Agencies run adoption information events and we recommend that you attend a few. Find out which agencies operate in your area by searching First4Adoption’s agency finder. These events will help you get an idea of which agency you think you could work with. It is really important to find an adoption agency that is right for you.
Adoption agency types
Adoption agencies fall into 3 different types but all are two main types of fostering service:
Local authorities look after children and young people in care but also assess, train and approve adopters.
Regional Adoption Agencies are made up of several local authorities who have combined their resources under a new government initiative to deliver more efficient processes to increase cooperation on both a regional and national level.
Voluntary Adoption Agencies recruit and assess prospective adopters; they create matches for children who are in the care of a Local Authority, and are then paid by the local authority to cover their costs (no profit is permitted).
There are currently 45 voluntary adoption agencies registered with Ofsted and they vary in scale: some are regionally based, such as the Yorkshire Adoption Agency while others are major national organisations, such as Barnardo’s.
Choosing an agency may depend on many factors:
- How easy is it to reach?
- Are they recruiting?
- How welcoming are they?
- What services and support do they offer?
Getting turned away
If the agency says they cannot help you after this meeting don’t despair! Make a note of the reasons they give and then speak to another agency. Adoption agencies all have their own immediate needs and priorities, and being turned away by one does not necessarily mean you are unsuitable to be an adopter.