Adoption: National Minimum Standards

Accessed from:

Published:March 2011
Publication Type: Guidance
Audience: Lead Member for Children’s Services, Local authorities and key statutory agencies, Social workers

This document contains the National Minimum Standards (NMS) applicable to the provision of adoption services. The NMS together with the adoption regulations form the basis of the regulatory framework under the Care Standards Act 2000 for the conduct of adoption agencies and adoption support agencies.

The NMS for adoption are issued by the Secretary of State under sections 23 and 49 of the Care Standards Act 2000. The Secretary of State will keep the standards under review and may publish amended standards as appropriate.

Minimum standards do not mean standardisation of provision. The standards are designed to be applicable to the variety of different types of adoption agencies and adoption support agencies. They aim to enable, rather than prevent, individual agencies to develop their own particular ethos and approach based on evidence that this is the most appropriate way to meet the child’s needs.

* General introduction
* Standards


Adoption Agencies
Adoption Support Agencies

STANDARD 15 – Adoption support


The Adoption Support Services Regulations 2005

The Local Authority Adoption Service (England) Regulations 2003
Regulation 9A – Provision of services

The Voluntary Adoption Agencies and the Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2003
Regulation 24F – Provision of services

The Adoption Support Agencies (England) and Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2005
Regulation 13 – Provision of services

Adoption and Children Act 2002 Guidance – Chapter 9
Practice Guidance on Assessing the Support Needs of Adoptive Families


• Children and adults affected by adoption receive an assessment of their adoption support needs.

• Service users confirm that the adoption support service provided met or are meeting their assessed needs.


15.1 Where services are commissioned by an adoption agency, a three-way working relationship is developed with the adoption agency and the Adoption support agency working in partnership to most effectively meet the needs of the service user. Commissioning arrangements are underpinned by a written agreement and are reviewed at regular intervals.

15.2 When deciding whether to provide a service, or which service to provide, the agency has regard to the assessed needs for adoption support services, listens to the service user’s wishes and feelings, and considers their welfare and safety.

15.3 The service user knows, and receives written information about, the service they are to receive; what the service is designed to achieve; what is involved in the particular service provision and how the service will be monitored to ensure that it is delivering the intended outcome.


15.4 Prospective adopters and adopters are made aware of, and encouraged by, the Adoption Support Services Adviser to access support services, and apply for tax credits and welfare benefits which are available to them and advise them of their employment rights to leave and pay.

15.5 The Adoption Support Services Adviser assists prospective adopters and adopters through liaison with education and health services; across local authority boundaries and between departments within the local authority.

15.6 Adoption agencies seek feedback from service users on the success of the service provision. This feedback is recorded centrally and on the case record of the service user.


Adoption Agencies
Adoption Support Agencies

STANDARD 16 – Intermediary services


The Adoption and Children Act 2002 – sections 9 and 98
Adoption Information and Intermediary Services (Pre-commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005

Adoption and Children Act 2002 Guidance – Chapters 10
Practice Guidance on Adoption: Access to Information and Intermediary Services


• Adopted adults and birth relatives are assisted to obtain information in relation to the adoption, where appropriate, and contact is facilitated between an adopted adult and their birth relative if that is what both parties want.


16.1 Information is provided about the Adoption Contact Register and how to register a wish for contact or no contact; and about absolute and qualified vetoes and the potential benefits and disadvantages of registering a veto.

16.2 The applicant is met and their identity verified before any information is disclosed to them, contact facilitated; or a veto is registered.

16.3 The Appropriate Adoption Agency and the Intermediary Agency agree a timescale for responding to an enquiry and keeps the Intermediary Agency informed of the progress (or lack of progress) of their enquiry.

16.4 Service users are helped to understand the possible effects on them and their family of the outcome of their search.

16.5 Service users are consulted on decisions made in relation to their service provision. Consultation with service users is recorded on their individual records.

16.6 Agencies seek feedback from service users on the success of the service provision. This feedback is recorded centrally and on the case record of the service user.

English Councils’ Support for Adopted Adults

For many adoptees, their initial contact when attempting to ascertain information about their own adoption may well be through their own area authority. Thus this post lists all links to local authorities ‘adoption help pages’ that I have been able to find through a basic Google web search.

Wikipedia lists 9 regions in England, which are further broken down into counties and districts. It is from the county authorities that I have strived to glean information.

PLEASE NOTE: This post is still in the process of creation as finding the information is not always ‘just’ a ‘simple’ web search. Not only is the information from each authority needed, it is first necessary to establish which area authorities exist.

List of English County Councils obtained from:

Page title ~ in area

Support for adopted adults ~ in Buckinghamshire
Support for adopters ~ in Cambridgeshire
Support to Adopted Adults and their Birth Families ~ in Cumbria
Adoption Support Services ~ in Derbyshire
Adult Adoption Counselling Service ~ in Devon
No obvious help found ~ in Dorset
Tracing your birth parents ~ in East Sussex
If you have been adopted ~ in Essex
Services for adopted adults who want to trace birth relatives ~ in Gloucestershire
About your Adoption ~ in Hampshire
Adoption Support ~ in Hertfordshire
Support for adults who have been adopted ~ in Kent
No obvious help found ~ in Lancashire
I’m Adopted ~ in Leicestershire
An adopted adult ~ in Lincolnshire
How to obtain birth records ~ in Norfolk
Tracing your birth family ~ in Northamptonshire
No obvious help found ~ in North Yorkshire
I am adopted ~ in Nottinghamshire
Advice for adopted adults ~ in Oxfordshire
No obvious help found ~ in Somerset
Adoption affects 1 in 5 people in Staffordshire. Are you affected by adoption and living in Staffordshire? ~ in Staffordshire
Supporting people affected by adoption ~ in Suffolk
Information and support for adults who were adopted ~ in Surrey
Support for adopted people ~ in Warwickshire
Adoption support ~ in West Sussex
Adoption Support ~ in Worcestershire

Laying the foundations

The trenches have been dug, and now the foundations can start being poured.

I have an appointment on Wednesday at the bank with the business advisor so that I can open an account for PostAdoption Charity.

I have a Trustee, and I have someone willing to be Patron.

I have a CafePress store with at least two designs stocked.

I hold both and domains (both of which need re-directing to here).

I have the @PostAdoption Twitter account.

I need to work out a business plan, I think.

I also need to work out what criteria people are going to have to fit into in order to be able to obtain the funding that I’m hoping to raise so that people can get the help I’m hoping to be able to give.

Being entirely new at this, I’m not really sure what else I need to get going effectively, so all pointers appreciated. Until then, I’ll be found browsing through pages like How to write a business plan and Recipe for success: Business plans while trying to work out how to build this into viable concern.

Oh, and I have also asked Daughter to create a logo for me, however she’s not convinced that she will be able to pull it off. She needs to stop doubting herself so much. </Pot meeting Kettle> ;)

[Reblog] Labelling

*nodding* all the way through.

The Life Of Von

please tell meMost of us go through life being labelled many, many times. For adoptees there are additional labels – bastard, illegitimate, ungrateful, needy, evil, speaker of vile words and so on. Those who frequent the blogosphere, facebook etc will be more than familiar with them and with the insults and ridicule which regularly come our way when we speak out about the truth of adoption for adoptees or express a view about some aspect of our lives. For instance as someone who accepted the South Australian Apology for forced adoption, not just for myself, but for my deceased mother, since no-one else was entitled to do so, I have been the target of sustained criticism and insult, all from parents or fellow adoptees. I have been labelled as having a psychiatric disorder for my beliefs and for expressing them honestly and openly. I have received instructions on how I should conduct…

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