Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
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Remind them that you are being asked about in relation to adopting a child, a child who has lost their birth family and may have experienced other traumas and difficulties.
Your referees will know you as friends or family members, in our case we had a church leader, my father in law, sister and three friends. It can be easy for friends to get carried away and sing your praises (nice often) but forget the purpose of what they are being asked about. So for example our church leader was very complimentary about all the stuff I do at church and helping etc! Luckily he showed me what he had written and we talked before he was interviewed and I made him aware that when we adopted we would relinquish those responsibilities at church and concentrate on the need of the child for as long as it took. It was this thing that would be needed.
I also think some concrete examples of when you have sort help, found solutions by getting the right help, may be useful. For example if you are a keen gardener and meet with others to chat about what to do about black fly etc, find solutions on the internet, go to a good gardening store, then maybe if you have a child and they have needs you will be open to getting help, not trying to sort it all out alone! A silly example maybe but you see what I mean.
Examples of your quick thinking, your compassion and maybe your stick-ability, my dh has helped at a club for ages (years) I think that made he seem dependable. (He is very dependable and faithful!). So you can see it is a balance, a person who knows what things they need to stop doing to make room for a child in their family and life, but with a history of all kinds of positive interactions and opportunities to learn and grow etc. It's a tough order! And your friends will know you and will be able to answer well, thinking through their relationship with you, looking at photos before hand could jog their memory. For example I reminded our church leader of all the things my DH and DD had done with him, his wife and kids, like going on a shared holiday together, painting the church building together, meals together etc. He knew us quite well but he might have got tongue-tied so chatting together before the interview reminded him that he and his wife (they were interviewed together) had known us all as a family quite well for the last few years. He knew it, but he needed reminding!
Maybe you can tell them why you chose them, because of a closeness, because of shared history, because they were old friends, frequent visitors etc. I mean they will be one or two of those things not all of them!
If they know you for experience with kids etc, or their kids, that is all helpful.
Hi. We are in stage two before going to panel to be approved to adopt. Our references were written to in stage one and completed detailed reference check forms on us. They have now been contacted and depending on location asked for a 2 hour face to face meeting with our social worker or a 1.5 hour call each. They have been asking me what they are likely to be asked. I have no idea and said so, suggesting they may be asked about us, how stable are relationships in, how we deal with stress, if they would leave their children with us and how we interact with them. If we can put the needs of a child first and how they think having a child will effect us. our strengths and weaknesses. If we would look for support if required and how we would do it. Any other ideas?
They are worried the will say the wrong thing but I've said they cant if its meant to be its meant to be and we will be approved and later matched and if not we have a very good life. Not helpful I know so any other ideas so I can give a practical answer would be helpful Thanks
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