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How long does it take - really?

(10 Posts)
Aeschylus Sun 28-Aug-11 22:39:30

Hi, I am new to MN (my husband used to post when ds was small but nothing for some time now)

We are just starting the adoption process and have our initial visit on Thursday. I have read through various posts on this site and others and have seen comments like '4 yrs in' '6 1/2 years in' etc. I know this is not quick but I thought that the approval takes about a year and then the wait for the match starts which can obviously not have a set time given to it.

If things go ok how long is it likely to be before we actually have our child adopted? Are there typical things that hold up the process or are we looking at a 4 year wait?

I had a long talk with a SW a while ago and she said that waiting after approval can be 7 - 12 months (or longer) so I was thinking in all, with no issues it might be 2 years but am now unsure and think maybe that is unlikely. Obviously SWs dont want to put people off but I felt like the SW was very honest during our conversation and am hoping that for our County 2 years is more likely (I don't know if there is a difference between Counties but I have read the OFSTED report of ours which seemed to support this).

Some truthful answers would be appreciated


HarrietJones Sun 28-Aug-11 22:52:28

There is a difference between counties. I would expect about 2 years in ours but it could have altered due to budgets etc recently

Lilka Sun 28-Aug-11 22:53:00

It's hard to say - 6 and a half years is an incredibly long time, and i don't know anyone personally who has waited nearly that long! If I think about the adopters i know - anywhere between 1-2 years for approval and a few weeks to 1 and a half years for matching. Thats assuming you don't have any obstacles like criminal checks from another country or something like that which can hold things up by months. There can be very long waits between the initial visit, and actually beginning the homestudy (after the prep group) which was up to 8 months in one friends case

When it comes to matching it's anyones guess. It really depends on what children become available, and where and when they do

hester Sun 28-Aug-11 22:57:27

It's very variable. I started prep course in August 2009, started home study end 2009, was approved October 2010, matched with dd June 2011. So less than two years, and I don't think that's unusual.

Aeschylus Mon 29-Aug-11 10:58:17

Thank you.

I always knew it would take a long time and anticipated 2-2.5 years. We don't really have anyhting that should hold up the approval (or so we think at the moment!), the only thing will be my husbands ex wife. Their marriage didn't end on friendly terms although it wasn't violent or based on adultary or anything like that, they had no children so no need to ever see each other again. I just hope she doesn't hold things up at all as he didn't want children when they were together and she did (We have been married 11 years - I am hoping she can see that things change!).

I can't remember where I saw the 4 and 6.5 year comments, I think it was Adoption UK, I am sure there must have been some issues, people dont always put detail.

We have an independent SW doing our Initial visit as they are so busy at the moment so I am guessing there will be a bit of a delay between this and the home study.

Thanks again for your comments - any other advice at this stage??

Maryz Mon 29-Aug-11 12:05:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mumleigh Mon 29-Aug-11 12:16:04


It really does vary as everyone else is saying.

For us it went as follows:

March 2005 - initial enquiry to local adoption team

April 2005 - initial visit and application form filling/ identity and CRB checks

July 2005 - adoption prep workshops

Oct 2005 - allocated our own SW

Feb 2006 - Form F / home study visits

May 2006 - approved by panel

June 2006 - match with 8 month old baby

July 2006 - met Foster carer

September 2006 - introductions started

September 11th 2006 -Placement date ( DS aged 11 months)

January 31st 2007 - Legal adoption passed through the family court

Hope that gives you an idea. Good Luck - Adoption has been wonderful for us ( we now have two!)

Mumleigh Mon 29-Aug-11 12:19:54

PS adoption UK does often give a slightly frightening view of adoption but it is a great place to get advice on difficulties being faced by adopters.Please don't be put off by what you read on that forum as people like me and lots of my fellow adopters ( I have met loads thanks to the preparation workshops) have never posted on it as we have not really had the same problems.

NanaNina Mon 29-Aug-11 21:16:41

Hi OP - I've just posted to you on another thread. If an independent sw is doing the visit and the assessment, you are in luck, as they will do it much quicker than a LA social worker, because of course they don't have a huge workload. I spent 5 years after I retired from LA social work doing independent work mostly assessing prospective foster carers and adoptors and I only ever took a couple of cases at a time, so assessments were done within 12 weeks. You then need a date for an Adoption Panel that can involve a wait, and of course the wait for placement is so dependent on the age of child you are considering.

NeverendingStoryteller Wed 31-Aug-11 22:29:54

We went through our local authority, and we went for the initial information session in the December, had our initial visit in the February, did the training in March, took some time out (due to social worker changeover) until July, then were at approval panel by December, with children placed with us by the following June. If we'd not had the enforced break due to staffing problems, we could have had it all done and dusted within 12 months. However, a lot of this was down to us being very, very bossy, and very, very committed to the home study process. We booked our social worker in for 3 hour meetings every couple of weeks and we did lots of homework in between visits. We kept in touch with her constantly by email and asked to see drafts of her paperwork so we could comment as she went - it saved loads of time. It's not a one-way street - the more involved you are and the more vocal you are about getting a move on, the quicker it will go.

I just responded to your other post, too - I really hope you enjoy your day tomorrow.

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