The Adoption Process – what to expect

SFCS will guide and advise you at every step of what is sometimes a lengthy and emotional process. As well as helping you through the process of becoming an approved adopter, we continue to support you once the adoption has taken place.

Everyone’s experience of adoption will be unique, but this Step-by-Step Overview will give you a snapshot of the adoption process, including all of the training and support you will be offered.


Want to find out more?

You will find more detailed information about what’s involved in becoming an adoptive parent in our Adoption Information Pack, but we encourage you to contact us directly if you have a concern or query you would like to raise – we’d be delighted to talk you through it.

You should also visit the First4Adoption website, which contains lots of useful information for anyone who is considering adoption, including a range of written guides, an Adoption Map, an interactive quiz about the first steps to adoption, and a range of e-learning resources.

Information about the financial considerations relating to adoption can be found below.

If you think you could become a parent to a child who needs a family, please contact us or complete our Adoption Enquiry Form – no pressure, no obligation.  We’ll be glad to answer your questions and talk things through with you.

Adoption process - mother and child in autumn

Financial matters

SFCS do not charge prospective adopters any fee for the work involved in taking up their application. Apart from legal and medical fees, you will not be expected to meet any costs at this stage.

Adoption process - boy pulling faces

Medical costs

When you enter Stage 1 of the adoption process, you will be required to have a medical examination. This will usually be done by your own GP, who will make a standard charge to you. This is currently in the region of £50 – £80 per person.


Legal expenses

Once a child has been placed with you and has settled sufficiently for you to apply for a legal Adoption Order, then you will have to pay a court fee when you lodge your application for that order.

If the adoption application is complex and legal representation is needed, the Local Authority who has current responsibility for the child will meet the cost (providing you are not entitled to Legal Aid).


The approval process

You won’t be expected to pay SFCS anything towards the cost of your assessment and preparation as adopters.

Adoption process - boy looking upwards

Financial support

Local Authorities are required to consider whether it is necessary for them to offer financial support to adopters where the child has particular needs. Any financial support offered will be assessed in relation to your income and the child’s needs. Allowances may be paid for a long-term, on-going period, or as a one-off lump sum. Such allowances do not affect the rights and responsibilities you have as an adoptive parent.


Child benefit

Adopters are entitled to claim Child Benefit from the time the child comes to live with them. Adopters may also be entitled to Child Tax and Working Tax credit, dependent on their situation.