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Be my parent - how does it work?

(22 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Sun 16-Sep-12 23:45:58

Be my parent - how does it work?

Am I right in thinking you need to br approved as an adopter and then if your local authority don't have any children whose criteria you match etc you can take a look there and get in touch, and these children could be anywhere in the country? Sorry to be so ignorant, there wasn't much mention of it at the open day and I was not sure how it all worked.

Has anyone used the Be my parent publication or website and how did it go, if you are willing to share, please?

Devora Sun 16-Sep-12 23:54:19

The theory: you read BMP, if you see a child or children who you think might be a good match for you you contact their social worker who sends you further information. And off you go.

The practice: you contact the social workers and they completely ignore you. Or just send a one liner asking for contact details for your social worker. Usually you just hear nothing, as common courtesy is often a privilege not extended to prospective adopters.

Having said which, clearly it works for some people. And even if you don't get matched through it (I didn't) it is useful to read about the kinds of children available and to start detecting trends in language/information and decoding what they might mean.

You don't have to be approved, but I would check with your social worker that s/he is happy for you to go ahead in contacting other social workers yourself. Also check her understanding of the etiquette. I've come across a prospective adopter who registered an interest in two children separately, and was nearly ditched by her adoption agency. Whereas I was emailing an interest in loads of children, and my social worker was fine with this.

You probably already know that there is also a National Adoption Register where you can log in your details after a certain amount of time as an unmatched potential adopter. That is how we found our daughter smile.

Do subscribe to Be My Parent. When approved you will probably have a strong need to do everything you can to find a match. Be warned, though: it is a very upsetting read.

Lilka Mon 17-Sep-12 00:20:32

I agree with Devora. Plenty of people are matched through BMP, but the respjse you will get from SW really varies. I used it, and whilst I did get some responses and potential links, you may never hear anything after enquiring on a child, or eventually get a short 'sorry, they've already been matched' email

My DD2 was in BMP, but by the time the magazine came out I had already been linked with her. So not all the children who appear in BMP (or in CWW) are actually available. The agency can buy the child a 3 month slot or so if they wanted, but if they are linked early on, then the child may continue to appear in the magazine

You don't have to be approved to buy the magazine (or now buy a website subscription which they didn't have when I was last looking) or enquire about a child. I know my LA do get a couple of copies of BMP which they share with prospective adopters as a tool to get them to think about what kind of children are waiting. It is upsetting but maybe useful to you. I am pretty sure BMP will let you buy just one copy actually, so you can look, but your agency may do like mine and get a copy just for that. I know some people who are very near approval do actually use it and start enquiring on children, although the childs SW may not want to look at anyone who isn't approved

Having said that, agnecies do have differing policies on BMP, some don't like their adopters to subscribe until so long after approval, others don't mind and let you straight away. So when you get into HS, so ask the SW what they advise...just to avoid ruffling feathers

Devroa is right - it can be an upsetting read. But still, I do advise subscribing if you are looking for children that may be harder to place. It would be rare for a young white british child without many issues to appear in it, but there are plenty of children aged 4-6, sibling groups, children with disabilities, and black children of any age.

Their website has some very short public profiles anyone can look at, if you haven't already

AdoptionUK also have a waiting child magazine (Children Who Wait) which people are matched through, there is the National Register Devora mentionned, and there are also exchange days, both adoption register ones and consortium ones, which some people attend. So plenty of options to be proactive if you have a supportive agency

Italiangreyhound Mon 17-Sep-12 02:58:46

Thanks, that is so helpful.

Are they actually the names and photos of children? I find that hard to believe!

I really want to ask so many questions!! I'm going to do one more thread then go to bed, please Lilka and Devora give me your advice!

Italiangreyhound Mon 17-Sep-12 03:05:22

It's here ....

Italiangreyhound Mon 17-Sep-12 03:05:35


Italiangreyhound Mon 17-Sep-12 03:06:09

It's just I know you both had children and then others placed so I wondered if you could advise, please. Thanks.

Lilka Mon 17-Sep-12 09:21:49

They are the childrens real names and pictures unless it says otherwise. If they don't wish to show the childs photo they put a picture of a football or a teddy or something there instead, if it's a changed name it says eg. "HOLLY. Not her real name, is a etc etc"

I actually don't like the public profiles, and I don't think it's a good idea to put their names and pictures publically. I think any potential benefit of doing that is outweighed by the risks and the lack of privacy, but that's for another thread probably

Lovesoftplay Mon 17-Sep-12 09:24:32

We "got" our boys from a parents for children evening, which is where the children make a poster with their photo's on and a small blurb about them. Obviously, the younger childrens foster carers do it for them. The children aren't present at the evening.

I was so anti it when I first heard about it, but when we went to one, I found it very enlightening. The children are treated with such dignity, and the posters they made were super cool. Each child was videoed and shown via a DVD to the prospective parents. I still have the DVD of our boys, and it's one of my "save in a fire" items smile

I think, in principle, the idea of advertising children is abhorrent, however, it's the only way some children are going to find parents sadly. If you only read the history of our children, no-one would adopt them (I know at least 2 couples who turned them down) however, when you saw the DVD it was possible to see how well they cope and how "normal" they behave. Sometimes the words professionals use to describe children are quite derogatory, it's not the SW fault as such, it's professional language. However, it doesn't always portray the children right.

On the other hand, several social workers haven't told parents the realities of the children they are adopting, so I guess it works both ways sad

Italiangreyhound Mon 17-Sep-12 22:50:08

It was very moving to see all the kids but sad too that there were so many.

I must admit I agree with Lilka that they should not be there like that for all to see. Better for it to be password protected and only people with a genuine interest to be able to access information.

I spoke to a local authority today (other than our own) and they were most encouraging so I have fresh hope now!

LocoParentis Mon 17-Sep-12 23:53:32

I agree it's really heartbreaking.
I can't imagine how i'd feel if i was a birth parent and my child appeared on there. Or an aunty or nana who wasn't able to take them.
I have to say though when me and my DH were first considering adoption we looked through some public profiles together. We wanted to see how we felt about the children and if we thought we could parent them. It was really emotive as we both felt a 'connection' with lots of the children on there.
It was definately an epiphany moment for us.

Lilka Tue 18-Sep-12 00:05:51

That has happened Loco

I don't recall how i came across it, but it was a YouTube video made by some of the anti-adoption crowd. A birth mother had her children taken away and after being told they were going to be adopted, she found them on the BMP website. As far as she was concerned her children had been stolen so I imagine she was very distressed when she saw them being advertised to the public. Anyway, she made a few calls and in a short space of time, a YouTube rant video was made about it...clearly showing the children's names, ages and photo, saying how they were stolen from their mother etc etc

I didn't like the identifying profiles before, and I liked them even less after seeing that. I feel sympathy for the birth mother, but above all i feel angry for the children. They didn't deserve that. If they did get adopted, that's one more thing for their new parents to worry about....their children clearly identified on YouTube. And it would have been so easy to prevent that

calmlychaotic Tue 18-Sep-12 03:21:05

I can't understand why they use real pictures I can't see the need for that and as you say such a risk

Lovesoftplay Tue 18-Sep-12 09:48:08

I am a bit confused, is be my parent nothing like my experience of parents for children? You only attend by invite and its not public at all. Only adoptive parents who have completed prep training are allowed.

I might be being really blind to something, but I don't understand how members of the public get to see the children? Apologies in advance for total naivety smile

Devora Tue 18-Sep-12 10:02:22

I think it's a two-tier thing. To get access to all the profiles, with fuller information, you have to subscribe and I think they check your adoption status. But they also 'front' the website with a selection of children with shorter profiles, to draw people into adoption I guess. Presumably they carefully choose which children this would be appropriate with.

It would be interesting to see a really thorough evaluation of this initiative and understand how and why it is deemed to be effective. I have to say, though, no matter how effective, it seems to me to be wrong. I almost don't care how many potential adopters it may draw on, the ethics of it are really disturbing. (I'm talking about the publicly available information; I'm still a bit uncomfortable with the password-protected stuff but I can live with it.)

It's like all those threads we've had on the ethics of charity marketing. Sometimes things are wrong, even if they work.

Lovesoftplay Tue 18-Sep-12 10:40:34

Oh, its on the internet!!!! I see now smile Ok, feel properly stupid now.

Mine was an evening event held by my LA, definitely no public allowed and no passwords required!!

Lilka Tue 18-Sep-12 11:08:47

I could understand if they wanted to give examples of waiting children - with stock photographs and false names. Some LA's do have profiles like that on their websites, some are real information and some are fake profiles based on a selection of real ones. But BMP is the only site I know that uses real names and real photographs together in public. What's more, it's not just a few profiles, they may well have 50-100+ at a time on the public page

edit - I just gave a quick count. They have 129 public profiles on there right now

They have three things - public short profiles, the ones available to all subscribers (who do not need to be approved adopters) and lastly some profiles are only available to those with completed CRB checks

The public profiles are wrong IMO. Seeing that video only confirmed that opinion

Lilka Tue 18-Sep-12 11:29:12

Oh, and not only can anyone see the information they can keep it. Disabling right click in no way prevents anyone from coping/downloading the information and photos. Either by enabling right click (very very easy, even I can do that!!), saving the page, print screen etc etc. Internet archives can (and DO) capture the page and save it, making them internet searchable years after. Don't believe me? Go onto wayback machine and type in the address. They have childrens profiles and photos saved from 2007 onwards (I literally just thought of that whilst typing and checked)

Thank goodness when my DD2 was in BMP, it was magazine only and there weren't public profiles . Even that isn't fully secure but I accept that the magazines do work. Would i want to be able to find my DD's picture and information online (however little information) available for anyone to read and copy? No way. But if your child was publically featured in BMP since it came online, then maybe thanks to them, your childs information is out there for good


Lovesoftplay Tue 18-Sep-12 11:32:56

I have just looked at BMP and agree lilka , its far too much like advertising. The words they use "lovely smiley little girl" "Happy cheerful boy" are very emotive and designed to hook people I think. IMO most children are lovely, smiley, cheerful, and happy.

I can't believe how easy they were to access as well, I just googled it, and up popped 30 odd children sad

In principle, I don't wholly disagree with profiling children who are difficult to place however, I think there is a more appropriate forum than a public internet page.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 20-Sep-12 21:37:37

I agree BMP is the most saddening publication you will ever read, and really think it is too open for the children's privacy

I know a couple of people who found their match through BMP - they both said when they saw the profiles they just "knew" they were the right children for them

Lilka Thu 20-Sep-12 22:35:21

I was linked with DD2 before that months edition came out, but I saw her picture for the first time in it

I kept that edition with her profile in. I told her that I saw her picture for the first time when she had a special profile in a magazine

But i didn't elaborate on the magazine bit, so the next time we went to the supermarket, she dragged me to the magazine isle, and demanded to know which one she was in!! smile

Lilka Sun 04-Nov-12 17:19:06

bumping for wendy

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