SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This procedure applies to the assessment and approval of applicants resident in the UK who wish to adopt a child who is resident abroad; it also covers the procedures to be followed in relation to the placement of a child resident abroad with approved adopters.
Intercountry adoption applications are managed on behalf of Derby City Council by the Yorkshire Adoption Agency. An applicant interested in inter country adoption will be directed to this agency to discuss their enquiry.
If the prospective adopters have not identified the country from which they wish to adopt, they should be encouraged to consider this and to begin to develop their knowledge of the country chosen.
The local authority will become involved in the inter country adoption process once a child becomes resident in the city.
For procedures in relation to the placement of a child resident in the UK with adopters resident overseas, see Placement for Adoption Procedure.
Derby City Council uses a Strengths Based Approach for all work with children and families.
1. Post Placement Duties
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 Local Authority then has no further involvement other than providing or making arrangements for post-Adoption Agencys, if appropriate (see Adoption Support Procedure).
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 a 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 1 year, will be issued.
The prospective adopters must notify the Local Authority via the Child Permanence Team who will then liaise with the Yorkshire Adoption Agency (to ensure a worker is allocated for both the child/ren and prospective adopters) 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 Child Permanence Team and Yorkshire Adoption Agency.
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 Agency (Child Permanence Team and Yorkshire Adoption Agency) will arrange for a social worker to monitor the child's welfare by regular visits to the family home. The allocated worker must fulfil the qualifications and experience criteria set out in Adoption Panel (please refer to Adoption East Midlands).
An Adoption Case 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 Department for Education should be placed on the case 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 Clinical Commissioning Group 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 and 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 their 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, gender, date and place of birth; each prospective adopter's name, gender, 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 Agency and request that a Court Report is produced supplied directly to the court.
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 their 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.
2. Post Adoption Support
Families who have adopted from abroad are eligible for assessment for adoption support as set out in Adoption Support Procedure.
See also the Adoption Support Fund (DfE).
3. 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 Assessment Framework, 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 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 Department of Education. The Department of Education 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 the Placement for Adoption Procedure and amend the child's immigration status.
Once an adoptive family has been identified, the child's social worker will notify the Department of Education, who will then advise the child's country of origin of the change.