Adoption jargon buster

Adoption terms explained


Adoption is a legal process which transfers parental responsibility from the child’s birth parents to their adoptive parents and severs a child's legal ties to the birth family.

Adoption order:

This order gives full parental responsibility for a child to the approved adopters and severs legal ties with the birth parents. You can apply for an adoption order after you have lived with your adopted child for a minimum of 10 weeks.

Adoption panel:

An adoption panel will consider whether you should be approved to become an adopter.

Early permanence:

A means of placing a child with prospective adopters who are also temporarily approved as foster carers at an earlier stage whilst assessments of the family and court processes are ongoing.


The process of identifying suitable approved adoptive parents for a child whose plan is adoption.

Parental responsibility:

The legal rights and responsibilities that a parent has for their child.

Placement order:

A legal ruling made by the courts which authorises a Local Authority to place a child with approved prospective adoptive parents of their choosing.

Preparation training:

During stage one of the process, prospective adopters will be invited to preparation training. They are designed to engage, provide information and prepare prospective adopters for all aspects of the adoption process.

Prospective Adopters Report (PAR):

This report is the full assessment of your suitability to adopt completed by the allocated social worker and presented to adoption panel to consider the adopter's approval.

Regional Adoption Agency (RAA):

A regional adoption agency is a new way of delivering adoption services.

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