How the Adoption Register works

How the Adoption Register works


The team works with adoption agencies to ensure that children and families have the best chance of finding a suitable match.

Once referred to the Adoption Register for England our experienced business partner team work with practitioners and adopters to find the best possible matches for children and families.

Referral from your agency

Agencies can refer adopters to the Adoption Register for England as soon as they have been approved by the agency. They usually do this if it seems unlikely that the adopters will be matched quickly with a suitable child in their own region.

Agencies must refer prospective adopters (with their consent) to the Adoption Register for England three months after they have been approved if there is not a match with an identified child being actively pursued.

Adopters can decide that they do not wish to be referred to the Adoption Register for England, but this will reduce the opportunity for them to be matched with a child who is right for them.

Self Referral

All you need to do is complete the self-registration form which will notify your social worker of your request to be referred to the Adoption Register for England and obtain their confirmation that you are an approved adopter. You will then be provided with login details to directly search the Adoption Register for England.


When a child is referred to the Adoption Register for England we search the database for suitable links with families. Adoption Match Regional Business Partners look closely at possible families and will send details of the most appropriate ones to the child’s social worker. They will also send details of the child to the families’ worker.

The practitioners will then consider the proposed link and exchange further information if they wish to pursue. This may lead to a visit to the prospective adopters and if everyone is happy that this is the right child and the right family then the proposed match will be taken to the child’s agency’s adoption panel.