Why am I here?
The IRM is a review process which adopted people or birth relatives can use when they do not agree with the qualifying determination(QD) given to them by their Adoption Agency. It applies in cases where an adoption order was made after 2005.
A Qualifying Determination is a proposal made by an Adoption Agency that it will not proceed with an application or that it is proposing to disclose or withhold protected information from Adoption records contrary to the views expressed by the person the information is about.
If you have recently received a qualifying determination which you don’t agree with, you may apply to the IRM for a review . You have 40 working days from the date of the QD letter
The cost of having your case reviewed is met by your provider.
What the IRM can do for you
The IRM is a review process conducted by a Review Panel which is independent of the Adoption Agency.
The IRM will:
- review the proposed decision of the Adoption Agency to disclose or withhold protected information about you
- make a fresh recommendation to the agency
The IRM will not:
- make a final decision about your case, this is done by the Adoption Agency, after they have received the recommendation of the IRM Panel
How the Review Panel works
The case will be considered by a Review Panel including two social workers and either a person with professional experience of adoption or a medical practitioner, if there is a health aspect to the Qualifying Determination.
The Review Panel considers the following information to make its recommendation:
- your grounds(reasons) for requesting a review and any relevant information you provide to evidence your suitability to adopt.
- any other relevant information requested from the adoption panel or yourself by the IRM.
- If the Review Panel needs further information, this will be requested from your adoption agency or yourself before the Review Meeting.
- On the day of the Review Panel both you and the adoption agency will attend and both parties will be asked questions to clarify aspects of the case. Although you will have a separate waiting room both parties will be heard together. The only exception will be if the Panel seeks clarification from the adoption agency about 3rd party confidential information you are not entitled to see.
- The IRM will prepare a set of Panel papers which will be sent to you and the adoption agency two weeks before the Panel date.
The panel will also receive independent legal advice and if required medical advice from its own advisors.
Results and outcomes
The IRM Panel will reach a recommendation on the day and a copy of the panel’s recommendation reasons and a full set of minutes will be sent to you and the adoption agency 12 working days after the Review.
The adoption agency must take the review panel’s recommendation into account as well as the recommendation of the adoption panel when making its final decision on your suitability to adopt a child.