at the frequency identified at the Placement Planning Meetings. The Adoption Placement Plan will then be reviewed at an agreed date. The Plan will identify the named workers and when they will have contact with the child.

The child's social worker will advise the parents of the plan whilst maintaining the confidentiality of the placement (unless the parent has stated that he or she does not wish to be kept informed).

At the mid-point of the introductions, a second Placement Planning Meeting will be held, at which the following areas will be addressed:

  1. The progress of the introductions - has the necessary action identified at the previous meeting been taken, and the plan been followed? - If not, why not?
  2. The views of each participant as to the above;
  3. The identification of the positives;
  4. The identification of any difficulties;
  5. The development of the next stage of the plan;
  6. The finalisation of the arrangements for the placement.

A further meeting can be called by any of the parties if issues of concern arise. 

All Placement Planning Meetings should have the same people invited and take place at a venue accessible to all parties.

Where the child is to be adopted by his or her foster carers, whilst there will be no need for a plan for introductions, the social worker should still convene a Placement Planning Meeting, in order to draw up the Adoption Placement Plan to cover the areas other than introductions as set out above.

A copy of the final Adoption Placement Plan, signed by the child's social worker, should be given to the prospective adopters, their link worker and the child's Independent Reviewing Officer. The prospective adopters must confirm in writing that they wish the placement to proceed and that they agree to the Adoption Placement Plan. A copy must be retained on the child's Adoption Case Record.

Where contact is part of the adoption plan, post box agreements must be signed by the birth parents and the prospective adoptive parents. The agreements must specify the form and timing of the contact and the arrangements for putting the contact in place. The agreements must also specify that the arrangements may change dependent upon the wishes of the child. The agreement should also include how the prospective adopters should deal with unauthorised or unmediated contact through online social networking sites. All parties must sign and retain copies of the agreement. The parent's copy should not reveal any identifying information about the placement.

If the Adoption Placement Plan is varied or terminated, the child must be informed in a timely and age appropriate way.

Where the Adoption Placement Plan is terminated, the parents must be informed (unless the parent has stated that he or she does not wish to be kept informed.)

If the Adoption Placement Plan is terminated, the Adoption Service Manager should consider the best way to conduct a disruption meeting - see Disruption of Adoptive Placement Procedure.

In the event of the placement's termination, direct work will be undertaken with the child to make sense of the reasons why the placement broke down and to prepare the child for any future placement.

In this event, the child's social worker must re-start the process of identifying a suitable prospective adoptive family or amend the plan for the child (depending on the outcome of the Disruption Meeting).


4.  The Placement

Once the matching of the child has been approved, the adoption agency has authority to place the child (either through a Placement Order or Parental Consent), the plan of introductions has been successfully completed and the Adoption Placement Plan has been completed and signed by all parties, the placement can go ahead. A social worker must be present when the placement takes place.

Prior to the placement, the child's social worker must ensure that all the following information/items have been provided to the prospective adopters:

  1. Authority to consent to medical and dental treatment;
  2. The parent-held Child Health Record;
  3. Any letters, photographs or mementos from the birth family, including a 'Later in Life' letter from the birth parent if possible, and the Life Story Book;
  4. The child's birth certificate;
  5. The child's passport (if applicable);
  6. A copy of the Care Order (if applicable), Placement Order (if applicable) and any other Court Orders that exist;
  7. A copy of the Parental Consent to the Placement and Advance Consent to Adoption (if applicable);
  8. A written plan of the contact arrangements pre and post adoption with the birth parents and any previous carers;
  9. The Adoption Support Plan;
  10. The Adoption Placement Plan including arrangements for support and visits by the child's social worker and their own social worker;
  11. Any other relevant information, including specialist reports (subject to the author's consent).

The prospective adopters should be asked to sign confirmation of receipt.  Where the information/items are provided at different times, the prospective adopters must sign and date confirmation of receipt on each occasion.

Prior to the placement, notification must be sent by the worker identified in the Adoption Placement Plan to the present and new GP, the local authority (where the adoptive family live outside the borough), the relevant Health Trust and, if the child is at nursery or of school age, the relevant local education authority (with information about the child's education history and whether the child has special needs). These notifications are still required where the prospective adopters were previously the child's foster carers.

Prior to the placement, the Medical Adviser should be requested to send a medical report on the child to the child's new GP. 

Where the child's foster carers are the prospective adopters, the adoption service must confirm in writing to them the date from which the placement becomes an adoptive placement.

The child's social worker must inform the parents of the date of the placement, unless the parents have stated that they do not wish to be kept informed.  No identifying information about the placement should be conveyed to birth parents or relatives. 

The child's social worker should ensure the date of the placement is recorded, so that the records identifies that the child is placed for adoption but does not show the placement address.

The child's social worker will inform the Service Manager Adoption of the date of the placement as soon as it is made and inform the relevant finance officer where the Adoption Support Plan includes financial support so that payments can start.


5. Children Approved for Adoption for Whom no Placement has been Identified

The child will be the subject of regular Adoption Reviews, chaired by an Independent Reviewing Officer - see Adoption Reviews Procedure.

The outcome of any review should be notified to the child (if old enough), the birth parents (in appropriate cases) and any other relevant person.


6. Adoptive Placements Abroad

Where an adoptive placement outside the UK appears to be a viable option, and consultation with the child (if old enough) supports this, the proposal must be considered at a child's Children and Young People in Care Review before becoming part of the child's Care Plan.

The child may be considered for an adoptive placement with known prospective adopters in which case it will be for the adoption agency to satisfy itself that the prospective adopters are suitable to adopt the child. Otherwise, the child may be referred to the Department for Education for a suitable linking to be identified (see below).

In either circumstance, the case must be referred to the Adoption Panel in accordance with Section 1, Identification of Adoptive Parents, of this procedure, seeking a formal recommendation that adoption outside the UK is in the best interests of the child. The Child's Permanence Report must include an assessment of the possibility of placing the child for adoption in the British Isles and consideration of whether adoption of the child by a person in a particular country would be in the best interests of the child.

The Agency Decision Maker must consider the recommendation and decide whether the child should be placed for adoption overseas. The notification to the child (if old enough) and the parents must include an explanation of the placement possibilities in the British Isles and abroad.

Where a decision is made to pursue the option of placement overseas, the child's social worker should consult with Legal Services about the legal process, and seek the approval of the Designated Manager (Placement Orders) to an application for a Placement Order.

Where no Prospective Adopters have been Identified

Where such a decision is made to place the child overseas, the child's social worker must notify the Department for Education of the following:

  1. The child's file reference number;
  2. The child's name;
  3. The child's date of birth;
  4. The gender of the child;
  5. The reasons why the decision has been made that adoption outside the UK may be suitable for the child;
  6. The date of any Placement Order.

The Department for Education maintains a list of children waiting for inter country adoption.

If a decision is made after the child's name is placed on the list that an overseas adoptive placement is no longer appropriate, the child's social worker must inform the Department for Education so that the child's details are removed from the list.

Where the Department for Education receive an application from a foreign country, it will check that the prospective adopters have been assessed as eligible and suitable, and that they meet the age requirement of the UK law, and if so, consider whether there are children of the age and gender to match the prospective adopters' approval.

Where there are children on the list who appear, on the face of it, to match the prospective adopters, the Department for Education will send the relevant papers on the prospective adopters to the local authority looking after the child.

Upon receipt of the papers, the child's social worker in conjunction with the Adoption Service will consider whether the prospective adopters would meet the child's needs.  Where necessary, additional information should be requested from the overseas authority via the Department for Education.

Where it is decided that the prospective adopters are not suitable, the Department for Education should be notified and the papers returned.

Where it is decided that the prospective adopters are suitable, the Department for Education should be notified and the proposed match referred to the Adoption Panel for consideration in accordance with the usual procedure.  Included in the papers to be presented to the Panel must be the report on the prospective adopters by the foreign authority.

The child's social worker must notify the Department for Education of the decision made.

Where the decision is to proceed with the placement, the child's social worker must send the Child’s Permanence Report, together with any Placement Order and a recent photograph of the child, to the Department for Education for onward transmission to the overseas authority and the prospective adopters.

Where the prospective adopters decide to go ahead with the placement, they will be required to travel to meet the child.

The matching procedures will then apply as for any other potential placement.

Placement Planning Meetings should be convened in accordance with the usual procedure (see Section 3, Planning the Placement) to plan the prospective adopters' first meeting with the child, introductions and where the placement goes ahead, regular reports should be required from the relevant overseas authority after the placement.

If the prospective adopters still wish to go ahead and the Placement Planning Meeting confirms that the placement meets the child's needs, the child's social worker must inform the Department for Education, who will contact the overseas authority to confirm that they are content for the placement to go ahead and that the child will be permitted to enter and reside permanently.  In these circumstances, the Department for Education will enter the necessary agreement with the overseas authority.

The child's social worker can then arrange for the placement to go ahead.

The prospective adopters will need to seek independent legal advice about the need to apply for a Convention Adoption Order in the UK (which will require the child to be with the adopters for at least 6 months prior to the application) or a Section 84 Order from the High Court granting them Parental Responsibility to take the child outside the UK for the purposes of adoption (which will require the child to be with the adopters for at least 10 weeks prior to the application).  In either case, the Court will require a social worker's report.

The prospective adopters will need to arrange for the foreign authority to monitor the placement as required by the Placement Planning Meeting.

Where Prospective Adopters have been identified

It will be for the adoption agency to satisfy itself that the prospective adopters are suitable to adopt the child.  The assessment should usually be carried out in the prospective adopters' country and then sent to the adoption agency in the same way as for any other prospective adopter.

The matching procedures will then apply as for any other potential placement.

Placement Planning Meetings should be convened in accordance with the usual placement procedures (see Section 3, Planning the Placement) to plan the prospective adopters' first meeting with the child, introductions and where the placement goes ahead, regular reports should be required from the relevant overseas authority after the placement.

The prospective adopters will need to seek independent legal advice about the need to apply for a Section 84 Order from the High Court granting them parental responsibility to take the child outside the UK for the purposes of adoption (which will require the child to be with the adopters for at least 10 weeks prior to the application).  Where such an application is made, the Court will require a social worker's report.

The child's social worker will need to arrange for the foreign authority to monitor the placement as required by the Placement Planning Meeting. 

End