Privacy Policy

What we do

Aspire Adoption is the Regional Adoption Agency to which Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council and Dorset Council have delegated some of their statutory responsibilities in relation to adoption and special guardianship.

Aspire Adoption collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you in relation to these delegated responsibilities. The service approves adopters and provides them with ongoing support and guidance to ensure they are good adoptive parents. The service ensures that children are matched with the most appropriate adoptive parents to ensure positive outcomes for children and young people who have been in care. We support adopters and special guardians and provide assessments of need and therapeutic support as required. We undertake special guardianship assessments.

The purposes we use your personal information for

We collect and process your personal information to provide services to you.  These include:

  • processing adoptive parent applications and assessing suitability to become an adoptive parent;
  • matching approved adoptive parents with children for adoption, to ensure the most successful outcomes for children who have been in care;
  • providing ongoing support and advice to adoptive parents;
  • assessing prospective special guardians;
  • providing ongoing support and advice to special guardians;
  • accessing the Adoption Support Fund;
  • providing information to the court in respect of adoption or special guardianship applications;
  • preventing or detecting crime or fraud;
  • assessing and evaluating our services;
  • informing future service planning and the commissioning of services.

The personal information we collect and use


We only obtain and use the information we need to provide our services to you.

Personal information we collect, and use includes:

  • personal information (such as name, address, contact details, date of birth, gender and language) at the point of referral, whether for becoming an adopter or special guardian, for adoption or special guardianship support, or in relation to matching a child and adopters.
  • information collected in the course of approving, matching and supporting adoptive parents, and assessing special guardians, which includes special category characteristics (such as ethnicity, disability, religion and medical information), family network and relationship information, employment information and financial information.

In the process of assessing adopters and special guardians, we also obtain personal information from other sources as follows:

  • the local authority in whose area you live or have lived in the last 10 years;
  • other adoption agencies previously involved if you have enquired or been. assessed elsewhere.
  • past and/or present employer
  • social media
  • references (personal and employment)
  • previous partners
  • health
  • schools


The law we use to process your personal information

Statutory legislation:

The main legislation that provides us with the statutory basis to deliver our services is:  

  • Local Authority Social Services Act 1970
  • Children Act 1989
  • Adoption and Children Act 2002 and associated regulations
  • Children and Adoption Act 2006 and associated regulations
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Special Guardianship Regulations 2005


The GDPR/DPA conditions we meet:

The conditions that we use to process your personal information are:

  • Public task: the processing is necessary for us to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law
  • Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract we have with you, or because you have asked us to take specific steps before entering into a contract with you
  • Legal obligation: the processing is necessary for us to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations)
  • Consent: you have given consent for us to process your personal data for a specific purpose, or purposes

Special category personal information –

We also use additional conditions to process your special category personal information which are for the provision and management of social care systems and services.

We will obtain explicit consent from you to the processing of your personal information as part of any adoption assessment or special guardianship assessment.

How to withdraw your consent

Where you have been asked to provide your consent to processing you can withdraw it at any time.  If you wish to withdraw your consent, please contact or talk to the staff member in Aspire who has been providing the service or services to you.  If you do not have a staff member that you have regular contact with, please make your request to withdraw consent to your allocated worker, or to

Correcting information you think is inaccurate (rectification)

You can challenge the accuracy of personal data held about you by us and ask for it to be corrected or deleted. If your data is incomplete, you can ask us to complete it by adding more details.  You can contact any part of the Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole Council, who host Aspire, with your request.

Erasure (right to be forgotten): You can ask for your personal information to be erased (deleted), but this is not an absolute right. 

Restricting processing: You have the right to ask us to restrict what we use your personal information for in certain circumstances, but again this is not an absolute right. 

Who we may share your information with

  • Ofsted (in the event of a local authority inspection of children’s services);
  • the Adoption & Special Guardianship Leadership Board, as part of their quarterly reports, which will also be shared with Ofsted;
  • the judiciary and legal representatives in relation to specific applications to court such as applications for an Adoption or Special Guardianship Order;
  • Other local authorities or national matching agencies such as the South West Adoption Consortium or Link Maker to match prospective adopters with children;
  • the Adoption Support Fund when applying for funding for specific services.

We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law.

Can you share my information without telling me?

Yes.  There are some circumstances where we can lawfully share information and we are not obliged to tell you.  These circumstances are known as “exemptions”.  The exemptions we are most likely to use are for the purposes of:

  • Crime prevention or detection (including fraud)
  • Legal proceedings, or by Order of the courts
  • Meeting an obligation by law; that is, we are obliged by law disclose information
  • Regulatory functions that we are responsible for and which provide us with enforcement powers

How long we keep information about you

Category Retention Period
Approved adoptive parents, whether agency or non-agency e.g. intercountry adopters or step parent adopters 100 years from the last contact
Prospective adoptive parents who withdraw prior to approval 5 years from the last contact
Post-order support to adopters and special guardians 8 years from the date of the last contact
Children Looked After 75 years from the child’s date of birth


Keeping personal information safe

We have a legal obligation to keep your information safe and secure. 

What rights do I have relating to my personal information?

The law gives you rights relating to your personal information.  These are:

  • The right to be informed (Privacy Notices)
  • The right to rectification
  • The right to erasure
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling 

To find out more about all of your rights and how to exercise them please refer to the Information Commissioner’s Office website:   

Access to your information:

Aspire Adoption has the discretion on how we respond to requests for access to information; we will consider what would be reasonable, and it is our responsibility to treat applicants fairly, please send your request to


Appendix A

Substantial public interest condition:

This is a top line summary of the processing that falls within the “substantial public interest” condition, focusing on the areas most likely to apply to the Council – refer to the Act for further details:

Information Commissioner’s Office guidance is currently awaited in respect of the “special category” data conditions 

In all cases processing of data must be in the substantial public interest.

  • Statutory etc. and government purposesthe exercise of a function conferred on a person by an enactment or rule of law (statutory functions)
  • Administration of justice 
  • Equality of opportunity or treatment – necessary for the purposes of identifying or keeping under review the existence or absence of equality of opportunity or treatment between groups of people specified in relation to that category with a view to enabling such equality to be promoted or maintained
  • Racial and ethnic diversity at senior levels of organisations
  • Preventing or detecting unlawful acts – necessary for the purposes of the prevention or detection of an unlawful act and must be carried out without the consent of the data subject
  • Regulatory requirements relating to unlawful acts and dishonesty, etc. – the processing is necessary for the purposes of complying with a regulatory requirement to establish whether another person has committed an unlawful act, or been involved in dishonesty, malpractice or other seriously improper conduct and, in the circumstances, the Council cannot reasonably be expected to obtain the consent of the data subject to the processing
  • Preventing fraud
  • Support for individuals with a particular disability or medical condition
  • Safeguarding of children and of individuals at risk 
  • Safeguarding of economic well-being of certain individuals

Working together to deliver Aspire Adoption Services

Aspire Adoption