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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.


(1000 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Wed 12-Sep-12 01:36:19

Hi I am a newbie and only just started this journey, officially made the call last week.

Just interested how may other newbies are out there who are still in the early stages. I keep coming across people and recognising names. Anyone want to let on what stage they are at?

namechangesforthehardstuff Wed 18-Sep-13 14:45:10

we need 10! 4 family 6 not. This is difficult because dh's family are...difficult. So we've got DBIL and his wife but that only counts as 1 and now we're stuck smile.

WarmHandsPicnicBlanket Wed 18-Sep-13 15:45:08

10?!? I'm not sure I know 10 people, never mind 10 I'd be happy to let near a SW...

OTOH, I know you said you're not that keen to share with other people yet, but you're going to have to get used to talking to people about things you would normally keep private, so this might be a good time to bite that particular bullet.

DH is spectacularly private ordinarily and really struggled to open up to our SW. Speaking to your potential referees will get you used to that (a tiny little bit).

namechangesforthehardstuff Wed 18-Sep-13 17:27:47

Yeah. It's 3 friends each plus 2 family each. And our 'couple' friends only count as one so really it's 20!

This is really bad for dh as most of our friends are people I've brought home over the years so he's left wondering which of 'my' friends to use as his iyswim?! And I have enough useful family but dh...Well useful isn't the word which springs to mind.

We just want to get it right as it's important. Not sure if it's better to just put some random relative or to say upfront 'they're a bit pants actually, we don't see much of them, please talk to these lovely people'

And yes I will be speaking to everyone ultimately of course but I don't know that I want to do it just yet. I have about four friends who know and would kind of like to keep it like that for a while. It's a bit like baby names - I don't want to tell some people until it's a fait accompli and they can only say 'How lovely...' and not whatever unhelpful thing they were thinking.


Anyway nice to be here albeit all worried and stressed out and overthinking things smile

Choccyjules Wed 18-Sep-13 18:26:32

Blimey, we have been asked for three including one relative. They also need something from my oncologist to say I'm free and clear. Hopefully that's all we need - we had trouble choosing who not to ask as didn't want family to be offended!

Happiestinwellybobs Wed 18-Sep-13 19:07:09

Choccy. That's exactly the same as us! And I still haven't told my parents that we got DH's mum to do a reference (she knew we would need one as works in a similar area). They just think that a couple of friends were asked, and that they didn't need to meet family blush. I honestly don't know how I would come up with 10 shock.

mrsballack Wed 18-Sep-13 19:12:35

10!! Blimey. We struggled with 6.

Most of ours were friends I've known for years and hubby has only known for as long as we've been together which was fine by our sw. Our relative was my parents too. Hubby's family are a bit difficult and we don't see much of them but our sw was understanding of that, so long as we had a support network of some sort.

Inthebeginning Fri 20-Sep-13 17:22:37

Gosh 10 is a lot! We have to have 4. 2 friends and a relative from each side of the family. Our sw said that baaf only ask for 3 but that they want an extra one.
Got my medical on Monday. Dreading we will be turned down because of my weight even though my sw said it'll be fine. :-(

namechangesforthehardstuff Fri 20-Sep-13 18:45:53

Hi Inthebeginning - if SW says it'll be OK I would guess she knows what she is talking about and relax smile

The more I see people posting here saying they only need 4 or 6 or whatever the more I am inclined to put four friends and two relatives down and say - 'here's six people who can vouch for both of us, a good selection of people with children and people without, people who have known us for years and people who know us as parents, we'll give you a few more if you need them'

'Cos otherwise I'm going to end up with people I'm just not sure about on there and I think it's too important for that....

Inthebeginning Sat 21-Sep-13 21:27:03

You're right, I find something fresh to fret about every time something goes well. I've promised myself if (when) we get to the second part I will relax.

I'd do it. I remember one of my friends saying re social workers:take no shit! smile

Italiangreyhound Mon 23-Sep-13 01:01:56

How is everyone doing all?

We got the letter saying it is official, we have been approved.

No word of children yet!

I don't mind it being slow or anything but I want it to happen after Christmas so I really want to know some details before Christmas and it is almost three months to go until Christmas.

I am just plain scared!

Do most area give multiple children's details to people? Our area only gives one at a time and we are only adopting one.

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 23-Sep-13 07:10:17

Hi Italian. Congratulations on it being officially official! smile

We only ever got details of one child (4 1/2 months after approval) and that was DD smile. I think it may also depend

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 23-Sep-13 07:12:23

Hi Italian. Congratulations on it being officially official! smile

We only ever got details of one child (4 1/2 months after approval) and that was DD smile. I think it may have depended on the quite specific criteria we had been approved for, and the number of children that met those criteria.

Inthebeginning Mon 23-Sep-13 21:11:33

brilliant news Italian grin grin so chuffed for you.
Had my medical today. all went fine and all my wittering was for nothing! Then had a call from our family support worker who was checking how we were doing and was speaking to social worker next week about sorting level two out. so exciting!

namechangesforthehardstuff Mon 23-Sep-13 21:32:51

See inthebeginning I told you so grin

Glad it went well.

MrsBW Tue 24-Sep-13 18:58:46

Congrats again. Our panel...which should have been this Thurs... Has been delayed as our Social Worker didn't get our PAR to her manager in time. So the countdown clock has been reset. sad

We've booked a late deal holiday to cheer ourselves up grin

Inthebeginning Tue 24-Sep-13 21:02:33

ah Mrsb that's bad! Any idea when til?

MrsBW Tue 24-Sep-13 21:18:58

Late October... So could be worse.

On the plus side it gives us extra time to get our portfolio even better, but I can't deny, we're disappointed.

Still, it's a marathon not a sprint wink

Inthebeginning Wed 25-Sep-13 07:19:18

you're bound to feel like that Mrsb like you said look on the positive that you can improve on it. ...... and soon you won't be able to book late deals without a little one e in tow wink wink

Choccyjules Wed 25-Sep-13 22:47:08

Update from us: we get to know who our sw is by end of week, have lots of stuff to start filling in about support networks etc, had great training on attachment amongst other things this week. It's really starting!

Meita Thu 26-Sep-13 10:17:54

Hello! <friendly wave>

Have been reading (and sometimes posting) for a while, but only lurking on this particular thread. Now I feel it's time to join!

We started making enquiries back in June and have been taking our time to think things through and make our decisions. Now we are at the place where we are deciding between two LAs and we will be making our minds up soon, I think. We were hoping to go on a prep course in October but one of the LAs has been dragging things, so it will probably be November (provided they do in the end take us on of course).

So, roller coaster, here we come!

Choccyjules Thu 26-Sep-13 20:18:00

Hi Meita!
I think we chatted earlier about various stuff.
It's tricky deciding btwn agencies, eh?

Inthebeginning Fri 27-Sep-13 07:59:23

fantastic choccy I bet you are so happy. I've been doing some of our "homework" this week including my eco map which is all colour coded etc. dh's is currently on a piece of Scratty paper! so was the course good. Was the lots you didn't know? Did the teach you tactics? ours is in 17 days time!

Inthebeginning Fri 27-Sep-13 08:01:12

welcome meita how are you making the decision between the two? Don't answer of you don't want too.

Meita Fri 27-Sep-13 15:09:40

yep choccy you started investigating things at pretty much the same time as we did, but you have been more determined about it all, it seems! Hence a step further now. I too would be interested to hear more about your prep course. Was there much actual 'teaching' where you were told stuff, as in, 'this is how it is: ..' (and was there much you didn't know already?), or was there more of working things out together/in groups, or pointing you towards resources?

Inthebeginning well it's hard! We had initial meetings with three (two LA, one VA). Have decided against VA due to the age of our DS. As he is three, and VA usually don't place many very young children, it would mean we'd be bound to doing concurrent planning with them. CP is something we are quite keen to explore further but at this point in time, we don't want to limit ourselves to it.
One LA has given us very mixed signals. They have some experience with CP which counts in their favour (other LA has no experience). And they are closer to us. At times they have been uncomplicated and forthcoming, very quickly setting up a meeting with people who have adopted through them for example. And according to the adoption scorecards they place a larger number of children each year than the other LA we're looking at. But we (me in particular) have some reservations, don't have a good gut feeling. Things seem to be chaotic, we have been told contradictory information, and the SW who we would be allocated seems to have a negative/pessimistic general attitude, and is very patronising, which tends to rub me up the wrong way. I don't know if we'd 'gel' well.
The other LA 'feels' right and gives us much more confidence, but they are further away and place fewer children, which may mean a longer wait to be matched. They also use agency SWs to do the assessments when the regular SWs are fully booked, and we're not too happy with that idea, that would be a risk we'd run with them. Might turn lucky and be assessed in-house, but maybe not.
Both LAs are part of different, large consortiums. So in a way we're choosing not just between LAs but also between consortiums.
I'm tending towards going with my gut feeling but am usually more of an objective, fact-based decision maker who rationally weighs up the pros and cons, so am worried that I'm getting it wrong!

Choccyjules Fri 27-Sep-13 16:43:00

With all the general obstacles and time issues invoved ithis kind of thing I'd say go with your gut (not that I'm much of an expert!).

The course was the first day of a longer course (we are doing the rest at a later date). If I get too detailed I may out myself but if so, hopefully someone wll let me know...!

We started by discussing statements about adoption and putting them into true/false or somewhere in the middle.
Then we split into four groups looking at different age-groups and wrote things a child needs - all these were put into a wall. We noted how many were the same but there were some differences. Then we watched a film about a family in need. Afterwards we took out all the bricks the children in each age-gp were lacking and looked at what was left. The idea being as adopters we would hope to refill those gaps. This was good because we got to do the 'upsetting film about children' wrapped in another exercise, if you like.
Glad it was lunch then.
Later on a clinical psychologist who works with looked after kids came to talk about attachment (I didn't know th were four kinds) then about behaviour management. I was worried the latter one may be a bit too much too soon but it all linked back to the attachment talk and was really practical. She was great. And she works in our area and the neighbouring LA too!
We also looked at the eco-map and family tree they need us to do, plus a detailed form to help the home study.
And had our paperwork/ID checked.
That was Day One!

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