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Statutory Guidance on Adoption

For local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies and adoption support agencies

This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education. This means that recipients must have regard to it when carrying out duties relating to the adoption of children and the recruitment and support of adopters in England.

This guidance replaces all previous versions and is current as at 1 July 2013. The two stage adopter assessment process applies to both domestic and intercountry adopters, and for the latter, the additional requirements of the Adoptions with a Foreign Element Regulations 2005 continue to apply. This guidance explains the content of regulations made under the Adoption and Children Act 2002, and the duties and responsibilities that they place on adoption agencies.

This guidance is issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 which requires local authorities in exercising their social services functions, to act under the general guidance of the Secretary of State. This guidance must be complied with by local authorities when exercising these functions, unless there are exceptional reasons which justify a departure.

The guidance applies to England only and should be read by everyone involved in the adoption of children - especially children’s social workers - and those who work with adopted adults and birth families.