Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
I have been looking into adoption for a few years and I was hoping somebody could tell me which agency they have used to adopt and any pros and cons with them
anything would be greatly appreciated, I have been to many meetings with different agencies and support workers, councils and planning groups.
We went with our local authority. There were two reasons for this, firstly LA give young babies to their own adopters as a priority and due to the age of our BC we have to adopt a child under 18 months. The reason they prioritise I am told (and our 2nd reason for not going private) is because for every child they place with an outside agency, they have to pay that agency £27k. We looked at alot of local authorities and picked one quite far away as our closest was bloody useless!
I see exactly what Rosie is saying above, and it really depends on what you can offer and the sort of child you are looking to adopt. In an ideal world, we would all go through our local authorities (LA) find perfect matches straight away, and get the support we need.
I approached my local authority first, and explained I wanted to adopt a child with special needs. I was incredibly
pissed put off by the way they got excited and tried to get me to adopt one of the children they were looking to place. I didn't feel they were listening, at all, to what I was saying I could do.
So, the advantage of a local authority is they do have children (and babies) to place, but the disadvantage is, they will be focussing on finding homes for their children - as that is their job!
In the end, I went to a fantastic agency (pm me for details) and although I had to wait slightly longer, my daughter has been home for almost a year and she is awesome. The support I get is fantastic.
If you go through your LA, and adopt a child from next door LA, they still have to pay the 27k interagency fee - and in my experience, the adoption agencies are not out to make huge profits (unlike certain fostering agencies imho!!)
It's true that LA's have a priority to place their waiting children, with the prospective adopters that they have invested time and training in approving. Many LAs now operate in small confederations, so 3 or 4 neighbouring LAs work together to place children more effectively.
It is sometimes worth going with an LA a moderate distance away, if you live in a very small LA and there could be concerns about the proximity of birth family homes/workplaces. There is then always the issue that (currently) I believe post-adoption support is supposed to be funded by the placing LA for the first two years after placement, then it transfers to your local LA. I know families who have adopted children from a distant LA where it has been a massive challenge to get that LA to fund the right support for the child after they've moved. Hopefully the national post-adoption support fund might improve this a little for the children.
I don't have personal experience of going with a VA, but have found my LA to offer brilliant post-adoption support, ongoing training and peer support groups, and excellent advice/support to help with accessing the right services in health and education. Because I went through the LA, it has also meant I still have contact with the SW who was responsible for LO for most of their life, so if queries come up that are not in the records I have, I've been able to contact the SW easily and see if they recall anything that might be relevant.
Whoever assesses and trains you, will be the one writing your report that goes to approval panel. So, as far as you can, you want to choose an LA or VA that you feel really "gets you" and you'll be able to work honestly with.
thankyou for all your messages I have been in talks today with my LA and have a sit down meeting with them in two weeks time so hopefully this will help and another agency have got back to me today they are going to book me in for a meeting next week.
I am very greatful for all your replies and will keep these points in mind during my next meetings.
We went with a VA, drawn by lifelong support and the fact due the nature of my job we needed a child from out of area. The agency is amazing and the ongoing support is great. We were approved and placed with our daughter within 18 months (our daughter was 18 mths at placement).
Our SW is ever available and helpful. My experience of the LA who placed our daughter via the VA was a whole different world. Slow, hard to get an answer from anyone and not particularly helpful.
Have no regrets about our decision with the agency.
We went with a VA after finding two of the LAs totally useless (though many don't have this experience). They've been brilliant from the outset and we're delighted we went with them - we were specifically looking for harder to place children so they suited us very well. Another reason we feel really confident in them is that they offer lifelong support for our whole family (adoptive parents, adoptee) and their training and post-adoption support is absolutely excellent. We've heard many stories of families needing specialist adoption support in the teen years (past the two/three year LA threshold) and not being able to access it quickly or easily, and we feel really encouraged knowing that our agency will be there whenever we need them.
Whereabouts are you based? If it's near us I'd be happy to PM you their name.
im based in manchester and i am so greatful for all your messages I cant thankyou enough
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