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Adoption Practice in Tameside

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Adoption

If you are interested in finding out more about adoption, please contact us by making an enquiry, by email to adoption@tameside.gov.uk or by telephone to 0161 342 4162

Our office is open Monday – Wednesday 8.30am - 5pm, Thursday 8.30am -4.30pm and Friday 8.30am - 4pm.

The assessment process in Tameside

In this section we will help you understand the different stages of the process, and why they are important. This should help you feel more confident.

We will also tell you what you can expect from Tameside, including the standards we have set ourselves to make the process as efficient as possible.

Our standards are based on the National Minimum Adoption Standards.

Making your enquiry (Pre-Stage 1)

When you contact us to enquire about adoption we will send you an information pack which provides information about the process and on how to progress with your enquiry.

To request a pack you can:

  1. Send an email to adoption@tameside.gov.uk
  2. Call our adoption team on 0161 342 4162

We will also carry out a screening telephone call where if we all feel it's the right decision, you will be invited to an information evening event where we'll talk about adoption in more detail in a relaxed and informal setting.

Information Evening (Pre-Stage 1)

The information evening event will give you a chance to find out more about adoption and to meet adoption social workers and local adopters in a relaxed and informal setting. If you are enquiring as a couple it is important you are both there.

A home visit (Pre-Stage 1)

After the information evening should you wish to find out more we will come and visit you in your home. If you are enquiring as a couple it is important you are both there to meet us. We will talk with you in confidence and find out more about your personal circumstances.
 
If it is felt you should proceed you will be given a Registration of Interest form to complete. You can take your time to fill this in and ask for help if you need it.

If we don't think you're in a position to adopt at this time, we will provide a written explanation as to why we are not proceeding with your enquiry.

Preparation and checks (Stage 1)

A social worker will now be allocated who will meet with you to discuss your and our responsibilities.

This is called Stage 1 and should take around 2 months.

We will carry out statutory checks and references, including medicals and Disclosure & Barring Service checks.

You will be asked to do some self-directed learning in your own time and you will be invited to a 4 day preparation group with other prospective adopters.

At the end of Stage 1 a decision will be made about your suitability to proceed and if this is positive you will then be allowed to commence Stage 2.

You may choose to have a break of up to 6 months between Stages 1 & 2.

Assessment (Stage 2)

The assessment process takes around 4 months in total and this is where a social worker will visit your home to have more in-depth meetings with you. In essence, it's really about getting to know more about you as a person, your lifestyle, background, interests and thoughts about parenthood.

We'll also want to check that you've carefully considered this life changing decision - and of course, we'll be thinking of the child / children best suited to join your family.

An assessment report will then be produced about your suitability to adopt.

Adoption Panel

When we have completed your home assessment (Prospective Adopters Report), you will be invited to attend the adoption panel along with your social worker. If the Panel recommends that you are 'suitable to adopt' you'll be told the same day. Within a week to ten days you will be informed in writing of the Agency Decision about whether or not you've been approved to adopt a child.

If your application is not successful you will be sent written reasons why and you will also be informed about how to challenge the decision should you wish to.

Following approval

Your approval to adopt doesn't mean you'll have a child placed with you straight away. It takes time to ensure that a child / children will be right for you and your family so it can be weeks, months or longer before we're able to match a child waiting for adoption with your own circumstances.

Please don't be disheartened as many adopters tell us that the wait for the child that's so special to them was well and truly worth it.

We will also support you when you receive information about a specific child and when a child is placed with you.

Adopting from abroad

If you want to adopt a child from abroad the assessment process is similar. However, we don't carry out these assessments. You will be referred to a Voluntary Adoption Agency who specialises in inter-country adoption.

Children in need of an adoptive family

The children who are waiting to be placed permanently in a new family are:

  • older children, particularly boys
  • groups of 2, 3 and 4 brothers and sisters from a variety of age ranges
  • children with a wide range of learning and physical disabilities and/or development needs
  • dual heritage and minority ethnic children

There are also an increasing number of young infants who need to be adopted.

Many children are aged over 2 and there is always a need for adoptive parents willing to care for older children (over the age of 5) and those with more complex needs.

Some need to be adopted with brothers and sisters, others might have physical or learning difficulties. Many will have experienced difficulties in their birth family which will need patience and understanding to overcome. This could include mental or physical illness in their parents and physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect.

All children who need adoption will have had at least one change of carer and will need time to learn to trust their new family.

Most will need to stay in touch, usually by letter, with their birth families and in exceptional circumstances may need direct contact with another family member where this would be in the child's best interest.

Support for adopted adults

Some adopted adults may want to know more about their background family, history and reasons why they were adopted. We do not provide an intermediary service.
 
We can provide:

  • Access to adoption records (under Schedule 2 of the Adoption and Childrens Act 2002)
  • Information and advice about applying for your original birth details, the contact register and registering a veto on your adoption file
  • Information and advice about where to get help if you want to trace and make contact with members of your birth family.

Four4Adoption

Four4Adoption is an adoption campaign between partners Tameside,  Cheshire East, Trafford, and Stockport councils.

The four local authorities are working together with a single aim, to increase the possibilities of matching looked after children with potential adoptive parents and families in the region.

Common Myths

I’M SINGLE, SO I CAN’T ADOPT

Single people can adopt, whatever their gender. Many single people and unmarried couples have successfully adopted children.

I’M TOO OLD TO ADOPT

Adopters need to be over 21 but there is no upper age limit. Tameside will expect you to have the health and vitality to see your children through to an age of independence. Consideration will be given to your age comparative to the age of the child you want to adopt; younger children are more likely to be placed with younger parents.

I CAN’T ADOPT BECAUSE I’M GAY

Whether you are heterosexual, lesbian or gay is not a factor in your right to adopt.

I WORK FULL TIME SO I’M NOT ALLOWED TO ADOPT/I’M UNEMPLOYED OR TOO POOR TO ADOPT

Your financial circumstances and employment status will always be considered as part of an adoption assessment, but low income, being unemployed or employed do not automatically rule you out. You can be an adoptive parent while on benefits.

I CAN’T ADOPT BECAUSE I HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD

If you have a criminal caution or conviction for offences against children or certain sexual offences against adults then you will not be able to adopt but, with the exception of these specified offences, a criminal record will not necessarily rule you out. The key is to be totally honest in your application.

I HAVE CHILDREN LIVING AT HOME, SO I WON’T BE ABLE TO ADOPT

Not true. Having children of your own (of any age) will certainly not exclude you from adopting, whether they are living at home with you or have grown up. Consideration will, however, be given to the age gap between your own children and the age of the child(ren) you wish to adopt and the position of each child within the family in accordance with the child(ren)s’ needs.
Children over 18 will usually be DBS checked, as will any other adult member of your household.

I WON’T BE ALLOWED TO ADOPT BECAUSE I CAN’T HAVE MY OWN CHILDREN

It is really important that anyone wanting to be an adoptive parent understands their own motivations. Agencies will expect you to discuss both emotional and medical issues with them.
If you have had or are undergoing fertility treatment most agencies will expect you to complete any medical investigations and fertility treatments before considering adoption. The emotional demands in pursuing either route to parenthood can be great and doing both in tandem is not encouraged. Most agencies specify a set timescale between infertility treatment ending and formally applying to be approved as adopters – usually about six months – but this can be discussed at the start of the process.

I CAN’T ADOPT BECAUSE I SMOKE

Smoking will not necessarily rule you out from adopting. Consideration will be given to this and to all health- and lifestyle-related issues, and the agency will want to know of any specific health risks to you or to the children who may be placed in your care.
Tameside accept and work to national medical advice that children under five and those with particular medical conditions should not be placed in smoking households. We would request that you will be smoke-free for at least six months before adoption placement of this group of children can be considered.

I AM DISABLED SO WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ADOPT

Being disabled should not automatically exclude anyone from becoming an adopter and it is widely recognized that disabled people can often provide a very loving home for a child. Disability is only one of the many issues that will be considered during assessment so don’t rule yourself out before you have had a conversation with us.

I CAN’T ADOPT A CHILD FROM A DIFFERENT ETHNIC BACKGROUND

Not true. The aim for everyone in the adoption system is to find loving families for each child in need of a happy future, even if there is not a perfect ethnic match. Ethnicity is relevant however and you must have an understanding of the challenges that raising a child of a different ethnicity can provide. We can help prepare you if this applies to you.

Contact Information
Contact by Post

Adoption Team
Denton Centre
Union Street
Acre street
Denton
Tameside
M34 2BW
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 4162 or 0161 342 4164
Contact by Fax
0161 342 4123