About us

The Independent Review Mechanism for Fostering and Adoption (IRM) provides independent panels that review decisions made by adoption and fostering providers.

Those wishing to challenge decisions (‘qualifying determinations’) made about them can apply to the IRM to have their case reviewed by an independent panel of people who have experience with children. These may include foster parents, adopters and social workers, as well as people who have been fostered or adopted.

The IRM is run by Coram Children’s Legal Centre on behalf of the Department for Education.

Our responsibilities

We’re responsible for reviewing qualifying determinations made by local authorities, fostering service providers and other agencies, about:

  • eligibility to foster
  • eligibility to adopt
  • accessing protected information from adoptees’ birth records
  • foster parents terms of approval

Who we are

We’re a small team made up of a contract manager, caseworkers and administrators.

Our independent panels are made up of 5 to 7 members who have professional or personal experience of adoption or fostering.