Adoption - who can adopt?

We assist people who want to adopt children who cannot remain with their own birth parents. It is a legal procedure where all responsibility for the child passes on to you and the child takes your family name. Children up to the age of 18 can be adopted.

Who can adopt?

The main consideration is that you would be able to meet the emotional and developmental needs of the child.

  • you have to be over 21 and there is no upper age limit
  • you do not have to be married or in a civil partnership to adopt
  • having a disability does not exclude you
  • you will have to disclose any criminal offences
  • you will have to have a medical
  • you will have to provide four references

Adoption - how to get started

The adoption process

  1. Complete an initial enquiry form.
  2. Attend an information event.
  3. Think about it.
  4. Book onto a set of workshops.
  5. We will send you your workbooks.
  6. We will send you the registration of interest form.
  7. We will confirm receipt within 5 working days.
  8. Stage one starts - adoption advisor will arrange to meet you.
  9. We will carry out a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) and contact your references.
  10. You will have an adoption medical at your GP's.
  11. You will attend a preparation training workshop.
  12. You will share your completed workbook with your adoption advisor.
  13. We will invite you for an interview.
  14. We will let you know whether we can go ahead with your application or not.
  15. Stage two - formal process.
  16. Completion of the prospective adopters report (PAR).
  17. You attend an adoption panel with your social worker.
  18. If your application is approved you may now start the search for a child or children.
  19. Adoption panel must approve the match.
  20. Introductions to the family.
  21. The adoption becomes legal.
  22. Ongoing support.

Register your interest

If you are interested in adopting, please complete the online Initial Enquiry form.

If you would like further information please call us on 01702 212004 or email us.

Adoption information events 2024

  • Tuesday 9 January 6pm to 8pm
  • Saturday 9 March 10am to 12pm
  • Wednesday 8 May 6pm to 8pm
  • Saturday 13 July 10am to 12pm
  • Thursday 12 September 6pm to 8pm
  • Saturday 2 November 10am to 12pm

These are held at the Civic Centre, please call 01702 212004 or email to confirm a space.

The next step

After you have attended one of our information events, please let us know if you are still interested. You will need to take some time to be sure that adoption is right for you before moving on to the next step.

Once you have decided that Southend Adoption Service is right for you, please email us and we will begin the adoption process.

We will then send you a Registration of Interest form by email. If you prefer a paper copy, please let us know.

We will confirm receipt of the Registration of Interest form within five working days, but there may be a delay before you hear anything further from us due to the number of applications we receive.

Adopt East

Adopt East is a regional adoption alliance which brings together the professionalism, skills and expertise of eight local authorities and two voluntary adoption agencies from across the East of England.

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Contact Southend adoption services

Telephone: 01702 212004

Online forms - adoption

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