There are many ways to find out more about adopting with Gateshead Council. Some people prefer to start by looking at this website or requesting an information pack. Others choose to join us at an information evening or ring to speak to a member of our team. Choose which ever feels right for you and then you will be guided through the following stages.
Step 1 - Initial Enquiry
Contact the adoption team either by phone, online, email or join us at an information evening. You may not be ready to speak to a member of the team yet and this is fine. When you are ready you can ring us to have a more detailed discussion. If appropriate, we will make arrangements to visit you so we can decide if adoption is right for you at this time.
Step 2 - Home visit
Two social workers from Gateshead’s Adoption Team will visit you, at home, to have a detailed discussion about the process, your circumstances and wishes. If it is appropriate for you to continue you will be given a “Registration of Interest Form”. If you would like to proceed with us you will need to complete this form and return it to us. We will write to you within five working days of receiving your form to tell you if we are accepting your “Registration of Interest”.
Step 3 - Stage one
This is the initial training and preparation stage. It will involve you attending a preparation training course with other prospective adopters. During this stage we also carry out various checks and take up references such as health and police checks, personal and employers’ references. This stage usually takes about two months to complete. At the end of Stage 1 we will decide whether we should progress to Stage two. We will hold a meeting with you to discuss this decision.
Step 4 - Stage two
Stage two is about intensive training and assessment. It normally takes about four months and involves a series of meetings in your home. After these meetings a report will be prepared, which you are able to comment on.
Step 5 – The adoption panel
If your application to adopt is successful we will then prepare a report for the Adoption Panel. The report will describe your interests, skills and abilities and help the panel decide if you are suitable to be approved as adoptive parents. The panel is made up of people who all have a connection with adoption, either personally or professionally. You will be invited to join the panel and your social worker will be there to support you. The panel will recommend whether you are to be approved as adopters. If you are not satisfied with their recommendation you can ask for a review of the decision.
Step 6 – Post approval
If you are approved as an adoptive parent or parents, you will be given support during the waiting period until a potential match is identified.