I felt I should check in and let everyone know how we have been doing. Well, today we took the opportunity offered by the local BAAF centre to attend an open day. It was very informative; several seasoned adopters shared their stories, and there were two older adoptees who gave the other side of the picture.
The SWs did a great job explaining how the process runs here: generally nine months to get from initial inquiry to approval as adopters, and then can be around three years to be matched, with six monthly reviews along the way. They were incredibly candid and it was a really comfortable atmosphere. Yes, there was tea/coffee and biscuits...and no one had any - kind of like the joke about how the SW will not eat your biscuits when she visits
The SW that we had initially spoken to about adoption was present too; it was nice to see her as she was so honest when we met. We first enquired two years ago and were told that we would be very welcome to apply as soon as we graduated from university. Well, the degree is finally over, so we are going for it! Don't know if she will be our SW or not hope she is but the team in general seem to be a nice group, and we are comfortable talking to them.
We filled in our contact details and got given the basic information pack, and now we are just waiting to hear back from the Trust (LA)! In the meantime, we are redecorating, reading up on child development and psychology etc, saving up an extra bit for the inevitable expenditures along the way...just keeping busy, lol!
DHs family are being very supportive: apparently we are viewed as good with children! Our friends have gotten wind of our plans and have been so supportive that we are kind of blushing now. It's nice to realise people think highly of you.
Of course, DF is still on about professional fostering and the money but I have gently but firmly told him that we have made our decision and that we hope he will want to be a part of it. So he is thinking about it. At least he wished us well for today...
It seems that the system here is similar to concurrent fostering; children in care are matched, then the prospective adopters foster them until the adoption order is approved. In some cases, this results in the child being permanently fostered instead by the would be adopters. It's harder on us as the adults, the SWs have openly admitted that, but it means that children are placed faster and have more stability. So the adults need to suck it up basically - DH and I are actually fine with this attitude. At least they are upfront about it, and it does sound that the children are better off in the long run too.
They also covered contact, life story books, and the preparation course. And clarified the fact that post adoption support is now being regarded as more important...although I'm guessing there may well be lots of chasing up in order to get it!
So we are proceeding, eyes and ears open, on our journey!
In addition, we are currently filling out an application form to be considered as potential adopters for a particular agency Hopefully they will not object to our dogs. The previous SW had no issue with them so that must count for something!
Anyone know whether collies, labradors or mixes of these are frowned upon?
We have a wee terrier cross that was fine by our SW standards. I don't think any dogs are frowned upon as individual breeds (within reason) as long as the dog is friendly and doesn't mind a bit of prodding and poking!