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Your Borough Of Poole


Adoption and Permanence Team

Poole Adoption and Permanence Team are a small team of highly experienced staff including adoption social workers, a social work assistant and a team manager. The adoption team are supported by a very able and approachable administration team. If you want any further information then our contact details are on the right hand side of this page.

It is likely that at different stages in the adoption process you will meet all or most of our team and all applicants who progress through to full assessment have their own identified adoption social worker. Our Statement of Purpose describes in detail the responsibilities of our team and is available for download from this page.
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What is Adoption?

We provide a service for children needing permanent families when it is not possible for them to live with their birth families. Adoption is a legal process whereby the parental responsibility for a child is transferred from birth parents to adoptive parents. Legally the child gains the same rights as any child born to the adopters, including inheritance rights.

Adoption is a service for children who need new families. There is no typical kind of parent we are looking for but all adopters will need to have the capacity, with training and support, to meet the needs of children many of whom will have been in our foster care.

Some adopters will be looking to adopt a child from abroad and we contract with another adoption agency, Parents And Children Together (PACT) , to provide services for people considering inter-country adoption.

Some adopters will be looking to adopt the child of a relative and we can provide advice to local families who are considering step-parent adoption or special guardianship.
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Want to Adopt?

Our Adoption and Fostering Team recruits, assesses, trains and supports foster families and adoptive families for children and young people. We are always looking for adopters for older children (over 2yrs), siblings and children with special needs. You can register your interest in adoption on an enquiry form.

We are a member of the South West Adoption Consortia and adopters approved by us are mostly matched with children from the consortia.

Although Poole children aren't always placed for adoption within the Poole area (mainly to due to our small size) we work closely with other Local Authorities in the various adoption consortia agencies to enable exchanges.
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Who can be an adoptive parent?

We will expect applicants to follow Poole's Managing Diversity Policy. We welcome enquiries from prospective adopters:

  • from all cultures, languages and religions within the UK
  • with or without their own children
  • who may be disabled
  • who are single
  • who are couples in stable and enduring relationships who are committed together to care for a child - whether or not they are married or in a civil partnership.

We prioritise applications from people who have the skills and ability to adopt children from our priority groups. These are:

  • older children

  • sibling groups

  • children with complex needs

  • children of any age needing placements outside of Poole

  • children who are black or from minority ethnic groups.

We review our policies regularly to ensure that they adequately reflect the need for placements and any significant change in the needs of children who are waiting for adoptive families. We are also happy to provide information and advice about other adoption agencies.

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Who cannot be an adoptive parent?

There are eligibility criteria but there are no 'blanket bans' on the grounds of age, weight, appearance, sexuality, status, income, etc. However, we cannot accept applications from people who:

  • have a significant history of offending, particularly offences of violence

  • have committed offences against children

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Adopter Support

We provide assessments for post adoption support for adoptive families and birth families. Our services can include specialist consultation, support groups and social events. We also manage the post adoption contact/letterbox service for adoptive families and birth relatives.

The Independent Birth Relative Service for Dorset, Bournemouth & Poole  can provide support, information and counselling about adoption.

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Adoption Records

There are special arrangements for obtaining information about adoption records. Please contact us using the details on the right of this page.
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Adoption Organisations and Further Information 

Adoption UK

After adoption

British Association for Adoption & Fostering

Independent Birth Relative Service for Dorset, Bournemouth & Poole

National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS)


Parents And Children Together (PACT)

South West Adoption Consortium

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Contact us

Opening Hours


01202 714711 Fostering and Adoption team
01202 735046 Main Switchboard
Text Relay
18001 01202 735046


Children & Young Peoples Social Care
14a Commercial Road Poole
BH14 0JW