This concludes Stage One of the 2-stage assessment process for prospective adopters with effect from 1 July 2013.
The adoption agency must gather Stage One information and make a pre-assessment decision as to whether the prospective adopter may be, or is not, suitable to adopt a child, within a period of eight weeks from the date on which the prospective adopter registered their interest in adopting a child (unless there are good reasons to extend that time period.) If the time period is extended, the reasons must be recorded on the prospective adopter’s case record, along with supporting evidence.
Where the pre-assessment decision is that the prospective adopter might be suitable to adopt a child, the prospective adopter has six months in which to notify the agency if they wish to proceed to Stage Two – the Assessment Stage.
Where the pre-assessment decision is that the prospective adopter is not suitable to adopt a child, the prospective adopter must be provided with a clear written explanation of the reasons why they will not be able to proceed to Stage Two. Prospective adopters who wish to complain about this decision may make a complaint using the agency’s local complaints procedure. They will also be able to raise general concerns about the process with the National Gateway for Adoption. The Independent Review Mechanism is not available for decisions made during Stage One.