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My husband and I have been selected and matched with 2 children (2 & 1 yo). Looking to be placed end of July with matching panel early July.
We are very excited and nervous but wondered if anyone had any advice on introductions. How this works and what it entails. Our SW is not very communicative.
Do we have to do a video or produce a book on us and out house? Heard differing stories...every LA is different I think which doesn't help 😮
Also, I have been reading that there is possibly an "allowance" available for us to get set up with all the "stuff" we need to buy?
Any help would be gratefully received and thanks to you all in advance 😘
Congratulations! We are starting intros this month. Happy for you to PM me and we can chat more then. We are in East of England.
Congratulations! On the practicalities, we made up a talking book with photos of us and the house. We also slept with a teddy which we handed over just before intros. The other thing was we asked which washing powder FC used and switched to that, so by the time DD came home everything at least smelt a bit familiar.
On the settling in allowance. We got £700 I think from our LA, but I know it varies across the country and with cutbacks, I don't know if they still do it. You can only ask.
All the best. It's so exciting!
Congratulations on your link! You're unlikely to get much more in terms of concrete information until you've been to matching panel, as SWs tend not to put plans in place too firmly until they have permission from panel and ADM to proceed.
You should have an Intros planning meeting, but these can often be incredibly close to the start of Intros (like 1-2 days before). In mine, there was me, my SW, child's SW, and FC and her SW. Together we agreed/altered the proposed schedule for intros period, right down to agreeing who was providing food each day, i.e. my responsibility to feed FCs when they brought child over to me for first time, etc. The point of the schedule was a) to make sure it wasn't overwhelming for child, and b) to make sure I had the chance to experience all parts of their routine, spread over different days. It will also be when you talk about any post-adoption allowances, and mileage claims for intro travel etc.
At matching panel, I had my little book about us ready (as requested) so child's SW could take it with them and hand to FCs. Later, was also asked for a couple of photos of me, which I discovered they had printed off very large and stuck up round their house at child-head-height - poor child, confronted by that! Nice idea though. One thing I know others have done is choose a baby blanket or toy per child, and sleep with the items in with you for a few nights, then hand them to FCs for child to sleep with to start to get used to your scent.
During intros, basically expect to be exhausted, and for most things to feel strange, and that you don't know what you're doing
A bit of practical advice...
For intros book, do head shots of you, that way it doesn't matter what clothes you are wearing in book/on first day (as opposed to co-coordinating which can be difficult).
Start your mat leave a week before intros start so you can clean, run round getting more stuff. Get to Aldi and buy as many packs of baby wipes as you can; you cam never have too many bant wipes and you will be surprised how many a nappy change can take. During introductions use your support network and invite yourself to theirs for meals as you need to eat, you will have neither the strength to cook for yourself, nor the inclination to wash up anything! Good luck! X
Congratulations. We slept with a blanket, bought a teddy and photographed him all over the house, gave the photos in a book and the blanket in advance. Gave the teddy on meeting.
Talked to foster carers by text, offered to bring packed lunch type food, shared lunches only. Had other meals at home.
We enjoyed the introductions and got on well with foster carers. Try and enjoy it. and CONGRATULATIONS!
PS yes we took talking book and stuff to matching panel but also took the photos in a little booklet, because were told everyone tries the talking book at panel and the noise is distracting or wears the batteries, or both!
Hi OP - we're going through panel and introductions at the same time as you. It's good to know we're not alone! Best of luck.
We took a book with photos of us & their toy around the house, some awful a4 laminated photos of our faces & the toy we'd bought to panel. Planning meeting for us is on the morning of the day we fist meet. Good luck!
Thank you all for your messages! Based on the communication throughout this process it's slow or non existent and then they give you 2 minutes notice to be somewhere or get something 😂
I'm just really nervous about the intros and it going well and hope the FC will help us with the transition 🤞🏻🤞🏻
Our social worker is saying that we need to see no one for about 6 weeks after placement to ensure the children are not overwhelmed. We have a birthday party arranged for my mum at our house about 4 weeks after potential placement for about 50 people so not sure what to do about that? Cancel it or move it 🤔
Good luck to all of you going though this process, it's not easy 😳
Hi! Congratulations, def don't have 50 people round at such an early stage, I'd move it.
I'd definitely move it to another location, and hand over the organisation of it to someone else. Either you or DP may then be able to drop in for a short while (without your children), so you don't miss it entirely.
It's not just that the children will be "overwhelmed" (although they will) it's that they will be at the very beginning of learning to trust you, learning about their new world, new home, new sights, new smells, new everything. They may be grieving for their old world. They will definitely still be scared and unsure, and may only just be starting to show you those feelings. And that's before their new space is invaded by 50 strangers, so feels even less safe. They won't yet have the trust to turn to you when they feel bad, and they will probably default to whatever their survival mechanisms are - these might not be easy to cope with, and you'll need a quiet private space to soothe them.
We did the "keeping other people to an absolute minimum" thing (sometimes called funnelling, because you keep the DC's world narrow and gradually open it up as they become more settled). It was completely the right thing to do, hard at times, but exactly what was needed. It needn't mean no visitors, but keep the number of new people very low, and when they do visit, make sure they are fairly hands-off with the children - visitors are there to support you, while you support your children, if that makes sense? So visitors can definitely make you a coffee, but you're the one who gives food/drink/comfort etc to your child.
And yep, your first paragraph in your latest post seems a pretty accurate summary of the process!
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