The Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) in England became operational on 30 April 2004 and is run by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) on behalf of the Secretary of State.
The IRM was established to help to build public confidence in the adoption service, particularly in the adopter assessment process. Where an adoption agency has decided not to recommend them as suitable to adopt, the IRM gives prospective adopters the option to have their case reviewed by an independent panel. Such a decision by an adoption agency is known as a 'qualifying determination'.
The IRM is available both to prospective adopters who wish to adopt a child from the UK and intercountry adopters.
For more information visit the IRM website or read chapter one of the statutory adoption guidance.
The independent review panel can only consider requests for review where a 'qualifying determination' on the prospective adopter's suitability to adopt a child has been made.
The review panel can only consider suitability to adopt in general; it cannot make a recommendation in connection with a specific child.
The function of the review panel is to consider the case anew and to make a fresh recommendation to the agency. The agency's decision-maker will then consider both the original panel's recommendation and the review panel's recommendation before coming to a decision.
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Provides review of adoption suitability applications and adoption disclosure applications.