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How Adoption Works

How Adoption Works Image

Adoption is a process by which children gain new legal parents and become full members of a new family. An adoption order is not time limited and once made cannot be revoked. The child becomes a permanent member of the new family. 

Most children placed for adoption these days, however, will have some memories of their original birth family, who may or may not continue to play some part in the child’s life.

Age and ill health or disability are not necessarily constraints to becoming adopters and we would not automatically discount you on these grounds. You do not have to be married to become adopters and can be single, divorced, in a hetrosexual relationship or same sex relationship.

For those considering adoption, some areas to consider are:

What is the process after my enquiry?

The process of assessing people as prospective adopters is lengthy and intrusive by nature as we need to know a great deal about you and how your life experiences have shaped you as an adult. We will ask you about the important relationships in your life, both past and present, and will want to understand about your support networks and how you deal with the stresses and challenges of everyday life.

We will support you throughout the assessment process and most importantly work with you to a point of agreement about your strengths and capacity to meet the needs of children through adoptive parenting.

Read more

Preparation Groups

During Stage 1 of the adoption process we will invite you to attend two days of preparation training. In these first two days, you will learn about the children, their experiences and the process for looked after children. We will also prepare you to understand the impact that negative experiences for children have on their wellbeing.

During Stage 2 we will offer a further two days of preparation training and this will involve a more in depth opportunity to learn about child development, attachment theory and therapeutic parenting, and about contact in adoption. You will meet some adoptive parents and a birth mother. You will also meet the Agency Medical Advisor who will talk about the medicals that you are required to undergo and what you might read in a child’s medical report.

The groups are usually small enough so that we can all work and learn comfortably together, and will usually take place here at DFW Adoption’s office in Durham. We hold regular Stage 1 and Stage 2 training and we will inform you of the dates at the initial stages, details are also posted below.

Overall we will discuss the child’s journey from their family of birth through their placement with foster carers and eventually to their adoptive family. You will begin to understand the issues which affect all parties in these journeys and how they might impact on the child as they join their new family.

We are aware that some of the information can affect your emotions as we start to consider the early lives and experiences of the children involved. However, there are many reasons to be optimistic, as we reflect on the rewards to prospective adopters of parenting vulnerable children.

To a certain extent, the value of the course will reflect the amount that you put into it, so please come along and be prepared to take part. This is your opportunity to ask the questions that are important to you, you are free to share personal information with the group if you wish but will never be placed under pressure to talk about issues that are sensitive to you. All the information shared within the preparation groups is confidential to that setting and we ask you to respect this. We aim to provide prospective adopters with a good preparation for the adoption journey.

Preparation dates 2018:

Day 3 and 4

  • Thursday 10th May 2018
  • Friday 11th May 2018

Day 1 and 2

  • Thursday 31st May 2018
  • Friday 1st June 2018

Day 3 and 4

  • Thursday 26th July 2018
  • Friday 27th July 2018

Day 1 and 2

  • Thursday 6th September 2018
  • Friday 7th September 2018

Preparing Children of the family for Adoption (PCFA)

The PCFA service has been developed to offer a separate children’s worker to meet with children already in a family where the parents are considering adopting another child. The purpose of the service is to help the child think about and prepare for another child joining their family, and to be able to talk about this in private with their own worker. It’s not only the parents who adopt a child – it is the whole family.

It helps in the matching process if we take into account the personality, likes and dislikes of any child already in the family. While also understanding their wishes and potential anxieties about a new child joining the family. We have worked with children and young people of all ages trying to find imaginative ways to help them picture what may be nice, and not-so nice about a potential brother or sister.

We have developed information leaflets for workers, parents and children and this work is part of our standard practice with families wanting to adopt.

Who are the Children?

There are many children currently in need of adoptive parents nationally. These children have many different needs and we need a diverse range of people to meet those needs. The children who wait the longest are older children and the children who need to be in a family with their brothers and sisters. Read more about some of the children we have placed who are happy and secure with their adoptive parents.

Read more

To talk through any questions you might have feel free to call us on 0191 386 3719 (Monday to Thursday 9am – 5pm and Friday 9am – 4pm) or email us on

Enquire About Adoption

(if you can’t download form please contact 0191 3863719 or email for help)

Help and Advice Line

We are here to help Monday to Friday between the hours of 1pm & 4pm on 0191 386 3719

Enquire About Adoption

If you are considering adoption and would like us to get in touch to chat about your options, please complete our enquiry form and we will contact you soon.

Enquire About Adoption

We Need Your Help

DFW Adoption is a not for profit organisation based in Durham City. We always appreciate donations to support the work we do. If you wish to make a donation contact a member of staff on 0191 386 3719 or email us at

Donate to our Virgin Money giving page click here to view

Latest News and Events

DFW Adoption joins Adoption Matters group

Adoption Information drop-in

Coast to Coast Regional Adoption Agency

Welcome to Spring 2018

Office Closure for Christmas and New Year Period

Useful Links

Adoption is a complex subject, but aside from the work we do there is a wealth of information to support you in making a decision that is right for you. The following page has a number of links that you may find useful.

Click here to view


You can access further information downloads about DFW Adoption by following this link

Click here to view

Job Vacancies

Interested in working with DFW Adoption? send your cv and covering letter to