Adoption, fostering and surrogacy

Becoming a foster carer, adopting a child from the UK or abroad, looking after someone else's child.

General information and guidance

  1. Maternity pay and leave

    Your Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and Leave - what you get, how to claim, maternity rights and extra help

  2. Paternity pay and leave

    Your Statutory Paternity Pay and Leave - what you get, how to claim, eligibility

  3. Shared Parental Leave and Pay

    You can start Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if you're eligible and you or your partner ends your maternity or adoption leave early - eligibility, entitlement, starting SPL and splitting blocks of leave

Adoption

Pay and leave, adopting through your council, inter-agency fees, placement, inspection forms.

  1. Adopters' Charter

    This charter sets out shared principles for adoptive parents and adoption agencies.

  2. Adoption pay and leave

    Your Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave - what you get, how to claim and eligibility

  3. Adoption services: practice and improvement fund

    What the fund is for and how to apply for it.

  4. Adoption support agencies: inspection documents

    For inspection from 1 April 2017. The letter of notice, pre-inspection form and case list form for adoption support agencies inspections.

  5. Adoption support agency: do you need to register?

    What you need to know about registering with Ofsted if you want to open or manage an adoption support agency.

  6. Adoption: access to information and intermediary services

    Guidance for practitioners working with adopted adults and birth relatives on how to access to information and intermediary services.

  7. Adoption: national minimum standards

    Departmental advice containing the national minimum standards applicable to adoption agencies and adoption support agencies.

  8. Adoption: statutory guidance

    Statutory guidance for local authorities and adoption agencies.

  9. Apply to adopt a child through your council

    Apply to adopt a child through your local council if you are 21 or over and can offer a stable home to a child

  10. Become a child's legal parent

    Get a parental order to become a child's legal parent - UK residency, C52 acknowledgement form, surrogacy, adoption

  11. Child adoption

    The adoption process - eligibility, assessment, adoption agencies, overseas adoptions and the rights of birth parents

  12. Children's social care providers: variation fees

    Variation fees for children’s social care services.

  13. Inter-agency adoption fee: evidence sheet

    The form local authorities should use to submit a claim to get an inter-agency fee refund.

  14. Inter-agency adoption fee: grant for local authorities

    How and when local authorities can claim a refund for the inter-agency fee.

  15. Intercountry adoption: checklist for adoption agencies

    Checklist detailing the paperwork adoption agencies must include in intercountry adoption applications they submit to DfE.

  16. Plan your adoption leave

    Work out your Statutory Adoption Leave dates - Ordinary and Additional Adoption Leave period, notice period and earliest start date

  17. Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): voluntary adoption agencies

    Guidance about how voluntary adoption agencies are inspected.

  18. Surrogacy: legal rights of parents and surrogates

    Legal rights for intended parents when using surrogates or donors

  19. Voluntary adoption agencies: inspection documents

    For inspection from 1 April 2017. The letter of notice and case list form for voluntary adoption agency inspections.

  20. Voluntary adoption agency: do you need to register?

    What you need to know about registering with Ofsted if you want to open or manage a voluntary adoption agency.

  21. Young person’s guide to the Children and Families Act 2014

    Summary of the main changes and provisions of the act and how they may affect children and families.

Fostering

Fostering through your council, training, standards, fostering agencies, data collection forms, 'staying put' arrangements.

  1. Apply to foster a child through your council

    Apply to foster a child through the social services department of your local council

  2. Children Act 1989: fostering services

    Volume 4: statutory guidance on fostering services for looked-after children.

  3. Children Act 1989: private fostering

    Statutory guidance for local authorities on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of privately fostered children.

  4. Delegation of authority to carers: developing your local policy

    Guidance for local authorities who are aiming to develop or improve their local delegated authority policy.

  5. Foster carers

    Foster carers look after children when their parents aren't able to - becoming a foster carer, money and support available, fostering agencies

  6. Foster Carers' Charter

    This charter sets out shared principles for foster carers, local authorities and fostering services, and aims to attract more foster parents.

  7. Foster Carers' Charter: putting it into practice

    This document includes advice on how to put the charter into practice and some ideas for discussion when developing local charters.

  8. Fostering services: assessment and approval of foster carers

    Statutory guidance for local authorities on the assessment and approval process of foster carers for looked-after children.

  9. Fostering services: national minimum standards

    Guidance for local authorities on the national minimum standards for providing fostering services.

  10. Independent fostering agencies: inspection documents

    For inspection from 1 April 2017. Letter of notice for independent fostering agencies inspections.

  11. Independent fostering agency: do you need to register?

    What you need to know about registering with Ofsted if you want to open or manage an independent fostering agency.

  12. Independent reviewing officers' handbook: young people's guide

    A guide to help young people living in children’s homes or foster care understand the 'Independent reviewing officers handbook'.

  13. Looking after someone else's child

    Support and benefits you can get if you're looking after someone else's child, court orders - kinship care, private fostering, friends and family care

  14. National minimum standards for private fostering

    Statutory guidance for local authorities on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of privately fostered children.

  15. Ofsted annual fostering data collection: 2015 to 2016 form

    Ofsted collects fostering data annually from local authorities and independent fostering agencies in England.

  16. Ofsted annual fostering data collection: 2016 to 2017 form

    This is the 2016 to 2017 data collection form. Response required by 30 June 2017.

  17. Placement of looked-after children in EU member states

    Guidance for local authorities asked to place a child from EU member states into a children's home or with a foster carer.

  18. Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): independent fostering agencies

    Guidance about how independent fostering agencies are inspected.

  19. Staying put: arrangements for care leavers aged 18 years and above

    This guidance outlines 'staying put' arrangements that enable care leavers to remain with their former foster carers after they turn 18.

Intercountry adoption

Checklist for adoption agencies, guidance on handling applications, applying for a fee reduction.

  1. Intercountry adoption: checklist for adoption agencies

    Checklist detailing the paperwork adoption agencies must include in intercountry adoption applications they submit to DfE.

  2. Intercountry adoption: information for adoption agencies

    How adoption agencies should handle applications from people wishing to adopt a child from another country.

  3. Intercountry adoption: means test form

    Form for people who wish to adopt a child from overseas and would like to apply for a fee reduction.

Special guardianship

Support from local authorities, guidance on looking after someone else's child.

  1. Looking after someone else's child

    Support and benefits you can get if you're looking after someone else's child, court orders - kinship care, private fostering, friends and family care

  2. Special guardianship guidance

    Statutory guidance on the special guardianship services local authorities need to provide in accordance with the Children Act 1989.

Surrogacy

Surrogates' rights, using a surrogate, parental leave and pay.

  1. Become a child's legal parent

    Get a parental order to become a child's legal parent - UK residency, C52 acknowledgement form, surrogacy, adoption

  2. Rights for surrogate mothers

    A surrogate mother has a mother's rights to any child they carry, unless they sign a parental order - father's rights, maternity leave

  3. Surrogacy: legal rights of parents and surrogates

    Legal rights for intended parents when using surrogates or donors