Stage one of the adoption process

The ARC Adoption North East team will help and support you every step of the way and ensure that you are fully involved and engaged in any decisions made throughout your adoption journey.

The adoption process is divided into two stages:

Stage one begins after you have received some general information, an initial visit at your home and ARC Adoption North East are in receipt of your ‘registration of interest’ from you. Stage one should be no longer than two months and is led by you.

A ‘stage one plan’ will be drawn up so you know what is happening at all times throughout the process. You may wish to use this time to begin your own learning programme through research and using online learning materials/articles at a speed which suits you.

During this stage, initial group training takes place; this is our information and counselling course. The information sessions are arranged at times that are suitable to the majority of the group and by negotiation. In order to accommodate the majority of prospective adopters our training takes place over a weekend. The training takes place at ARC Adoption's office in Sunderland and we try to make this as comfortable and welcoming as possible.

You will be fully supported throughout the process and particularly during the more formal initial training at stage one and the intensive training at stage two. The two courses cover the following topics:

  • Attachment, separation, loss, child development and caring for abused children
  • Health issues of adopted children
  • Post adoption contact (Including Social Networking)
  • Identity
  • Legal aspects of adoption
  • Children who require adoption (Be My Parent, Children Who Wait)
  • Assessment process, approval & matching process and support for adopters

The sessions also give you an opportunity to meet with other prospective adopters and also experienced adopters, birth relatives, an adopted adult, a child care social worker and a paediatrician who are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Statutory checks are undertaken at this stage. Three statutory references are taken up (only one of which can be a family member), further supporting references can also be sent, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure is sought, current and previous local authority checks are undertaken and you need to have a medical check carried out within this period.

Employment references are sent to current employers (and also the most recent previous employer if working with children or vulnerable adults). If you are self-employed your accountant will be contacted. For families who already have children their health visitor/school nurse will be contacted along with the educational welfare officer and also the head teacher of the school. For applicants who have previously served in the armed forces a check is undertaken with the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA). Significant previous partners are also contacted alongside any adult children you may have yourself or have parented in a previous relationship.

Stage one ends when the agency receives all of the checks and references and considers that you are suitable to proceed to stage two.

You will be notified of this in writing. If for some reason you are not deemed suitable, a written explanation will be given to you along with a copy of the agency’s complaints procedure.

If we feel that you are suitable to progress to stage two, you will be provided with a wish to proceed form which you need to return to us at ARC Adoption. If you wish to take a break for any reason at this stage we can delay the start of stage two for up to six months.

The next stage in the adoption process is a home visit.

If you would like to contact us to enquire about adoption and the adoption process please call 0191 516 6466 or click the adoption enquiry button below and a member of the ARC Adoption team will contact you as soon as possible. 

Adoption enquiry