All you need to know about the actual adoption process
The international adoption process is incredibly complicated, with a multitude of subtle permutations that are constantly changing. This is why you need this guide!
The international adoption process essentially follows four stages:
Stage One: From the First phone call to when you receive the Certificate of Eligibility - in UK
Stage Two: Depositing your documents and being accepted as suitable prospective parents to meeting and agreeing to adopt your child - in country
Stage Three: From agreeing to adopt to official Court adoption - in country
Stage Four: Post Adoption coming home and completing adoption process - in UK
I have designed the website in this manner so that you will understand the chronological order of events. These are the main sequences one needs to go through to successfully bring your child home.
A word of warning though - international adoption is very complex, it is forever changing and there are no clear cut processes. Thus every adoption is different and every adoption is unique.
The first stage is the assessment process to see if you will make suitable prospective parents. It incorporates the initial contact with the social services, the preparation course, the Homestudy, the Panel and the issuing of the Certificate of Eligibility - your 'passport' that shows other countries that you have been approved as potential adoptive parents.
The second phase is the section where your adoption process moves 'in county', that is into your chosen country of adoption. Here your papers get lodged, you are accepted as potential adoptive parents, you are offered a 'referral' (a child that has been matched with you), you meet and accept the referral.
Stage three is the process in your adoptive country that takes you from agreeing to adopt your child to the final process in that country, to becoming adoptive parents (hurrah!) and to obtaining visa to bring your child back into the UK.
The final phase is returning home with your new son or daughter, the post placement visits, medicals, re-adoption in UK courts, application for citizenship and the exciting and challenging role of being a new parent to an adoptive child.
As you can see it is a long and complicated process. It is said that each international adoption goes through 150 people. That is 150 professionals each with a role to play in your adoption process, from doctors, notaries, agents etc to officials, lawyers, social workers, and so on.
To succeed in this complicated process it is an idea to look at inter-country adoption as an art. An art to get what you need, from who you need in the right time you need.
We are here to guide you, so you know who is who, who does what and how who can help you (Pooh Bear - almost!)