Your rights

If your child is adopted, you will no longer have any legal rights and responsibilities.

If you have any worries, doubts or questions your child’s social worker will try to help you as much as possible. There are several organisations supporting birth families.

If you remain unhappy about your child being adopted it is important for you to seek legal advice from a solicitor experienced in child care matters as soon as possible.

It may be that your child is the subject of a care order and the court agreed upon an adoption plan. Alternatively, an adoptive family will have been sought at your request. In either circumstance, if you are willing for your child to be adopted, the court will ask an independent social worker to visit you and make sure that you understand what adoption is all about.

They will need to be sure that you are willing to agree to your child’s adoption quite freely and without any conditions. If this social worker is satisfied that you have thought about it carefully and know what you are doing, you will be asked to sign a formal document giving your agreement and this form will be given to the court.

Knowing about you is important

Before an adoption can be arranged we are required by law to ask for a lot of information about you and your child.

The information is needed so that we have the fullest possible knowledge and understanding of your child and family of birth. This will help those people who need to make decisions about the future.

You can help your child by agreeing to provide as much information as you can about yourself and your family and by understanding our need to ask your doctor about your family’s health.

All information will be treated as confidential, however, there are some circumstances where we may need to pass information on to other people. Wherever possible, such circumstances will be explained to you.

Choosing a family for your child

The law requires us to make very thorough enquiries about families wishing to adopt.

All prospective adopters undergo lengthy training and assessment and must be approved by an adoption panel before they can be considered for adoption.

Having knowledge of their own family experiences and their skills and interests allows us to get a picture of their family life and gain an understanding of what kind of upbringing they would offer a child.

When your child’s social worker looks for a family, one will be chosen because it is thought they are best able to meet the child’s needs. Your child’s long-term welfare is the first consideration.

A placement will not be made until it is believed that the right family is available.