Family Finding

Once you are approved as a prospective adopter you begin the process of exploring possible matches with a child. If you have been approved by a Local Authority, they are likely to begin by asking you to consider matches with a child or children at a local level. However, if a suitable match is not achieved after three months that is where Scotland’s Adoption Register comes into the process.

Regulations introduced by the Scottish Government in 2016, make it mandatory for local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies to refer prospective adopters to the Register within 3 months of approval by the panel (and agency decision maker). The referral is made by you or your agency completing the on-line profile which then becomes visible to the social workers for children who are looking for placements. It also enables you to view information about the children waiting. If you wish to join the register before the end of the 3 months’ period, this is entirely possible as long as you have the agreement of your agency.

A referral will be made and your profile made visible only with your explicit consent.

The cost of the service is met by Scotland’s Adoption Register – there is no charge to adopters or to agencies.

1. Online Register

How do I get online?

  • As a prospective adopter, you get onto the register by completing an online profile. The profile can be completed by you or the social worker in your agency. When the profile is first completed, it will only become visible on the register’s site with the agreement of your agency. After that you will be able to make amendments to your profile to ensure that it remains up to date.
  • To complete your profile for the register, you must first get signed up to the system. Begin this process by clicking the online register button below.
  • It is of critical importance that the security of the system is maintained – you will be asked to create a safe password and provided with a PIN to gain access to the site. Confirmation of your identity will also be sought from your agency.
  • Social workers for adopters or those responsible for family finding for children also need to register by clicking the online register button below.

  • What are some of the benefits of the online register for adopters?

  • Access to information about the widest range of children.The detail contained in profiles guides adopters and their social workers to children with whom they may want to explore a link.
  • Ability to directly show interest in children.Adopters can directly initiate a discussion with the family finder for a child.
    Ability to flexibly manage the linking process. Adopters and their social workers can jointly decide how the linking process should be managed – for example, whether the adopters of the social worker will be responsible for initiating discussions.
  • For more information on how to register and use the online register you can watch this short video which will guide you through registration, creating profile, and family finding.
  • We have also created a written how to guide to help you get started.

    Guide to the Online Register

    2. Exchange Days

    What is an adoption exchange day?

    These are events hosted by Scotland’s Adoption Register providing adopters more opportunities to hear directly about some of the children in Scotland who are currently waiting for adoptive placements. Social workers, and in some cases the children’s foster carers, will be present to talk about the children requiring a placement.

    What Information will I find out about the children featured?

    As well as written profiles about the child/ren there may be short DVDs, photographs and contributions from the child/ren about the family they would like. There will also be information about the child/ren’s personalities and particular needs. Social workers who know the child will be available to answer questions and to take your details if you are interested in pursuing a link with a particular child or sibling group. Sometimes the child/ren’s foster carer attends and will be able to give you a realistic picture of life with a particular child or sibling group.

    How do I prepare?

    Attending an Exchange Day is an opportunity to find out more about some of the children waiting for an adoption placement. It can be an emotional experience as you will see sensitive and personal information on a number of children who really need a family. Things to consider before attending include:

  • Look after yourself! Think about how you would like to manage the event; venues will have a quiet space where you can take ‘time out’, perhaps to look at some profiles or just to have refreshments and a break.
  • Try to prepare for the possibility you may be disappointed if you express an interest in a particular child and are not the preferred choice of the child’s social workers.
  • You may feel that time is moving very slowly after the event. It may take the social workers concerned a number of weeks to gather all the information they need in order to make a decision about which family will be best able to meet the child’s needs.
  • You may find that none of the children profiled are suitable for you.
  • Learning more about the children from their profiles and from talking to social workers can encourage you to look beyond your current approval range and perhaps consider a child a little older than you had originally discussed, or a child with a particular special placement need.

    What do I bring on the day?

    You should bring your letter confirming that you are registered to attend the event. We also recommend that you bring along a short one page profile about yourself with a photograph. You can leave this profile with local authorities where you have expressed an interest in a child/ren. Remember to put your social worker’s contact details on the profile.

    What happens next?

    If there are children you wish to explore a link with, you will need to discuss this with your social worker after the event. Your worker will contact the agency with responsibility for the child/ren to make them aware of your interest.

    How can I ensure that I attend an event?

    Due to the sensitive and confidential nature of the information on display we will operate a strict registration procedure.

    If you would like to attend, please discuss this with your social worker and ask them to nominate you for the event. If you want more information about the event or how to arrange for your agency to make the necessary referral, you can contact us directly.

    We will send you a confirmation letter which you must bring with you on the day to be allowed access to the event, along with practical information about the venue, travel and parking directions.

    3. Activity Days

    Adoption Activity Days in Scotland are an addition of a range of family finding events organised by The Scotland’s Adoption Register.

    The primary purpose of activity days is to give children waiting for a permanent placement and prospective adopters the opportunity to meet in a relaxing and child friendly environment; where the focus is on encouraging adults and children interaction through a range of activities and games.

    Adoption Activity Days in Scotland give adopters a real opportunity to respond directly to a range of children and to make a personal connection with them. This hopefully enhances the chances of finding families for those children who might otherwise miss the opportunity of having a permanent family.

    Who are the children?

    At an Activity Day children will have the opportunity to meet families, like you, who want to adopt and also meet other children who are waiting to be adopted and also have some fun!

    At this event there will be a mixture of sibling groups, single children and some children with additional support needs. They are all waiting for the opportunity to have an adoptive family. Meeting children is very different to reading their profiles or seeing a video. Hopefully you will have a chance to see the children as they really are by joining in the activities and playing with them, rather than them being defined by their complex histories and possible additional needs. There will also be opportunities for you to talk to their foster carers and social workers who will be attending the day with the children.

    What should I expect?

    You won’t be able to spend time with all of the children but hopefully you will be able to get to spend time with a number of children on the day. You will see profiles of who the children attending are, during the briefing on the day of the event.

    It can also feel overwhelming meeting all these children who need a family and you are bound to feel a bit nervous and anxious at first. On the day if you have a question or feel a bit lost or hesitant – either talk to your social worker or find a staff member with a red t-shirt on and we will be happy to help you.

    Feedback form previous has been that people felt nervous initially but felt able to relax once everyone was together playing games.

    “A little nervous at first but the games helped us all relax and enjoy the day”

    “Very positive and good fun. Relaxing day with lots of activities. It is good to see the kids rather than just reading profiles”

    If you have your own children they are welcome to come and join in the activities. Talk this through with your social worker as not all children may be able to manage an event like this. Please make sure we know in advance if your children are attending.

    More information on the day

    Your agency or local authority is able to provide you with more detailed information and show you a short video of an activity day in Scotland to help you get a sense of what to expect. The register also organises briefings before the event and on the day prior to meeting the children.