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How do I adopt?

Adoptive mother lying in grass with infant son, who has a disability

Before stage 1: Tell us you're interested in adopting

Just fill in our enquiry form:

Tell us you're interested in adopting

Or you can call us on 0800 801 530  or email adoption.recruitmentteam@essex.gov.uk.

We’ll invite you to an information event. We usually hold these twice a month.

Attending an adoption event

At the adoption event, you’ll:

  • find out more about what's challenging and rewarding about adopting
  • hear first-hand from an adoptive parent
  • find out about the children waiting for adoption
  • meet social workers and ask questions.

If adoption seems right for you, we'll ask you to fill in a 'Registration of Interest' form to get you started on the process.

Stage 1

Now you'll begin the first round of checks and preparation, also known as Stage 1 Pre-Assessment.

Stage 2

A four month process, during which you attend training to build on your skills; we assess you and together we decide if adoption is the right thing for you and your family.

Matching and placement

Once you're approved to adopt, you'll work with your social worker to find your child or children.

It's hard to say how long this stage will take, as the right match is important.

Read about the real experiences of some of our families as they went through the adoption process.

Get in touch

or call us 0800 801 530



"I thought I would find the process intrusive but I didn't. It opens up a lot of things you haven't thought about." - Sanjeev A.

"Words cannot express the gratitude and affection we have for everyone who played a part in making our dreams come true." – Maria