Skip to main content
Caption: floating buttons
 
spacer_valid
View East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership View East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership
spacer_valid 2
View Working Together View Working Together
Caption: main heading
 

6.10.2 Inter Country Adoptions

Please see relevant section of Forms Library to access the required template.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Responding to Requests for Information
  3. After Approval
  4. Matching
  5. Post-Placement Duties
  6. Post Adoption Support
  7. Placement Breakdowns
  8. Review of Prospective Adopter's Approval


1. Introduction

Applications for overseas adoption can only be accepted from residents of East Riding.

Applications will be accepted from couples or single people.

Applicants will be expected to identify one country from which they wish to adopt and should have a good understanding of that country's culture and be able to demonstrate that understanding. Applicants will be expected to bring any adopted child up in the knowledge that he/she is adopted and to preserve and promote the child's cultural and ethnic origin.

There is a charge for the assessment process for applicants.


2. Responding to Requests for Information

All requests for information about inter country adoption made by telephone or letter will be responded to promptly. Prospective adopters will be sent an information pack within 5 working days of their enquiry. This will include information on:

  • Eligibility criteria of the country they wish to adopt from;
  • The inter country assessment and matching process;
  • Details of fees involved in the application and post approval process;
  • The expectations of prospective adopters and how the adoption agency prioritises applications to adopt children from outside the UK; and
  • Looked after children, including how they are referred to other adoption agencies.

Staff in the Adoption Team will establish that the caller lives in East Riding and if so, he or she will be referred to Pac-UK who will undertake the assessment and approval process on behalf of the adoption agency.

Prospective adopters should be invited to follow up interviews/invitations to information meetings within two months of their enquiry.

Prospective adopters should complete and return an application form after the information meeting, but before the attending the preparation course and Police checks/ references are sought.

The adoption manager should sign the Prospective Adopter’s Report (which is also signed by the assessing social worker and prospective adopters) checking it is accurate, up-to-date and has evidence based information before it is presented to the Adoption Panel.

Prospective adopters interested in inter country adoption should be kept informed throughout the progress of their enquiry/application.

Pac-UK will also undertake any tasks associated with identifying a suitable placement for approved adopters up until the point where the child enters the UK.


3. After Approval

Following approval, the reports presented to the Adoption Panel, the Adoption Panel minute and the written notice of the Agency Decision Maker's decision will be sent by recorded delivery to the Department Education.

The Secretary of State will check whether the statutory requirements have been met and will then decide whether to issue a Certificate of Eligibility and Suitability and inform Pac-UK and the prospective adopters of the decision.

The Certificate, if granted, will state that the prospective adopters have been assessed as suitable to adopt and a child adopted by them will be granted leave to enter the United Kingdom subject to Entry Clearance and the making of an Adoption Order.

The Department for Education will then arrange for the necessary papers to be passed to the relevant overseas authority, which decides whether to accept the application and identifies a child to be matched with the adopters. 

The Department for Education will confirm in writing to the adoption agency and the prospective adopters that the papers have been sent.


4. Matching

The matching part of the process may be the subject of considerable delay depending on the waiting list of the chosen country.

If the authorities in the relevant country approve the application, when a suitable child is available for placement, they should send the papers to the Department for Education, who will in turn send them to Pac-UK and the prospective adopters.

Occasionally, the country will inform the prospective adopters directly; they should be advised during the home study to inform the adoption social worker immediately if this happens.

The adoption social worker should then arrange to discuss the child with the prospective adopters at a face-to-face meeting to be held within 10 working days of receipt of the information, before the prospective adopters make a decision or make any plans to travel to meet the child.

Before accepting a child, the prospective adopters must travel to meet the child. Where a couple are applying to adopt, both applicants must travel.

As soon as the prospective adopters have accepted the match, the adoption social worker should advise them to apply for entry clearance for the child, by sending the child's details to the Entry Clearance Officer at the UK Embassy or High Commission closest to the country where the child is living.

Proper preparation of prospective adopters for placement includes arranging access to specialist advice prior to the placement, provision of full information about the child and the importance of post-adoption reports consistent with any undertakings given to the child’s state of origin.

Where there are no suitable children to match with the prospective adopters, the overseas authority will notify the Department for Education, and they will notify the adoption agency. An adoption worker will be allocated to inform the prospective adopters and assist them to decide what further action to take, including a further report to the adoption panel seeking approval for a different country.


5. Post-Placement Duties

These duties will be undertaken by East Riding Adoption Team.

The Adoption (Designation of Overseas Adoptions) Order 1973 as amended in 1993 enables adoption orders in countries listed in the Order to be recognised in the UK.

Children from Designated Countries:

If an adoption order has been made in a Designated Country, it is recognised under UK law and the child's visa usually states 'for settlement'. The Adoption Team then has no further involvement other than providing or making arrangements for post-adoption services, if appropriate (see Eligibility for Adoption Support Services).

Adoption Orders made in Designated Countries do not automatically result in the child acquiring British citizenship. An application for registration will usually need to be made; application forms can be obtained from the Nationality Directorate of the Home Office or from any British Diplomatic Post.

Children from Non-Designated Countries

The arrangements for the placement will vary from country to country; the prospective adopters will either adopt child in the child's country or bring the child to the UK for the purposes of adoption in a UK Court.

If an Adoption Order has been made in a Non-Designated Country, the Order is not recognised in the UK.

The prospective adopters must seek clearance for the child to enter the UK from the nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission. If the Entry Clearance Officer is satisfied that the entry requirements have been met, a visa for a limited period, usually one year, will be issued.

The prospective adopters must notify the Adoption Team within 14 days of arriving in the UK with the child of their intention to apply for an Adoption Order (or their intention not to provide a home to the child). This notice should be acknowledged by the Adoption Team.

An adoption application cannot be made until the child has lived with the prospective adopters for 6 months or more. Where the prospective adopters have not complied with all the necessary regulations, the child must have lived with them for at least 12 months.

On receipt of the notification, the Adoption Team will arrange for a social worker to monitor the child's welfare by regular visits to the family home. The allocated worker must be:

  • A registered social worker who has 3 years post-qualifying experience in childcare social work, including direct experience of adoption work;
  • A registered social worker who is employed by the council and is supervised by a registered social worker employed by the council who has 3 years post-qualifying experience in child care social work, including direct experience of adoption work;
  • A social work student on placement with the council who is being supervised by a registered social worker employed by the council with 3 years post-qualifying experience in child care social work, including direct experience of adoption work.

An adoption record must also be set up for the child. Any information received from the relevant authority in the child's state of origin, the agency that approved the prospective adopters (if not the local authority), the prospective adopters, the Entry Clearance Officer and the DfE should be placed on the adoption record.

The allocated worker must send notification of the child's arrival in the UK to the prospective adopter's GP (including a written and up to date health report on the child), the Integrated Care Board and (where the child is of school age) the education service for the area where the prospective adopter lives.

Visits to the child should be weekly until the first review.

The allocated worker should also arrange for the placement to be reviewed within 4 weeks of the receipt of notice of intention to adopt. Thereafter the requirement is for the local authority to visit and review not more than 3 months after the first review ands thereafter every 6 months.

The purpose of the review is to enable the local authority to consider whether the child's needs are being met and if not, what advice and assistance may be provided. To do this, the review must consider the child's needs, welfare and development, and if any changes are required to meet the child's needs or assist his/her development; the arrangements for the provision of adoption support and whether there should be a re-assessment of the need for those services; and the need for further visits and reviews.

If the prospective adopters notify the local authority of their intention to move to the area of another local authority, the original local authority must notify the new authority of the child's name, sex, date and place of birth; each prospective adopter's name, sex, date and place of birth; the date the child entered the UK; the date of the notification to adopt; whether an adoption application has been made and if so, the stage of the proceedings; and any other relevant information.

The allocated social worker should advise prospective adopters of the most appropriate timing of their adoption application. It is likely that the prospective adopters will need to apply for an extension of the child's visa, which is usually straightforward if an adoption application has been made.

When the prospective adopters make their adoption application, the Court will notify the Adoption Service and request that a Court Report is produced supplied directly to the court.

Court Reports in Adoption/Special Guardianship Procedure sets out a list of the required contents of the report.

If no adoption application has been filed within 2 years, a special review must be held. This review must consider the child's needs, welfare and development, and if any changes are required to meet the child's needs or assist his/her development; the arrangements for the exercise of Parental Responsibility in relation to the child; the terms of the child's entry clearance and the child's immigration status; the arrangements for the provision of adoption support and whether there should be a re-assessment of the need for those services; the arrangements for meeting the child's health care and educational needs; the reason why no adoption application has been made; and the options for the child's future permanence.

When an Adoption Order is made in the UK, it automatically confers British Citizenship on the child provided one of the adoptive applicants is a British citizen at the time the Adoption Order is made.

Where the adopters are not British citizens, they will need to seek clearance to allow the child to remain in the UK, on the same basis as them.


6. Post Adoption Support

Families who have adopted from abroad are eligible for assessment for adoption support as set out in Eligibility for Adoption Support Services.


7. Placement Breakdowns

If, after the child is placed, the prospective adopters decide not to proceed with the adoption or an Adoption Order is refused or a Convention Adoption Order is annulled, the child's social worker must regard the child as a Child in Need and assess the child within 7 days in accordance with the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and Their Families, including whether it remains in the child's interests to be placed in the UK and/or to be placed with an alternative adoptive family.

The child's social worker must notify the Department for Education (DfE) of the outcome.

Where it is decided that it would not be in the child's best interests to remain in the UK, the child's social worker must notify the DfE. The DfE will notify the relevant overseas authority, which will make arrangements for the return of the child.

Where it is determined that it would be in the child's best interests to remain in the UK, the child's social worker must take the necessary steps to identify a suitable alternative placement in accordance with "Identifying a Suitable Family for a Child Procedure" and amend the child's immigration status.

Once an adoptive family has been identified, the child's social worker will notify the DfE. The DfE will advise the child's country of origin of the change.


8. Review of Prospective Adopter's Approval

The requirements for reviewing the approval of approved inter country adopters with no placement is the same as for agency adopters, i.e. every 12 months - and this will be carried out by Pac-UK on behalf of East Riding adoption agency.

This requirement to review continues until (in relation to a Convention country) the prospective adopters have received notification in writing from the central authority that an agreement under Article 17 has been made so the adoption may proceed or (in relation to a non-Convention country) the prospective adopters have visited the child in their country and confirmed in writing that they wish to proceed with the adoption.

End