Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
Plodding through stage 2(25 Posts)
Loosing my momentum. It's taking ages . Done most of mine & DHs childhoods. Need to move onto education and health. Both medicals done. References still to be contacted. SW still v negative - about my past this week as I took an overdose in my early 20s. Gp not bothered about it.
Seem to face obstacles every visit - my dogs, birth children, only 3 bedrooms (1 free for adopted child), the fact I've not decorated 3rd room yet. Each visit she seems to get over her last concern and find a new one. Is this normal or I am just feeling negative?
Sorry for the moan but we are 8 months since initial phonecall and it's starting to feel like it's dragging
Thanks for replying precious. I usually lurk rather than post . It needs to be decorated. We moved walls in the summer to make it bigger and never got round to painting it. Currently housing Xmas presents, DHs guitar, ironing board. Don't want to decorate & plan in case we never get approved. SW seemed happy with this explanation
I think the more things you have which need to explored the longer it can take. We have one birth dd, have had lots of fertility treatment and I am overweight and those things needed to be talked about. We are also Christians and that needed to explored. From our initial conversation in our house, which was about 6 months after our conversation by phone (because we had just finished unsuccessful fertility treatment) it took us almost exactly 12 months to be approved.
I think if the room is standing in you way, just do it up as neutrally as you can, that is what we did with our old spare room. I also bought some brightly coloured pictures as I remember a friend being told her house was not very child friendly! It's hard because you do not know if you will adopt a girl or boy or the age (presumably) so it needs to be neutral. Also, we used our spare room as dumping ground for laundry, bits and bobs ad what nots, we had to clear it out and make it ready so it looked ready. Things still gravitated there, especially around Christmas time! Anyway, it was a concious thing to show we were ready, I think.
Good luck with the process.
Thanks Italian. The room was last weeks concern but when I explained it would be decorated as soon as we were approved (long way before matching) she said that was ok. Just seems to be constant hurdles and negativity
By hurdles do you mean things you have to do/change? By negativity do you mean her asking you to do things and/or change things/discuss things or has your social worker said negative things? Can you give an example that will not out you in real life? Only if you want to, of course.
Italian - I don't want to hijack the thread, but it sounds like we're almost the same person as you, but a few years behind in the adoption journey.
Do you mind saying some of the concerns that the social worker had about you having a birth child/fertility treatment/Christian/overweight?
OP - I feel for you, you need to feel as if the social worker is behind you. Do you think she's a naturally negative person? Is it possible to sit down with her and discuss some of the things that have come up recently to confirm she's happy with and ask if there's anything else? That way she could let you know any concerns so you could address them, instead of feeling like every time you get over one potential issue there's another one waiting for you.
Thanks for replying. Maybe hurdles are too strong a word but having to explain/justify ourselves. Yes we have birth DC who are 100% behind adoption, yes it's a 3 bed house but we've had building work done to extend and make box room into a big single bedroom. Yes we have dogs - SW now accepts they are trained and well behaved. It feels like she's testing us
Your sw is testing you. She needs to see that you have what it takes to adopt, that you have the tenacity. From what you've said of your examples they're all perfectly normal. We all have to explain and justify why we've done things, why things are a certain way etc. they have to get to know you intimately to know how you tick, what struggles you're likely to face and how you would cope with them and also if there are any factors in your past that may have negative feelings for you that are unresolved.
We were approved in September and now waiting placement and it's really tough and lo isn't even here yet. The road is far from smooth and tests the strongest of people/relationships.
MyNameIsFled, I hope you do not mind but I would like to answer Itscurtainsforyou question because it might help me share my views with them, and also with you too.
Itscurtainsforyou you said Do you mind saying some of the concerns that the social worker had about you having a birth child/fertility treatment/Christian/overweight?
Not at all but do not want to hijack so will make one reply and you can pm me or start a new thread and invite me if you want to know more!
Birth child - I think the social worker wanted to make sure our dd understood a bit about the process, was OK with things and was as prepared as she could be for her world to be pretty much turned around. This has been the hardest part of the actual adoption (not the assessment process but of having our new son here!). Our dd was pretty jealous at first (better now) and social workers want to know that any existing children in the family are as well prepared as can be.
Fertility treatment - I think they want to know it is over, I had dealt with it not working. Was there a chance I would change my mind and jack in the process of adoption in favour of more treatment? Something social worker could not know and to some extend neither could we! But were we all fairly sure this was it. Having had counselling helped me to know I was ready and helped me to 'prove' to social worker I had done the 'leg work/brain work'.
Christian - actually this was never an issue but we thought it would be! I was waiting for the question about what would you do if they were gay etc, as some Christians seem to really have an issue with stuff like equal marriage. I do not have an issue with equal marriage and was never asked about it. But we were asked what would we do if the child did not become a Christian/follow our faith etc, and also asked how we felt about a child of a different faith etc. I think they want to know to will not reject the child if they did not follow us in our faith. Of course we would not and we feel the same way about birth dd, but they had to ask and have an answer. In the end our being part of a church was seen as a plus (social/support etc) but I was surprised as I had expected it to be an 'issue'!
I also expected my house to be an issue as it is not always the cleanest, tidiest place around, and I did clean up before their initial visit but by the end I was very comfortable with their visits and I think once ds was placed it was good to see toys out and stuff all over the place (to some degree if it had been too tidy they may have felt I was too house proud!).
Overweight - this is really about health, my health (will I live long enough to see child into adulthood, can I move about enough to meet child's needs etc) and also to some extent about whether I can provide a healthy environment for a child. I can. DH and DD are fit and healthy, we eat healthy meals. I have an eating disorder and I was trying to get it sorted and lose weight.
Ironically, it is only now, since joining Overeaters Anonymous that I have managed to get a proper handle on the eating! However, as we went through the process I did do what the social workers wanted and tried to lose weight any way I knew how!
If you want to share stories or inspire/encourage, please join the thread I started on this, it has links to the new thread I started on OA.
MyNameIsFled, hope that was OK!
MyNameIsFled, I agree with Velvet and Jameme - she is testing you, judging you. That is her job. She needs to be fair, honest, etc etc but she needs to assess you. It probably feels personal and that is because it is. I did not find the process at all difficult partly because I am very used to the kind of talking/sharing/expressing thing! BUT the last bit was our home, where we had lived with our dd for 7 years (safely) so for social worker to walk around and comment on things I felt were safe and she did not, was hard! But we just had to get on and follow advice etc.
My husband commented on the safety glass thing, but I just said it's her job, she just needs to know she has done her job.
If you feel your social worker is being specifically unfair to you then you can ask her, nicely, about things, but I would just be cautious of stuff if it is something that is in your power to go.
So for example with approval she wanted to talk to me about my weight, I prepared some statements that were true about my weight and I submitted to what was needed to try and lose weight for the process. It was enough to satisfy the social worker. Sadly, it did not work and thankfully I have now found that being part of a support group (see above) has been far better than trying to lose weight with a diet club.
Of all the concerns our social worker had the biggest was probably our dd and how she would cope and our (very experienced) social worker was bang on the money because our dd, who was totally committed to our adopting, has found it quite hard (see above)!
Now thankfully our dd is coping well and is a super big sis to her little brother (who pretty much adores her!) But in the beginning I feared of all things that the sibling relationship would capsize our boat!
Also, for example with matching, we looked into a child who was partially a different heritage and faith to us (see above) and to help me to talk about this I looked into some interfaith stuff. The child was 'part' Muslim. I knew that as a Christian who had looked into inter faith stuff I might have more cultural awareness than someone who had no faith at all, so I did whatever I could to make that smooth if that was the child for us! It was not to be and that was because we felt our son was right for us before the other opportunity of the other child progressed (nothing to do with ethnicity or religion, we just felt our son was right for us).
But I now feel at least a little bit pleased that I followed everything up with the other child and it was not me standing in the way of matching. Not sure if that makes sense or not!
OP - 8 months after our initial call we were only just going on the prep course (first thing to do then, before anything else).
I second the others who have said just decorate the room neutrally. If it's a small room then e.g. a pale yellow could be good. Once approved things could move very quickly - we were approached about a match a month before approval panel. It wasn't right and we said no, but it could have been.
They need to push you to some extent. You will need to be a strong advocate for your child when placed, you need to show you can cope with pressures and have really thought things through.
I know sometimes you want to be able to sound off about things dragging but... Maybe hurdles are too strong a word but having to explain/justify ourselves - you do realise this is what a home study primarily is?!
Its going to be like this all the way through. It not just because they're testing you. Its because they have to write the answers to all these things down to write your homestudy report (or whatever its called these days). They aren't going to write "I'm sure they'll be fine, they seem nice"!
In essence a home study is an interview for the position of being a parent. Does that put the questions in context. You don;t just tip up to an interview and expect the job without someone questioning you about your CV.
I appreciate sometiems things do seem to drag but it deosn;t sounf like things are dragging that uch.
Kew - I'm well aware of what home study is. Considering I work in CP and have daily dealing with SW it's very hard being on the other side of the fence and since they know my background professionally I find some of their concerns irrelevant. Comments about painting a bedroom aren't really that relevant when I would have expected much more emphasis on our birth children ad how an AC is going to "fit in"
I will go back to lurking as I'm looking for support and direction rather that to be told what I already know
MyNameIsFled I am sorry you do not feel supported. We are here to support you. You asked a question and many of us are giving examples of how long it took us and what we were asked about etc. How is that not supportive?
I don't want to say something you will already know but to me it does seem pretty clear social services will possibly need to be extra careful in assessing you if you already work in child protection. If they do not (excuse the phrase) 'do a thorough job on you' they could find themselves being questioned whether they followed proper procedures, or whether they did not just because they knew you.
So if they asked other people about rooms etc (and I gave you the example of a friend of mine in real life who was asked about her house not being colourful enough - or as I said it I put up some brightly coloured pictures as I remember a friend being told her house was not very child friendly! So I think some social worker will ask about that.
I would, of course, hope that they will also ask about the child who is coming into your family and how they will find their place in your family.
I too would expect more emphasis on your birth children than on a room but you stated at the start that you had faced obstacles and you mentioned your children so I assumed they had asked about them already. Our social worker met with our dd on a one to one basis (with me in the adjoining room) to ask her how she felt about it all.
We really are here to support but also to be honest about things from the perspective we went through.
I'm sorry I gather you think I sound harsh but since they know my background professionally I find some of their concerns irrelevant I can't believe that you think they aren't going to ask the same basic questions as they ask everyone else like your plans to decorate the room because you work in child protection. Even you admit they accepted your explanation about the decorating readily - it was hardly a grilling by your own admission
I can't offer you support because I genuinely don't get what you're complaining about - you say they asked you about birth children dogs and number of bedrooms which is all bog standard for a homestudy, a passing question about your plans to decorate the room. I'm afraid it all sounds very normal to me. I was asked about my attitude to having black servants (when I was 3 and we lived in Africa), I had to go over it again in a separate session as my social worker was so worried about panel view of this. I had to have a second opinion on my medical because my GP refused to sign it as she "didn't know me". I won;t even discuss the bizarre sex talk we had. Lots of people have a story about some aspect of their homestudy or other, because thats the nature of the beast, they ask you questions which you don't always think are very relevant which you of course answer with good grace because ultimately its not your job to decide whats relevant, its theirs.
You haven't said anything thats sounds in the slightest bit out of the ordinary to me.
Perhaps I'm missing something. Do you think your social worker is not supportive of your application?
Kew - my op was about timescales. It feels like plodding. Sometimes it's hard to remain positive. Discussed with DH and after Xmas we are going to emulsion the 3rd bedroom and get new carpet as much as to finish the building project. I'm trying to take on board what's been said upthread but you seem less constructive in your responses. I understand I'm new to this side of the fence hence why I'm posting to see if it's normal to feel like this.
Our SW is perfectly pleasant and professional. We've done loads both as a couple and as individuals with her.
Anyway I'm going to go back to lurking after tonight's addition to the thread
MyNameIsFled before you re-lurk, if that is even a word from me! Just be reassured we probably all felt it was plodding and dragging, that really is normal.
It might well be because most of us probably thought about this for years before we even picked up the phone to ask about it.
So for me, it was about:
24 years from the time I stood in a Romanian orphanage and thought I might like to adopt,
14 years from the time DH and I discussed adoption as an option before we were married,
8 from the time we thought about it seriously,
3 or 4 from the time we thought about it seriously again,
2 from the time we met social worker
8 months from the time we were approved
- to the time little one arrived home.
Over those years I imagined it off and on and it was all part of the journey for me.
And so totally many, many of us will have felt that last bit dragged so you are not alone at all in that.
Sorry it wasn't clear to me that your question was just about timescales.
3 years pretty much from application to home but I understand that it should be faster now.
That's as constructive as I can be on timescales as its changed since I went through, although if you lurk you are probably aware that matching appears to be slowing down again at least for a bit. I suspect social workers aren't under pressure to get things done fast as there will just be a backlog of adopters waiting for slower matches. I have no concrete reason to say that just a feeling.
We plodded through stage 2 aswel and are now stuck waiting for a match.
Home study felt repetitive at times, and our social worker had 'issues' with some very odd things! She was fine with our dog but had a problem with a cupboard that was in our living room (thought a child may pull it on themselves even after we fixed it too the wall) so in the end we got rid of it and she was happy. I think a lot of the time they want to see you jump thought a few hoops and take their advice on board - that's all!
Waiting for a match has been much harder! We did stage 2 in 8 months and have been waiting for a match for 7 months. Honestly, home study seems fast paced now when i reflect on how little happens some weeks now!
It does feel like it's taking ages, that's for sure. But if it helps, once our DD was home, all that just melted away. It will be worth it, promise
A peculiarity of my work meant that SW fell over themselves to show they weren't doing us any favours. This did make the process harder for us, but it's so important they can defend their decisions. These are precious, vulnerable children, SW have to be thorough.
Dig in, you'll get there.
Girlswhowearglasses - you may have a point. I deal with CP from a crisis point and have no dealing with the placement SWs. Maybe she's questioning me/us more to ensure there isn't any favouritism because of my role.
I certainly expect to be quizzed but I don't understand the things she's chosen to have concerns about. Just cried on the phone to my dad who is going to arrange a decorator for my Xmas present
Every case is different. I was miffed because our home study consisted of 1 5 hour visit and a 15 min observation of us with kids! It's really hard as you are putting your life in the hands of someone else, something that is so important and you have a massive lack of control. Our approval panel was within timescales, although with just one visit it felt very long and ploddy as we heard nothing for most of the 6 months! Waiting and getting matched is much much harder as no timescales. Supposed to be pretty quick once to get matched but still months for us even after matching panel.
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