Adoption Process

The Adoption Process

Initial enquiry and initial visit

When you initially contact us we'll have a chat with you about the adoption process and tell you a bit more about the children who need permanent families. We'll give you lots of information, answer your questions and send you our information pack. We'll also arrange to visit you in your home for further discussions.

Stage 1 - Registration and checks

After registering your interest with us you will move into stage 1 which is all about getting to know you further. We'll allocate you a social worker who will take you through the process. At this stage we will follow up your reference and checks and you'll arrange an adoption medical with your GP. Stage one usually takes 2 months.


You’ll be invited to attend our preparation training which we run in groups throughout the year. You'll meet other people going through the adoption process and learn more about the process and the children as well as child development and the best ways to support adopted children. You'll also meet people who have already adopted and a birth mum and hear about their experiences.

Stage 2

When we have completed your checks and references you have up to six months decide whether you want to continue to stage two. Stage two takes four months to complete. You’ll work with your social worker to complete your assessment. We provide further training to prepare you for adoptive parenting and suggest books and programmes you should look at. Your social worker will complete a report and work with you to decide the children you would be suited for.


Your assessment report and information about your reference checks is presented to the ATV Adoption Panel. This panel is a group of people who know about adoption and about the children who need new families. It also includes our medical advisor who looks at your medical report. You’ll attend the Adoption Panel with your social worker. The panel makes a recommendation about approving you as suitable to adopt. The decision about your approval is then made by the Agency Decision Maker.

Finding your Child(ren)

ATV works with social workers from the 5 Tees Valley Local Authorities who are finding new families for children with a placement order. As soon as you're approved as an adopter the family-finding process begins. Family finding is child-led, it is important to consider not only your needs but equally those of the children looking for a loving and nurturing family. We will work closely with you and with the child's social worker, to make sure we identify the best possible match.

All new families need help and support as they adjust to their life together. Your social worker will visit you regularly to offer support and advice for as long as you need it. We hold regular training, workshops and social events where you can meet other adopters and their children. We're always happy to hear from adoptive families and provide support whenever it's needed.

Still have questions? Read our FAQ's here.