Routes to adoption

People choose to adopt children for a variety of reasons. In Leeds, we encourage this as we believe that "prospective adoptive parents are as unique and different as the children who need adoptive families". Leeds adoptive parents can be families who already have birth children or adopted children, can be childless by choice or due to infertility. In England and Wales there are several types of adoption which means that there is more than one way to become an adoptive family.
Please click through the list below to find out more.​

Click to expandMainstream/Sequential Adoption

This is the route to adoption which has been commonly used in the UK for many years, often referred to as sequential adoption, as it is a linear process. A child will only be placed with you on an adoption basis when the judge has agreed that the child in question should be placed for adoption and makes a placement order, or the parents of that child have given signed consent for the child to be placed for adoption. This means that the child will be cared for by foster parents for a period of time while the court scrutinises the Local Authorities plan of adoption, or while the birth parents are given time to consider if adoption is what they want for their child. This results in the child being moved from at least one carer and home and sometimes the child will have had several moves. That means that the child is older at the time of being placed with the adoptive family.​​

Step by step guide to adoption (PDF 191KB)

Click to expandFoster carer adoption and experienced adopters

If you want to adopt the child you are fostering or if you have already adopted a child, we do not want you to feel as if you have to repeat the whole process from the beginning. We will need to undertake a thorough assessment but will work with you to minimise any unnecessary repetition.

Experienced adoptive parents wishing to adopt another child will need to be aware that there needs to be at the very least a 2 year gap and any child joining the family needs to be the youngest. Circumstances differ between families so please call the adoption duty line for advice. ​

Click to expandEarly Permanency Placement

These placements are for babies and children under 2 years old. This is where approved adopters are given temporary approval as foster carers for a specific baby/child and the baby/child is placed with them from birth or as soon as possible, on a fostering basis, while the courts are still considering if that baby/child should be placed for adoption. This route to adoption is only used for very young babies/children and only where the Local Authority knows at a very early stage, that their plan for the baby is likely to be adoption. This route to adoption has many advantages for the baby as well as some positives for adoptive parents. The main risk for prospective adoptive parents to consider is that the final decision by the courts may be that the baby is not adopted but is instead returned to birth parents/family. If the court does decide that adoption is the right outcome for the baby in question, the Early Permanency carer will go on to adopt the baby. It is important to note that there will be contact between the baby and birth parents during the fostering phase of these placements and it is possible for the prospective adoptive parents to have a role in this.

Click to expandOverseas adoption

If you wish to adopt a child from overseas we are no longer able to take up your application for inter-country adoption, you can however contact the Yorkshire Adoption Agency on 01302 638337 who specialise in this type of adoption.