Question abt matching

(29 Posts)
Choccyjules Tue 01-Apr-14 19:52:16

I have a feeling this has been covered before, sorry if so.

Our LA says they only show one family one child's details at once. So since last week we have been considering a particular child and have so far had the CPR and the later Medical Report from the LA's medical advisor, a paediatrician. Strangely we were sent the full CPR straight away, not just a profile.

I would really find it helpful to know who else is waiting for a family in our LA, to give me a feel for where this child is in terms of needs. This is not necessarily to look for an 'easier' option. I know every child we consider will have some kind of extra need, whether this is due to loss, neglect, trauma, disability etc. I find it very hard, however, to say yes while wondering who is next on their list of 'children to show us'. This is a lifelong decision, after all.

I am finding it hard to 'just know'. This is the first CPR we have seen. This could be our child. But so could the next one and how would we know?!

So what is my question? Basically, is this how matching works? I am sure I have read of situations where prospective adopters are shown a number of profiles at once. I suppose in three months or so we can look nationally at everyone...

Am finding it all so emotional and draining.

DaffodilDandy Tue 01-Apr-14 20:02:04

Choccy, I know exactly how you feel.

DH and I have been shown about a dozen profiles, none of which have felt right. I am really struggling with the 'just knowing'. I don't know whether I am waiting for some kind of gut reaction to a photo, or the written information, that means I know that this child is ours, or whether I am holding back on allowing myself to feel the gut reaction because it's such a huge decision to make.... and who knows if the next profile would be a better match, or the next one, or the next one? I know that sounds really flippant, but that's the best way I can think to put it.

I don't know if it's a control issue - SW is whittling down all the profiles and showing us ones she thinks might be a good fit, but my instinctive reaction is to want to see all the ones she's discounted because I want to rule them out myself.

We're with a VA so we're already looking nationwide, but that's not stopping me from twitching at a lack of control. I want access to the mythical nationwide database that has all the profiles listed. grin

It is incredibly emotional and draining. Every time we 'reject' a profile I feel rubbish, they're not just a piece of paper, they're a child who's waiting for a family and we just said no. But I know that we need more than feeling bad about saying no to be the right parents for them. They deserve so much more than that.

None of this will help you, but it's helped me to know that I'm not the only one struggling with it all. smile

odyssey2001 Tue 01-Apr-14 20:17:32

This is not how our LA operates and I think I would have found out very hard, although we too got our son's CPR straight away (alongside the two other we discarded straight away). Have you explained this to your social worker?

OneOfOurLilkasIsMissing Tue 01-Apr-14 20:32:52

It really is soooo emotional and sometimes almost overwhelming. It's such a big decision and it's confusing

Every agency does it differently - some LA's might only show 1 profile at a time, mine started by showing me lots of short profiles at the same time and I (with guidance from my SW) could then request the Form E (what a CPR used to be called) of a child who I was particularly interested in. But sometimes I just got a Form E without seeing a profile first, my social worker would give me a brief verbal overview and I would say "yes, I'd like to see the Form E" based on that

They would let me see quite a few profiles at once, there wasn't a limit on how many profiles I could look at, given they were leaving it mostly up to me which of those children I wanted more information on. Normally I only had 1 Form E at a time though, at most 2 at once

As you can probably tell from that, I saw a lot of profiles and Forms, and in the end both the DDs were adopted from different local authorities than my own.

I think for me there was a definite 'control' thing there - I really wanted to be seeing the profiles for myself, and ruling them out myself! And that's totally understandable - the adoption process is one in which you feel pretty out of control anyway, and the matching bit is the most important bit yet, so many people do want more control.

My general thoughts are - IMHO, there is no 'one child' out there for one family. There is a group of children that your family would be right for, and those children would all be right for you.

Also, whilst a few people do have a "I just knew this was my child" thing, when they read the CPR, a lot of people don't. And if you don't feel that, that's totally normal and fine. At the end of the day...you're only seeing words on a paper, and it's normal to not really feel anything when reading words on a piece of paper. Some people feel something in the middle - a sort of connection to the child being described, but definitely not a "this is it!" type reaction. I'd be in that category, especially with DD1's information.

Some people choose to comb through the CPR, and if there's nothing in there which is a 'no' or a cause for concern, and there's nothing in them whicch is saying 'this is not right', then they go forward with that, even if they don't feel any real connection to the child in the report.

Other people hold out for a CPR where they really get a 'this is right' feeling and turn down a childs CPR if they don't feel that, no matter what the CPR says

I mostly went for the first approach.

But it's a very very personal decision, how you want to decide which childs information to take forward, and I don't believe there is a wrong or right way to do it. I would personally not advise taking something forward if you have a gut feeling that it's not a great match - even if there's nothing in the paperwork to suggest that. But I don't think it's important to feel a strong 'connection' either (some adoptive parents do though, and that's fine. What's right for me, is not necessarily the right approach for someone else)

It's really hard...i guess...maybe have a chat with your husband about what you are looking for in a profile? Do you want to wait for something which feels 'right' to both of you? Or can you find a way to accept that you might not feel anything in particular for your future child, and move forwards with your heads alone? Something in between?

Have a brew and cake as well. Look after yourself....this for me, was the hardest bit of process before introductions

Choccyjules Tue 01-Apr-14 21:24:45

You're all luffly.

SW will not budge, however if it were up to her I think she would show us more at the same time, from what I can glean.

DH and I have decided we are going to proceed with caution, not wanting to decline what may be a good match just yet. We have more concerns since the second report, however we are going to talk to child's SW and see if that helps us decide one way or the other.

cosmos239 Tue 01-Apr-14 21:55:57

Las have different policies but after a set time, think it's 3 or 6 months you can go on the national register and start looking for children yourself through resources like the be my parent publication. Sw generally try to place children from their own authority with adopters as its much less costly. Your sw will rule out children for you based on what needs you've told him / her you could meet. I'm not sure there's one child right for each couple as there's not one person right to be my partner but there is a type and criterion that would work best for everyone. As long as you've been open with your social worker about what kind of child would fit best then you have to leave them to it for this early time. this period is v stressful so take care of yourselves, our family is v well suited for all sorts of little reasons and it was down to children's social workers good instincts. Take care.

bberry Tue 01-Apr-14 22:06:07

We were only shown one CPR... I didn't immediately know... I needed time to consider, digest the back story and also there was one piece of outstanding updated medical info that was key to me.... By the time the medical info was ready... I was ready too, about 2 weeks I would say

My sw looked quite shocked when I said I didn't fall in love with dd the first time I saw her profile and pictures.... But then I didn't fall in love with my dh the first time I saw him either I said to her! ... I just don't work that way, I am very logical.... Maybe she was just shocked I said it out loud?

Dd is everything and more times a million than we could ever have wished for... Our sw made an amazing match smile

Ultimately... Everyone works differently I think....

DaffodilDandy Tue 01-Apr-14 23:20:03

I am so pleased this is all normal! I am especially pleased that I am not the only control freak. grin

I am normally a gut feeling kind of person - I knew the instant I met DH that he was 'the one' <vomits>, and I knew the instant I set foot in our house that it was 'the one', so I guess I am expecting the same kind of reaction now..... But I suspect after so many years of disappointments and heartache that even now we're approved I am holding myself back in case things go wrong, so the chances of getting a gut feeling are massively reduced.

DH and I have had a chat tonight, and unless either of us get's a 'this isn't right' feeling, and there's nothing that puts us off, we'll keep asking for more information until something comes up that puts us off, because until then there is no reason to say no.

Choccy, I am so, so glad you started this thread. Sorry I've kind of hijacked it. Good luck with meeting the child's SW - I hope they're able to ease your concerns. smile

Choccy we were allowed to see more than one CPR (after reading the initial profiles) but it was generally not their policy and because they were not from our county we had actually 'found' the children through a matching event.

In the end we did not feel we wanted to go forward with any of those children.

When we saw our little one's profile we got profile (with no photo) and full CPR and medical report. We just felt it was a case of 'why not', he seemed great and later we just felt really sure that he was the one for us.

So I must admit by the time we saw his CPR I had seen 6 other profiles by that time.

I do not think you should get hung up about whether this profile is the first or 21st you have seen but rather whether you think you can parent this child and whether you want to. And that feeling may change and go back and forth so eventually you just need to decide in relation to this child not in relation to how they are in relation to others, because you will only parent one child this way (for time being) if you see what I mean! Good luck.

Maryz Wed 02-Apr-14 16:04:22

We did it the old-fashioned way.

We got to the top of the waiting list, and received a phone call on a Monday saying "we have a child, x age, x size and weight". We collected him two days later.

No choice, no photo, no profile, no description.

That was scary too, but ultimately easier because we had no choice. I don't know how people make these decisions, it's head-wrecking.

tigger29 Sun 13-Apr-14 21:44:41

Have you seen this new service set-up by adopters for family-finding? www.adoptionlink.co.uk It gives control to adopters, which I think is just what's needed. You can sign-up yourself I think.

We have adopted twice, once with an LA which was v frustrating for all the reasons given. We were being 'protected' by our sw who was only showing us a few profiles. She told us there was a 'big pile' on her desk... which was what we really wanted!

2nd time was with a VA which was much, much better - they did lots of legwork for us and sent through several profiles a day.

Choccyjules Mon 28-Apr-14 19:11:30

I did see that website, Tigger but we'd like to find a child from our LA as support and contact etc will be more straightforward to organise.

Still annoyed/sad about this process. Today we got details of child no.2 as we finally said no to no.1 (one of us wasn't happy about their details). It's really unhelpful doing it this way although hard to explain why.

MyFeetAreCold Mon 28-Apr-14 22:31:35

Choccy, this is the way our LA does it too. I was a bit hmm at the time but having read the stories about other people having to choose from dozens of profiles, I've decided I really liked it. Also, I can't imagine reading a profile, deciding that I'd want to go forward and knowing that I was in a competitive situation with another family!

None of which helps you, of course...

In the event, we didn't have a feeling, just an absence of reason not to proceed. So far, it's working out fine... <touches wood>

MyFeetAreCold Mon 28-Apr-14 22:35:42

Also CheeryGiraffe and inthebeginning say big congrats to you on getting approved. smile

flightywoman Mon 28-Apr-14 22:35:50

I think our LA do one CPR at a time - they did with us anyway. And our girl was the first one we read. Our SW did say that she had had a possible previous match but in the end she felt it wasn't right for us and so didn't show us.

With us it was very much a case of there being no big, red, screaming 'NO' in the papers. The photos were sort of helpful and sort of not because it had to be a head decision first. But weirdly she looked like she could have come from my family!

But we started claiming her as time went on - the more we read, the more we felt she could be ours and we could be hers.

It was always a two-way thing - not just who is the child for us but also who are we the best parents for. And I did feel that everything little girl needed was within our capabilities and skills, I felt we could give her the things that she very clearly and obviously needed.

And it wasn't such an alien concept because me and himself met online - I had no picture on my profile, he had no idea what I looked like until we met in person. We were engaged by the end of our 4th date!

I don't know if I would have picked her out from a group of profiles, I really don't, and I don't know how I would have felt doing that - her CPR was hard reading, her reasons for being in care were not nice, there were, and are, some uncertainties and her day-in-the-life was quite bleak. Measured against an 'easier'-sounding child might have steered us a different way...

Our SW did an absolutely stellar job, I don't think she could have got it more right...

Kewcumber Mon 28-Apr-14 23:47:00

As I adopted outside of this country the matching process was completely different. I was presented with child 1 and expected to spend some time with them and if I wasn't happy then they would move on to child 2 etc etc (taking as long as you liked to decide). In theory you got medical details pretty quickly but in my case medical details were under lock and key in directors office so I didn't get them for 4 days.

In the end I said yes to baby 1 because I couldn't really think of a good reason why not - when I eventually got medical details, although they were pretty horrific, I decided in the end I could cope the problems just about as well (and maybe better) than other problems that might be present in other babies.

Not really helkpful I know but it just reinforces flightlywomans point With us it was very much a case of there being no big, red, screaming 'NO' in the papers it wasn;t that it was a big fat yes, just not a big red screaming NO!

MooseyMouse Tue 29-Apr-14 06:17:52

Hi. Have you all heard of Adoption Link? It allows you to search kids' profiles nationally (not sure whether your social worker would have to know).

Kewcumber Tue 29-Apr-14 08:00:10

Yes it's referred to up thread by Tigger, Moosey

Choccyjules Tue 29-Apr-14 17:34:33

Thanks for these thoughtful replies. It helps to see how others think about the process.
Am a bit down atm as we said no to the first profile after about a month of finding-out, over which I clearly got far too attached...am finding it very hard to properly consider the second one now as I wanted to explore no.1 further sad. I have to remind myself the child comes first and we may not be the parents for them (DH clearly doesn't think so).

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 02-May-14 09:33:16

We only saw the one profile, and in the end made a list of pros and cons (which we have now destroyed!!)

One of the pros was "would we get any better?", which looks awful written down, but accords with the "no red crosses, even if there aren't any green ticks " approach

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 02-May-14 09:34:21

Ps - although it was a bit stressful, being pressed to decide on two days at least meant we had no time to worry really. I'd hate being shown one profile at a time

slkk Thu 08-May-14 19:41:41

We were lucky - just shown one profile and I felt an instant pull. Husband took longer and it was the video that got him. I think flightywoman is right - the more you read, the more you get a feel for the child and the more sure you feel they could be yours.
Having said that, haven't met him yet - matching in 2 weeks, though he feels like he's ours already...

Choccyjules Mon 12-May-14 10:53:10

Well, we're currently waiting for more details about child no.3. I am finding this one by one policy enourmously frustrating. It doesn't exactly help children be matched, either, does it?! The only reason given for not showing us a few profiles at once is the fact that another adopter may also be looking and say yes to the same child as you. I feel happy to take that risk, frankly. Sadly I can't and we plod on choccyisfedup

64x32x24 Mon 12-May-14 12:25:14

It does seem a bit patronising for the agency not to let you decide which risk you are prepared to take. It could be part of the assessment tick-boxing thing: Are you happy to look at profiles that are being shown to other prospective adopters at the same time? You could think about it and discuss it with your SW and then depending on the tick you make, they'd show you more profiles at a time.

Also I agree that this 'strategy' doesn't appear to be the most speedy approach, for the children. The Adoption Link thing mentioned earlier seems to cut out some of these perhaps unnecessary delays. It's so new still - I wonder if it will become established with agencies and widely used? It does seem like a good idea in principle.

I personally wouldn't mind seeing profiles that others are seeing too. I do think however that I would struggle if I were told, this child you are interested in, there are 3 other prospective adopters interested in him/her as well. The child's family finder will now come visit you and assess you and rank you... I think it's the 'ranking' bit that I'd struggle with most. The idea of being compared to other prospective adopters like that... being in a competition... and the idea that the child's family finder somehow has an ability to predict which set of adopters would be 'best' for the child... I think I may actually pull out. Though no saying for sure of course, having never been in that situation.

64x32x24 Mon 12-May-14 12:27:05

Oh and meant to say, your child is out there Choccy. You'll get there. Good luck, hopefully this child no.3 will be yours! (Don't ever tell them though, that you called them 'child no.3' ;) )

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