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6.2.27 Adoption Decision Making Process for Cases not Referred to Adoption Panel


This chapter was amended in February 2016 and should be re-read throughout.


  1. Background
  2. Process

1. Background

From 1st September 2012 the Adoption Panel was no longer involved in the agency's process of deciding that a child should be placed for adoption when the court is involved in the decision.

The Adoption Panel is only involved where the birth parents consent to the child being placed for adoption.

2. Process

Adoption Team Manager/Deputy Team Manager to be invited to all legal planning meetings where adoption is a possibility, however slight. The appropriateness of Fast Track involvement to be considered, along with the appropriateness of Fostering For Adoption or Concurrency.

Care proceedings / assessments in progress.
Adoption medical at earliest opportunity.
Twin tracking where appropriate including Fostering For Adoption or Concurrent Placement.
Adoption plan formulated taking into account all relevant assessments and any expert reports. Will be discussed in supervision (and rationale for plan included in supervision records and on protocol) and at court.
Statutory review convened within 15 working days. Statutory review to take into account and record the views of parents, relatives, the child, the guardian and any other significant people. Date to be entered in protocol.
During this period initial family finding begins.
Social worker compiles Child's Permanence Report (CPR) within 20 days of statutory review agreeing the adoption plan.
CPR must be authorised and quality assured by Team Manager.
CPR submitted via ADCM administrator to Agency Adviser together with copies of all relevant reports and assessments.
Copy of CPR also sent to case-holding Legal Adviser.

Within 5 working days the Agency Adviser:

  • Quality Assures the CPR ensuring it is fit for purpose;
  • Ensures Medical Adviser report is available and discusses any relevant medical issues with the Medical Adviser;
  • Ensures all relevant reports have been supplied and that the Agency Decision Maker has all the necessary written information to make their decision.

5 days ahead of Agency Decision Meeting date Agency Adviser forwards all papers to Agency Decision Maker via ADCM Administrator and ADM's PA.

Papers to include:

  • CPR;
  • Expert reports;
  • Medical advice;
  • Legal Advice (to be provided in writing by case-holding Legal Adviser).
ADM reads papers and obtains any additional advice needed (The ADM must make the decision within 7 working days of receipt of papers).

Agency Decision meeting held (will be scheduled fortnightly but can be arranged on an ad hoc basis in urgent cases) attended by:

  • ADM;
  • Agency Adviser;
  • Note taker.

Social worker and / or team manager may be asked to attend for clarification.

In complex cases a Legal Adviser and/or Medical Adviser may be asked to attend in person.

Agency Decision Maker makes the agency decision in the meeting recording the documents and discussions taken into account and the reasons for the decision.

In making their decision the Agency Decision Maker must consider the Welfare Checklist.

Copy of decision sent to social worker, Legal Adviser, Agency Adviser, Family Finder and Adoption Team Manager.
Agency decision letters sent to birth parents within statutory timescale (5 working days).