Father-with-two-children

Our Agency

If you have been exploring the possibility of adopting, we would love to hear from you.

We want you to feel confident and comfortable to ask questions from day one, big or small, because adoption is a huge, life changing commitment for all involved.

Next steps:

  • Request a pack: contact@adopt4vvc.org - Once we receive your details, we will send you our information pack and welcome letter. If you leave a phone number than we will also give you a call.
  • Talk to us directly: 0800 023 4064 - We are available Monday - Thursday: 9.00am - 5.00pm or Friday: 9.00am - 4.30pm on. We would love to speak to you.

 

Our Responsibilities

As an agency we provide the following provision for adoptees, adoptive families and birth families:

Recruitment and Assessment Team

  • Information and advice to anyone interested in becoming an adoptive parent including the public, foster carers and subsequent adopters
  • Preparation, pre-approval training and timely assessments for all prospective parents

 

Stepparent and Kinship Adoptions

  • Advice and support for all involved  
  • Undertaking assessments of stepparent and relative adopters

 

Family Finding Team

  • Matching families with children who require adoptive placements in our four local authority areas (Cardiff, Merthyr, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Vale of Glamorgan)
  • Supporting children, birth families, adopters and foster carers through the placement process
  • Supporting adoptive families to obtain their Adoption Order

 

Post Adoption Support

  • Supporting adoptive families; including assessment of needs, ongoing contact with birth family; direct and indirect, support groups and family fun days
  • Support for adopted adults; including accessing files and searching for birth family
  • Support for birth parents and birth families; including birth parent support, ongoing contact; direct and indirect and searching for birth children

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we answer some of the most common questions asked by people who want to become adoptive parents. However, if the following answers don’t cover the issues that are causing you concern or you need further clarification, please get in touch.

  • What’s the difference between Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption Collaborative and other agencies?

    Local authority agencies, such as ourselves, are responsible for securing committed families for all children in our local authority areas whose care plans become adoption. 

    Our hope is that we can provide a broad range of prospective adopters for our children especially people who feel able to consider older children, children with complex needs and sibling groups. However, we recognise from time to time we may need to look further afield for parents who can meet our children’s needs for a variety of reasons. 

    In Wales there are two voluntary agencies; Barnardo's and St David’s Children Society. Both of these agencies recruit a small number of people per year who are specifically able to consider children who we might find it more challenging to find placements for. We work closely with St David’s through their ‘Adopting Together’ programme which you can find out more about here: Adopting Together

    We hope that you will chose to adopt with us but, ultimately, it’s up to you which agency you would prefer to adopt with - it is important you explore all your options before making this life-altering decision. 

  • Is there an age limit for adopters?
    Applicants must be 21+. There is no upper age limit, but you will need to be fit and healthy enough to support a child safely into adulthood. The most important factor is that you are able to provide a child with stability, security, a safe nurturing environment and have enough time to meet the needs of the child.
  • Are there any restrictions on health and disability?

    All prospective parents will be required to obtain a medical assessment (covering physical and mental health). This check is to assure all involved that you will be able to meet the needs of the child as they grow up. If you have any concerns, please make us aware of this during your initial enquiry and we will be able to advise you. 

    We provide the information that you need to take to the GP in order for them to carry out the medical assessment, as part of Stage One of the process. This information is then submitted to our medical advisor for evaluation. There is currently no set fee for a medical assessment across Wales, the cost of which is paid by the applicant. The cost is at the discretion of the GP practice and paid directly to the GP practice. 

    We welcome applications from people with conditions and disabilities and treat all circumstances on a case by case basis. If you have a disability that requires adaptions, we will work with you to provide this throughout the assessment and beyond. Our social workers have a wealth of experience assessing and will seek the advice of our medical advisor where needed. 

  • Can I adopt if I am smoking cigarettes or e-cigarettes? 

    We cannot place a child under five years old in a home where there is someone who smokes cigarettes or e-cigarettes. All homes have to be smoke and e-cigarette free for twelve months before the panel can approve prospective parents and a child can be placed. This rule applies to all agencies across Wales. 

    We advise prospective parents to make a decision about quitting smoking prior to making any further enquiries with us. If you wish to quit smoking in order to proceed with adopting, we advise that you make an appointment with your GP to register your intention to quit and seek any support services that they may offer. We then recommend that you contact us a minimum of six months after you have quit.

  • What if I’m considering or receiving fertility treatment / trying to conceive?

    We take our duty of care to prospective parents seriously and we ask that you wait six months after fertility treatment or a personal loss before starting the adoption process. We understand each person has an individual grieving process and if you would like to speak about your personal circumstances, we would encourage you to contact us. It is however our clear position for applicants to wait 6 months before starting an assessment.

    If you are considering adoption alongside fertility options, we are happy to for you to ask questions and attend our information evening to get a full understanding of your options. However, to start Stage One of the process we will need you to make a commitment to following one path. This is because adoption and fertility treatment are both emotionally involved processes and fertility treatment can also be physically demanding. We cannot place a child(ren) in a home where a prospective parent is undergoing fertility treatment or is pregnant, as our children require the full attention of the parent(s) during placement and beyond.

  • What if I have a criminal conviction?

    When applying to adopt it is important that you are open and honest with us at all stages. This is especially important when it comes to criminal offences. Any previous, personal convictions need to be discussed in detail and at a very early stage in the process.

    No offense is considered spent and an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is carried out on all applicants, alongside other checks. 

    There are certain offences prescribed by law that prohibit applications being accepted; for example, convictions of violent crimes or crimes against children. Less serious, isolated events will not necessarily prevent your application being considered but you need to be open about these from the start. If this applies to you, we ask that you share this with us, and we can talk you through how we approach managing such matters. 

    We also take into consideration any other involvement with social services or the police and this applies to members of your extended family and friends. If you have any concerns or questions surrounding this topic, please mention this when you get in contact so we can advise you accordingly.

  • What if I already have children?

    If you already have children living with you it is important to consider the impact that adoption might have on them. We encourage you to have open and honest conversations with your children before, during and after the adoption process.

    They may initially be excited about the prospect of gaining a sibling, but it is important that they always feel welcome and encouraged to ask questions about how adoption may impact them and your family.

    During an assessment we involve your existing child(ren) as much as possible to help prepare them for life with their new sibling.

    We have a community of adopters who have successfully adopted whilst already having children and we can arrange for you to speak to them about their experiences during the process. We also highlight some of their stories in the ‘Adopter Stories’ section of our website.

  • My family and friends have questions about adoption, what can I share with them / what support do you provide?

    If you adopt it will have a life-changing impact on your friends and family. We recommend (where appropriate) that you share your plans to adopt with your friends and family. They might have a range of emotional responses from excitement to nervous anticipation.

    Remember this is new information for them and they may need time to process and might have questions to ask. It is important that they too have a good understanding of adoption as they will be key figures in any adopted child’s life. Therefore, we offer ‘Family and Friends Training’ for applicants who are in Stage Two of the process (the number of family members / friends is limited per application to make sure that we can provide this training to all applicants’ families equally).

  • Are there any costs to the adoption process?

    Our service is free; there is no cost to the applicant. We will work on your behalf with regards to the legal process of adopting a child and there are no legal costs incurred on your part.

    The only thing that you are required to pay for during the assessment is the medical as this is a private arrangement between yourself and your GP practice. The only other cost occurs when you have lived abroad for more than a six-month period of time and we require you to obtain and overseas police check. Some countries charge a fee for this, the cost of which falls to you.

    Obviously, there will also be an ongoing cost of caring for a child (as there would be if a child was born to you). This is why we ask you to consider you financial position before entering the process.

  • Residency and Citizenship

    By law, applicants must be resident in the UK and expect to remain in the UK for the foreseeable future. The expectation is that at minimum one of the prospective adopters should be domiciled in the British Islands or have been habitually resident in a part of the British Islands for a period of not less than a year before they apply to the court for an Adoption Order.

    If an applicant is not a British Citizens or Dual Citizen, they must have been granted and can provide documentation to confirm that they have or will soon be entitled to 'Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)' in the UK. EU citizens without dual citizenship require Settled Status. Where applicants do not meet these requirements, they may be advised to seek legal advice and share this with us.

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