Adoption Tees Valley Adoption North East | The Adoption Process

Thinking about Adoption?

Whether you want to start your adoption journey today or just find out a little bit more about adopting a child; you're in the right place. Adoption is life changing for adults and children. It is a big decision so not matter what stage you’re at with your thinking we are here to help. We have experienced friendly, professional staff that can talk you through the process of Adoption and will provide you support every step of the way.

Here is an outline of the adoption process -

All journeys begin with finding out about the road ahead; your adoption journey starts with reading background information, understanding more about the children we are finding families for in Adoption Tees Valley and speaking people who have made the journey before you.

Initial Enquiry and Home visit

The first stage of your journey is to express your interest in Adoption. How do I do that?

  • You can contact us by telephone where we would be happy to have an informal discussion with you to share more information about the Adoption Journey.
  • There is a link to the online enquiry form on this page. This will trigger a call back from one of our team members to arrange a home visit.
  • The home visit is a two way information sharing opportunity with no obligation to proceed after this stage. Guidance will be provided during the visit about your suitability to become an Adoptive Parent(s).


Stage 1 - Initial checks and registration

After the initial visit, you can then make a formal application if it is agreed that this is appropriate. This will involve filling in a detailed application form. When we receive this, we will undertake Police, Health and Local Authority checks from the areas you have lived in. You will be required to have a medical examination carried out by your own doctor. We will need the names of three personal referees, who we will contact. Your employers will also be asked for a reference at this stage too.                                     

We will invite you to attend a Preparation Group. The group last for 4 days, we will give you plenty of notice of the dates so that you can arrange to attend. These groups take place at the Adoption Tees Valley venue. They are run by members of our team with contributions from people who have already adopted, adoptees, experienced foster carers and other relevant people. The Preparation Groups are designed to introduce you to the needs of the children who we are finding families for and the demands and rewards of making them part of your family. These sessions are an important part of the preparation and assessment process and we expect all applicants to attend.

Based on the information gathered during this period, the agency will make a decision on whether you can continue to Stage Two.

Taking a break

You can choose, if you wish, to take a break of no longer than six months between Stage One and Stage Two of the process. Sometimes an adoption agency may recommend a break, to give time to resolve any housing, employment or other issues that may arise.

Stage 2 – Assessment and Approval

An Assessment Plan will be agreed between you and your allocated Social Worker, you will be given a provisional date for panel at this point too. The plan will detail the home study appointments and will outline the topics to be covered in each session. The assessment process is designed to help Adoption Tees Valley get a rounded picture of you and your family. This will help us to match you with the right child(ren). Your referees will be contacted and visits will be arranged. You will be asked to contribute to some sections and this information will be used within your final Prospective Adopters Report (PAR).

The completed report will include your Social Workers recommendation which will then be presented to Adoption Tees Valley Panel. The panel will review and consider your PAR before making a recommendation about whether you should be approved as adoptive parent(s).


Adoption Tees Valley are responsible for providing families for children across the Tees Valley area. We have direct links to Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Darlington’s Children Services. We are currently trying to find loving families for sibling groups, preschool children, school age children and babies. Every child will have a dedicated Family Finder who will understand their differing needs. Within Adoption Tees Valley regular family finding meetings will take place to identify potential links between children and families.

If Adoption Tees Valley has been unable to match you with a child after three months, your name and details will be forwarded to The Adoption Register for England by your social worker.

How will we know if a child is the right match for you?

The following people will contribute to the decision about the potential match

  • The child’s Social Worker
  • The Family Finding Social Worker
  • Your allocated Social Worker
  • And you!

Once a decision has been made a matching report will be prepared and presented to a panel.