3.9.14 Checklist for Sharing Parental Responsibility


For the procedure in relation to adoptive placements, see Placement for Adoption Procedure.


  1. Introduction
  2. Checklist for the Extension of Parental Responsibility to Prospective Adopters

1. Introduction

The Adoption and Children Act 2002 introduces the requirement for Parental Responsibility to be shared with prospective adopters post placement. The extent that such Parental Responsibility can be exercised is at the discretion of the local authority. It is a requirement that this be considered at an early stage prior to the plan for the placement of a child with specific adopters being presented to the Adoption Panel.

The most important elements of Parental Responsibility include:

  • Providing a home for the child;
  • Having contact with the child;
  • Protecting and maintaining the child;
  • Disciplining the child;
  • Determining and providing for the child’s education;
  • Determining the religion of the child;
  • Consenting to the child’s medical treatment;
  • Naming or agreeing to the change of name through Court.

This must therefore be discussed and considered at the Placement Planning Meeting and included within the Adoption Placement Report. The Adoption Panel will consider and may give advice on this aspect of the plan.

In coming to a decision on the exercise of Parental Responsibility for the child, the agency should take into account the views of:

  • The child, if he or she is of sufficient age and understanding;
  • The prospective adopters;
  • The birth parent/s;
  • Anybody else the agency considers relevant.

It should be considered again as part of the Adoption Placement Plan and will be kept under review by Independent Reviewing Officers at each Adoption Review until the child is subject to an Adoption Order.

Birth parents should be notified once a child is made subject to a Placement Order as to how they may exercise their restricted parental responsibility until the child is placed for adoption. This will be kept under review and birth parents notified of any changes. For many birth parents this may mean that they are kept informed about certain key events until the child is adopted. 

The checklist attached provides an aide memoir for determining the areas and degree prospective adopters can exercise Parental Responsibility. The list is not exhaustive.

2. Checklist for the Extension of Parental Responsibility to Prospective Adopters

Considerations for Sharing Parental Responsibility

Guiding Principles of making decisions about sharing parental responsibility

  • Individual decisions will be made using the general guidance provided by the table below, but tailored to children’s and families;
  • The adopters will be making day-to-day decisions, in line with their competencies and competence;
  • The Local Authority will continue to make decisions, where they are irreversible or may effect the child significantly in later life;
  • Parents will be consulted or informed where appropriate, but the emphasis is on placement stability;
  • All parties may be given confirmation in writing, once agreement about the sharing of parental responsibility has been reached.

Click here to view Checklist for the Extension of Parental Responsibility to Prospective Adopters