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Who can adopt?
- A couple who are married, in a civil partnership or living together
- People of any religious denomination or none
- People of any racial or cultural background
- Those wishing to be parents for the first time
- Those who already have birth or adopted children and want to parent again
Who are the children?
- Some are babies and very young children
- Some children are older and have started school
- Some have a brother or sister and need to live together
What is the process?
- Have an initial interview - Talk to one of our professional and experienced Social Workers , who will be able to tell you more about adoption in Northern Ireland.
- Have an initial interview - If we agree with you that you have the potential to offer a child or children a safe, loving and committed family home through adoption, you will be invited to make an application.
- Make an application - You will be allocated a Social Worker to undertake your Assessment and support you through the process. Your social worker will meet with you in the Agency office and in your home, and will meet you individually and together (if you are a couple).
- Have an assessment - You will be allocated a Social Worker to undertake your Assessment and support you through the process. The Social Worker will explore your own family background, your childhood and your present circumstances in order to build up a comprehensive picture of you and your family. The Agency will also undertake the necessary Social Services, Police and and Medical checks and will take up personal and possibly professional references.
- Go on a preparation course - In the course of your Assessment, you will attend a Preparation to Adopt course to help you think about the real implications of adopting, meet other people on the adoption journey and hear from people who have already adopted in Northern Ireland.
- Attend Adoption Panel - Your Adoption Assessment will usually take 6-9 months, after which your Social Worker will produce a report for the Adoption Panel which you will also read.
- Matching - Once you are approved to adopt, we can begin to consider whether there are children waiting for adoption who might be a suitable match for you. Family Care places children with adoptive families on behalf of local Trusts throughout Northern Ireland, and also for Local Authorities in other parts of the United Kingdom on occasion.