I went with the LA only because they have the children- they look first to their own adopters to match with the children they are looking to place. It tends to be the harder to place children that are 'put out' to the agencies, as (in my area) those not hard to place but needing to be placed out of area are matched through consortium LAs. I have no experience of any VAs, but have friends who had positive experiences of being assessed by them. It did take them a year post approval to be matched though- and eventually they found their child through the National Adoption Register.
Good Luck! I am pleased that your initial enquiry has been met so positively. I felt that the comments made towards you at your last meeting were extremely unprofessional!
I just rang the baaf help line and told the situ and was advised that it odse seem they they are trying to put us off or at the very lest slow tracking us if its like this now what would it be like futher down the road
We have adopted through LA and VA and TBH we found VA slightly more positive. Remember their job is to find parents for children. Also you are not restricted to the LA's area for a certain length of time after approval. Good luck and I used to make a few 'phone calls to SW it made them realise we were keen. We have adopted 8