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Explaining adoption

Adoption is about providing permanent, safe and loving homes for children who can’t live with their birth families. Adoption requires a lifelong commitment and when you adopt a child all rights and responsibilities for them transfer to you.

Agency adoption
This is where we act as an agency to match you with a child who is currently within our care. Agency adoption is the right type for you if:

  • You want to adopt a child or children who is/are not already known to you, and you have not adopted before
  • You are a foster carer and would like to adopt the child or children you are currently fostering
  • You have already adopted and would like to adopt another child

If this is you, then you should follow the adoption process described on this website. You may find our step-by-step guide to adoption below helpful.

If you have already adopted or are a foster carer you can attend an adoption information evening if you'd like to but you do not need to. If you choose not to come to an information evening then please contact us to request an expression of interest form. Once we have received your completed form, we will support you through the adoption process from point four on our step by step guide to adoption.

For friendly advice and support you can call us on 0113 395 2072.

Non-agency adoption
This applies to you if you:

  • Wish to adopt the child of your partner or spouse
  • Wish to adopt a child that has been in your care for three out of the past five years, or 
  • Are a local authority foster carer and want to adopt without any adoption agency or local authority support
    This involves a different process to the one described in our guide. Your adoption assessment will be carried out by our area social work teams but your adoption will not go to adoption panel or to an adoption agency decision maker. Instead your adoption will be scrutinised by the courts.
    For more information and the paperwork you need to fill in for non-agency adoption, please contact:

    Susan Abosch
    Fostering and adoption service
    8th floor west
    Merrion House
    110 Merrion Centre
    LS2 8DT
    Phone: 0113 247 4747
    Overseas adoption
    If you wish to adopt a child from overseas you will need to follow the process described in our overseas adoption factsheet below.

    If you have a Leeds postcode then we can carry out your overseas adoption assessment, which is known as a home study. However we are only able to offer a limited service for those who wish to adopt from overseas as our priority is to help people adopting looked after children in Leeds.