Skip to main content
Luton Borough Council

The adoption process


This page will provide more information into how we match families, the stages of adoption, and the support you'll receive through your adoption journey.

Open all

All children that we place for adoption are unique and have their own needs and individual characters. They may:

  • have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect
  • have additional needs
  • present with uncertainties about their future development

But they're children first, who need safe, secure and loving families to support them to reach their potential.

Matching you with our children

Matching is key to the long-term success of placements and each child is allocated a social worker (family finder) who will undertake proactive measures to find the right family for a child.

When we look for a family to match with a child or children, we consider the child's holistic needs which allows us to find an adoptive family with the appropriate skills and abilities to meet those needs.

How matching works

In order to support our children and make the right decisions on their behalf, when we approach you about a match we'll provide you with:

  • detailed information about the child/children from their permanence report (CPR) about their:
    • backgrounds
    • education
    • health
    • development
  • details of any contact arrangements that have been assessed as appropriate with members of the child's/children's birth family after adoption
  • opportunities for you to meet with the child's/children's social worker and foster carer
  • opportunities for consultation with the agency medical adviser

We anticipate that this support and information will help you to make an informed decision about whether to go ahead with a proposed match.

If you and the social workers involved want to progress with the match, you'll be officially selected and a link established between you and the child/ren. This will then be presented to the adoption matching panel of the child’s placing local authority.

Adoption matching panel (AMP)

The AMP will then make a recommendation about the proposed match, which will be presented to the agency decision maker (ADM). The ADM from the child’s placing local authority will make the decision about the match, taking into account:

  • reports presented to the AMP
  • panel recommendation

Once the match is agreed, a period of introductions and transition with you and the child/children will be planned where you'll be introduced to the child/children as their adoptive parents.

You'll have have the opportunity to spend increasing amounts of time with the child/children, getting to know their routines and daily needs. Introductions will initially take place in the foster carer’s home, and then in the prospective adopters' home prior to the child/children moving in to their new adoptive home.

The timing and length of introductions varies depending on the needs and age of the child. We utilise The University of East Anglia model of introductions. During introductions your social worker will support you via daily check ins to ascertain how you're feeling.

Stage one (two months)

This is where we help you find out if adoption is right for you. We’ll undertake some references and checks such as:

  • local authority checks
  • medical and personal references
  • a criminal reference check (DBS)

We'll invite you to an information iession where you’ll meet other people who want to adopt.

You'll be expected to:

  • attend adoption preparation training over three days
  • complete stage one of the assessment process

You’ll be given a workbook to complete and have the support of a social worker.

Stage one is complete when your social worker confirms you can move onto stage two.

Stage two (four months)

This is where we:

  • get to know you better
  • support you to start to explore and think about the child/ren you could best parent

Your social worker will complete your prospective adopters report (PAR) assessment.

To help you prepare for your new life, we’ll write the report about you and your family life, with a focus on how well we think you could parent an adopted child.

The PAR will be presented to an independent panel. You’ll be invited to the panel meeting when they make their recommendation that you become an adoptive parent.

The final decision will be made by one of our senior officers - the 'agency decision maker'.

Once we've made this decision and you're approved, we’ll share details of the children we think will suit you.

If we decide that you can’t adopt

If you disagree with our decision, you can:

The needs for you and your family may change throughout the life of the adoption. We'll give you continuous support throughout your adoption journey, which means we work in partnership with you from the very beginning.

Support for adoptive families

There may be times throughout your child's life when you'll find it helpful to talk to someone outside of the family about issues relating to adoption, for example, you:

  • want some ideas about how to talk to your child about adoption
  • need advice on how to react to, and cope with, your child's feelings about his or her adoption
  • have concerns about pre-agreed contact arrangements with birth family
  • are concerned about your child’s development, education and emotional needs

We can offer:

  • a buddy system, where you meet up with other experienced adoptive families for support
  • groups and workshops to help explain adoption to your children
  • support with contact arrangements and support with letter writing 
  • one to one support where necessary 
  • multi-agency agency working to support the family
  • a regular newsletter which keeps you updated about adoption in Luton 
  • annual events to keep in touch with other adoptive families

Assessment of your adoption support needs

An assessment of your adoption support needs can be carried out at any time until your child reaches the age of 18 (or 25 if they have special educational needs or a disability).

Our Adoption team are happy to talk to you to discuss your individual support needs.

Please get in touch with us on 01582 547804 or email [email protected].

Support for adopted adults

If you're an adult aged 18 and over, you can apply for access to information about your birth origins.

If you want to apply to the General Register Office for a copy of your original birth certificate and were adopted before 1975, you must speak to:

  • a local authority social worker
  • a counsellor from an approved adoption agency

Please note that we do not offer intermediary work, but we could signpost you to a suitable service.

Visit GOV.UK's adoption pages for more information and forms.

We offer support to adopted adults who:

  • live in Luton
  • were adopted through (contacting the Adoption team in your own local authority who will liaise with us is a quicker process)
  • have:
    • applied for their original birth certificate
    • chosen Luton as the place to have their counselling
    • have informed the General Register Office of this research

Accessing information

If you decide you want access to information from your adoption file, we can help support you with advice and information about:

  • how to access your adoption records
  • searching methods

Support for birth relatives

Adoption has a profound effect on all birth family members. We recognise this and provide the following support services:

  • independent counselling for birth family members
  • support with contact arrangements and letter writing

If you'd like to access these services, please call us on 01582 547804 or email [email protected].

Pregnant and thinking about adoption?

If you're thinking about adoption for your baby, please contact us for advice and support on 01582 547804 or email [email protected].

Alternatively, you can visit the CoramBAAF website for further information. CoramBAAF is an independent membership organisation for:

  • professionals, foster carers and adopters
  • anyone else working with, or looking after, children in or from care
  • adults who have been affected by adoption

Post-adoption support provides:

  • advice, support and counselling to birth parents
  • support for adopted adults in accessing their records
  • post-adoption support and contact arrangements

Contact the Adoption team for further information on 01582 547804.

© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ