The Adoption Process


Choose Adoption

Adoption is about making families. Every year there are children in Scotland who require stable, loving and caring families for the remainder of their lives.


Find an Agency

In Scotland there are 32 local authority adoption teams as well as 4 voluntary adoption agencies. To find agencies in your area click through to our helpful map


What to Expect

Once you have decided on an agency your application will be considered. The process will involve participation in preparation groups where you can hear about the children requiring adoption and it provides an opportunity to ask questions. A home study will also form the bulk of your assessment. Once this is complete with appropriate checks you will then attend an adoption panel.



Once you are approved as a prospective adopter your 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.

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.