Adopting a child

Mother and baby

What is the adoption process like? 

Welcoming a child into your family is a big decision. You and your family, including your own children if you have them, our social work team, the child (if old enough) and, where possible, the birth parents/family of the child, will need to work together throughout the adoption process.  

If you're interested in adopting with us, we'll be on hand to support you from the very beginning and our two stage adoption process aims to bring children and their adoptive parents together without delay.

What can I expect?

The process of becoming approved as an adoptive parent should take six months to complete, with stage one taking two months and stage two taking four months. In the first stage, we help you learn about adoption before moving on to approval in stage two.

If you're thinking about adoption, we'd love to chat to you. Please give us a call on 0191 561 2221 or complete our adoption enquiry form and we'll be in touch.

If you'd like to know more, we will send you out a copy of our Registration of Interest Form (or you can download it from the bottom of this page and send it back to us). Once we have received your form, a member of the adoption team will be in touch to explain more about what becoming an adoptive parent involves and to answer any questions you might have. 

Stage one - initial training and preparation (typically takes around two months)

  • Stage one begins when you submit your Registration of Interest form. This tells us more information about you and your family.
  • Once we have received your form, we'll be in touch within five working days.
  • During stage one, you will be invited to attend our Preparation to Adopt course, which will help you to learn more about adoption and find out about the children who are waiting for an adoptive family.
  • We will also need to carry out some checks to make sure there are no concerns about you caring for a child - these include police and medical checks and references from your friends.
  • You will be given 'homework' tasks to help your social worker get to know you and your family.
  • Once stage one is complete, we will talk to you about progressing to the next stage.

Stage two - assessment (typically takes around 4 months)

  • Stage two begins when you let us know that you would like to continue with your application to adopt.
  • An adoption Social Worker will contact you to begin your Prospective Adopters Report. This will involve your allocated Social Worker visiting you regularly to assess and help you prepare for adoption.
  • Once your Prospective Adopters Report is complete, your report will be presented to an Adoption Panel, who will make a recommendation on your suitability to become an adoptive parent. You will be invited to attend this panel.  

Contact our adoption team

To discuss adoption with our team, please call us on 0191 561 2221 or email  

Alternatively, you can download our Expression of Interest form below and return it to us.



Expression of Interest form - Adoption

If you're ready to take the next step on your adoption journey, please complete this form and return it to us at: Together for Children Adoption Team, Sandhill Centre, Grindon Lane, Sunderland, SR3 4EN.

In Adoption

  • Our two stage adoption process aims to reduce delay for children and their prospective adopters.
  • Together for Children are rated Good by Ofsted.
  • Read our real life case studies for adoption.
  • Some of our most frequently asked questions for prospective adopters.
  • We provide a range of after adoption support services including helping you to access the Adoption Support Fund
  • It's important for both birth parents to get the support they need throughout the adoption process, including after adoption contact.