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A placement order is a court order that allows children’s services to place a child with prospective adopters. Before prospective adopters can make their application for an adoption order, the child must be ‘placed’ with them for a certain period. This cannot be done without a placement order, unless the parents formally agree to the child being adopted. Once the child has lived with the prospective adopters for 10 continuous weeks, they can apply for an adoption order.
The court will only make a placement order when it is convinced that adoption is what is best for the child. All other realistic options will have been ruled out. This includes the child being cared for by their parents but also their wider family and friends’ network. The court can make a placement order even if the child’s parents do not agree.
Please note that this is not the same as foster for adoption. See foster for adoption definition for more information.