Change a life - adopt a child in West Sussex

Adopt with us

Your introduction and first steps to adoption.

Last updated:
19 December 2019
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1 Overview

As part of the Government’s commitment to improving the adoption process, West Sussex County Council are working in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council and Surrey County Council as ‘Adoption South East’ (ASE).

In 2017-18, by working together, we found families for 60 local children. Having a larger pool of approved adopters to choose from means that we can find the right families for these children more quickly.

“The first time he called me mummy my heart burst; it was the greatest feeling in the world ever.” Davina, single adoptive mother, Horsham

Adoption is an important and life-changing decision and, as part of ASE, we are committed to:

  • securing adoptive families for children in our areas
  • supporting you throughout your assessment and matching process
  • offering lots of regular information sessions in all areas, where social workers will be on hand to speak to you
  • enabling you to be considered for a wider range of children
  • provide ongoing training and support to adoptive families.
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2 Children needing adoption

There are many children waiting for adoption in West Sussex, from babies and toddlers through to school age children. They include sibling groups, children from different ethnic backgrounds and children with additional needs.

Children are adopted for a number of reasons. Sometimes, but rarely, birth parents request that their child be placed for adoption. Occasionally, children are abandoned or their birth parents suffer from an illness that prevents them from parenting. In the majority of cases however, the courts decide that the birth parents do not have the capacity to care for their children.

Children who are waiting for adoption have often experienced a poor start to life. You will be giving them the opportunity to thrive in a stable and loving environment and, with your support, to overcome these early challenges and reach their potential.

3 The first steps to adoption

If you are interested in learning more about adoption, the first step is to attend an information session. By working with our partnering authorities, you can find one that best suits you from a range of dates and venues.

Following your session, you will be offered an opportunity to meet a social worker to discuss your interest in greater detail. This will normally be a social worker from the agency that managed your initial enquiry.

If you go on to formally register your interest, you will undergo a two-stage assessment process. This will be managed by one of the partnering authorities - usually the closest one to your home.

As part of the assessment process you will need to attend training.

Additional information

You can find further information on the adoption process in the documents below.

Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose sets out the framework for West Sussex County Council’s Adoption Service as required under the Adoption and Children Act 2002, the Adoption Agencies Regulations and Guidance 2013 and the Adoption National Minimum Standards (Care Standards Act 2000).

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