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Questions for experienced adopters, please

(39 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Sat 17-Aug-13 02:10:13

Hi all, a few quick questions, please....

1) Is it normal/appropriate to buy a small gift or flowers for our social worker. She is only taking us as far as panel and not taking us on to matching?

2) When you start matching process do they normally suggest one child at a time? 3) How much info do you get on a child? 4) How long do you get to decided?

5) Are holidays with your new child appropriate in the first year?

6) If a child is placed with you can you have a holiday abroad before the child is finally declared your adopted child? 7) Might it depend where you go, e.g. close by overseas, France/Ireland where ever or far away overseas?

OK enough questions, would welcome any answers here or by private message, please.


KristinaM Mon 19-Aug-13 10:02:09

BTW, what I'm taking about here is attachment and bonding and the child's welfare . . I'm not talking about whether or not your Sw " lets you" . Most SWs have very little training or understanding of these issues and if you ask them they will simply tell you the legal position ie

" once you have the adoption Order you can do what you like "

Or the " common sense view " " yes my children love visiting their grandparents, planes are fun, I'm sure they will love it "

Magslee Mon 19-Aug-13 16:24:11

I got my sw a present as she was great. They won't usually be allowed to accept more than a small token. A letter to their boss saying they were great is also a nice thing to do (if they were great of course)

I agree with the wise words about holidays. We went nowhere for 6 months and then went for a night with a friend who lives about a mile away so ds could get the idea that we go away and come back. I laid both our things out on the bed and then we packed t

Magslee Mon 19-Aug-13 16:29:42

Sorry posted too early ....
Packed together 'ds toothbrush in bag, mummy toothbrush in bag' etc.
after a couple of little practice one night trips we went on holiday - I got all the maisy goes on holiday type books before hand and talked about the holiday house etc. I think I may have overdone it as ds announced 'mummy holiday wee' etc throughout. Anyway, he was fine but i think that is probably largely due to personality etc. I definitely won't be going anywhere we couldn't just pack up and head home from if he got distressed for a while so it'll be buckets and spades and anoraks for a few years yet

Italiangreyhound Mon 19-Aug-13 21:24:59

Thanks so much for all your advice.

Meita Tue 20-Aug-13 14:57:27

Mhm food for thought, thanks! Kristina I don't think it's especially hard (well in our case the grandparents would be happy to travel anyway) to not go on holiday for however long it takes, and then to introduce the concept carefully and slowly. I was just curious so as to be able to plan better!

I guess there are various parts about holidays that can be difficult, and visiting grandparents, while some parts might be easier than in 'proper' holidays (you wouldn't be among strangers; and you could, as you said, make the same foods) - other parts would still be the same as with other holidays, so definitely not to undertake lightly.

Italiangreyhound Tue 20-Aug-13 22:12:50

How do you know when the child is ready for holidays or weekends away? I know there may be no cut and dried-s, but any general ideas, please?

cedar12 Wed 21-Aug-13 08:15:05

For us ds was fine after a year. We took him away after 6 months for a weekend and it was very stressful! and looking back now his behaviour then was more up and down than it is now after a year. Also his speech has come on leaps and bounds which also helped.
We went away at the beginning of the summer holiday and he was fine. He was very excited about going on a plane. We talked a lot about going on the plane and playing in the swimming pool before we went and talked about coming back to our house.When we were on holiday and we saw a plane we told him we were going back our house on a plane in a few days. It is lovely when he said yes we will go back to our house with the blue door and our little dog. He had a lovely time, we kept it quite relaxed though just playing in the pool and going to the park.

Italiangreyhound Wed 21-Aug-13 09:05:39

Sounds lovely Cedar.

I know it must sound very selfish to some for me t be so preoccupied about holidays and going away business but I love travel and going away. Don't get me wrong, we do not do it a lot! We just can't afford it. We have one holiday a year to either visit friends or relatives. We rarely stay in hotels aside from Travel Lodge! I have one relative who lives by the sea, DH's parents who live about an hour away n the countryside three or four friends who live overseas. So it is not like we are always travelling about. I think it just feels kind of scary that we won;t be able to travel as a family and the child won't want to be left etc and although I am 100% up for it I guess this travel thing is one I will just have to mourn for and if it all works out well they may feel happy in the future to go on hols etc. I know for lots of people holidays are a case of 'it's always nice to come to home' but for me I just see the value and joy in being away from day to day life! I used to hate it when we were kids and we had 'going out for days out' holidays instead of going away holidays (because we could not afford it) so I guess it is something else to be used it.

irishe Wed 21-Aug-13 20:51:52

1. No present for sw
2. We discussed during the home study whether we wanted to be approved for 1 or 2 children, so this had been covered and decided prior to going to panel. Our sw was guided by us in this respect but was very open about the differing challenges that might be experienced when adopting one child or 2 at the same time. This willingness to have this conversation (without us feeling judged in a 'I don't think you could cope with 2 type of way') helped us explore our own strengths and vulnerabilities and come to a decision that felt right for us. Of course there will always be challenges no matter the number adopted and you can't be prepared for everything.
2. We got as much info as we needed to make a decision, and we took as much time as we needed. We were given the full form E on any child we considered. Bear in mind that some of the timings are out with your control, for example having to wait for the child's sw to make an appt to see us and waiting to see the medical officer. Our agency only showed us one profile at a time, we did not have any say in this. The agency had a policy of only showing a childs profile to one set of prospective adopters at a time so thankfully we were not in competition from other potential adopters from our own agency but were told we might be in competition with potential adopters from the LA. Luckily for us this did not happen, so we were able to avoid the whole competitive matching thing.
5. I think this really depends on the child and how the attachment process is going, what the child's previous experiences have been, have they experienced multiple fostering placements, how do they cope with change in general. 3 months into our child coming to live with us we needed to visit family, it wasn't ideal and was not in our plan, how we coped was to rent a house for a week, filled the car with bedding, virtually all her toys, anything that was important. We kept all her routines the same, particularly around bed time and food. Then we asked family to visit us rather than us trailing round different houses. So it took a lot of thought and I was anxious the whole time, worrying we were jeopardising the progress we had made. Not very relaxing! DD was unfazed, but I was a wreck! Not to be recommended.
6. Our sw told us once the permancy order was granted we could go abroad but needed the LA's consent and obviously a passport. We decided against this as it felt potentially disruptive for us all and we wanted DD's first passport to be in her new family name, which would be post adoption order.
Holidays were always important to us pre children, but I do feel differently now we are parents. Watching the joy on our daughters face as she explores our very ordinary garden reminds me that those special family moments occur in the most mundane of places.

Italiangreyhound Wed 21-Aug-13 23:35:47

Thanks * irishe* that is great. Sounds lovely your dd loves her garden so much.

HappySunflower Thu 22-Aug-13 00:08:38

The following responses are based on my own experiences, so may not be the same in your area.

1. I did. But then, i felt that our sw was rather exceptional in her approach, and really did go above and beyond in how she supported us.
2. Yes, one at a time.
3. Initially, the child's profile, which is usually one or sometimes two sides of information. Once I expressed an interest in finding out more/taking things further then her CPR was made available to me, along with lots of other information, chronology, medical reports, etc.
4. Can't actually remember, but I wasn't pressured into making any quick decisions, and was encouraged to ask questions and take time to talk to my support network about things.
5. In my opinion/experience: no. We went away for a weekend after about six months which, in hindsight, was too soon. A lot depends on the individual child, some will be fine to go away after 9/12 months, some children I know have struggled after a year and a half, every child has a different history, and of course every child and their needs are different so its hard to predict.
6. What everyone else has said really. My childs SW told me that her team likes to have a passport for each child pre FAO, because they feel it is easier to get one at that stage whilst they have birth Mothers details, and then change their surname. We had permission to leave the country to go on holiday before the FAO; SS needed to know where we were going, who we were staying with and see copies of flight details.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 24-Aug-13 11:05:09

As usual my experience bucks the trend (so see me as an outlier, not a reliable indication of how things might be for you!)

1) We bought flowers for both our SW and DD's SW. They both came to our celebration hearing, and we wanted to say thank you for getting us all there so promptly.

2)-4) We only got DD's details: three or four photos, a single side summary of her position, plus the detailed Part E (can't remember how long, but it had significant info on eg her birth family as well as her). We had overnight to decide, but if we had been asked to decide within the hour I think we would probably have said yes. It felt right (if overwhelming)

5) We had short breaks with family and close friends. I can't remember when we first went - after a months, I think. The key difference with DD compared to many other LAC is that she was with a single set of foster carers, so doesn't have the same anxiety that many will have. She came to us with a passport - but we haven't used it (mostly because we have spent our money on buying and improving our house rather than holidays)

6)-7) We were told we would need to get written permission from the LA to take her abroad before the adoption order was granted.

Maiyakat Sun 25-Aug-13 19:56:22

I don't count as experienced, but will have a go anyway wink

1) I intend to get something for my SW, as she's been fantastic. Was wondering why your SW is changing after panel? I found it so helpful to have a SW who knew me well taking me through the matching process.

2) I was given more than one profile at once, and got them all by e-mail - think this might be unusual though!

3) I got 1-3 sides A4 initially (with a photo), then got CPR if I wanted to pursue the link (some LAs want to see your PAR before they'll give you this)

4) This very much depended - one I was given a deadline of a few days, others I had more time.

5) We've just got back from a week away, 4 1/2 months into placement. I only decided to do this after DD was placed and we had tried an overnight at grandparents' (who live locally so could come home if any problems). DD coped with holiday well, we were self catering in UK so all food exactly the same and she was the only child so everything could be arranged around her. DD only 11 months at placement and only one foster carer since birth, so as Families said less anxiety than an older child may have.

6) DD's SW kept asking if I'd want a passport and hoping I'd say no as she didn't want to have to deal with it! Quite how she thinks I can afford it whilst on adoption leave I'm not sure! I wouldn't for several years though

Exellis Wed 28-Aug-13 08:29:36

Regards taking the children abroad our LA must be quite different as our little ones have been with us only for four months. They are quite happy for us to take them abroad to Spain for a week before the Adoption Order is in. In fact the LA have applied for the passports on our behalf (in their old names) and even paid for them the passports were back within a week so we are all set. All we need to do is also take a Letter of Authority.

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