I want my child to be adopted
If you decide that being placed for adoption is right for your child, or just want some help with considering it further, you should inform your local authority.
Adoptions are arranged by adoption agencies but are made legally binding by the court making an adoption order. Once granted, an adoption order is final and cannot be overturned.
Although preparations for the adoption can begin before your child is born, nothing will be arranged until after the birth.
How Cafcass is involved
When your baby is at least six weeks old, the local authority social worker will arrange for you to be interviewed by a Cafcass worker. Their role is to make sure that you have received all the important information about the process, and have thought through all of the issues.
They will ask you to sign a formal document consenting to your child’s placement for adoption. You may also give advance consent to an adoption order being made when the adopters apply for it.
The Cafcass officer will then send the signed consent forms, along with confirmation that consent was given freely and unconditionally, to the local authority. This will be used as evidence that the birth parent or parents have agreed to placement, and possibly to adoption.
Once the child has been placed with potential adopters and has lived with them for 10 weeks, they can then apply for an adoption order.
Once the adoption order is made
Once an adoption order is made you will no longer have any legal relationship with the child.
Support and further information
You will be encouraged to see a specialist adoption worker to assist you in making your decision, and there are also services available for birth parents after their child has been adopted.
There are many agencies who provide support groups and workers who know a lot about adoption. You can ask the social worker for details about this and other support services available.
Local authorities also provide support to everyone involved in adoption throughout a child’s childhood and beyond. They will be there to assist if any difficulties arise in relation to contact with your child or if you have any queries about the process.