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Is it unreasonable to want to move introductions forward ?

(48 Posts)
Blondie1980s Thu 14-May-20 08:39:35

Hi so I'm a new user to Mumsnet, but I have been lurking in the background for a little seeing all the stories.

Me and my partner are adopting a baby under 12 months old , we had our approval back in early April and like many others have been stuck in the lockdown limbo of when we can meet our child.
We saw the posture and got the information and immediately have fallen in love with this child. But the issue being is trying to meet them.
The FC has done a wonderful job and I'm very grateful for them. But she is uncomfortable with anyone going to her home incase if infection.

. (She has family members that are shielding , I understand her concern it's a very scary time right now. But we have been self isolating in prep for this , my OH for 2 weeks , and myself I've isolated from day one of lockdown incase things move quickly. We have also agreed that with the situation-only I will be the one going to the home for the first meetings. So the FC and family are put at minimal risk. )

Now we are waiting in limbo as the SWs and LA and the FC try and find an alternative way of us meeting them. In the mean time it's been at least 3 weeks of going round in circles and all the while we just want our child to be with us. I'm hearing from people I was in adoptions prep courses they have had their introductions and have even brought their babies home in the last 3 wks. Whilst I'm happy for them I'm devastated for me.

Am I being unreasonable in this. ??????
Help please going loopy here.

OP’s posts: |
Jellycatspyjamas Thu 14-May-20 09:02:39

Have you been formally matched with this little one or are you still at the linking stage? If you’re just linked I’d not push tbh because there’s still a way to go before matching and they may not be able to move that part forward (eg meetings with foster carer, paediatrician, matching panel etc) and it’s unfair on the child to introduce you early and them then wait through a long period not knowing if they’re coming and going.

If you’ve been matched and the agency decision maker has signed off, you could explore how long it might be - presumably until the foster carer no longer needs to shield? Your desire to move forward doesn’t trump her need to keep others safe and, if you’re as early in the matching process as you sound - meaning this kindly - they aren’t your child yet, the foster carer and LA will have other priorities just now.

I don’t think you’re unreasonable to want to be through the process, I think you’re a bit unreasonable to want to involve the child in such an uncertain process - I wouldn’t be even thinking about meeting the child until you had a clear dated plan to move forward so the child was left in as little uncertainty as possible.

Blondie1980s Thu 14-May-20 09:29:11

We have formally been married Cher and signed off. All the Mexicali's examiner's parts have been done. So it's literally introductions stage then bring him home.

The government shield letters are indefinite n date, the shielding categories were told at the start of lockdown stay home for 12 wks. They however have no new dates for when they can come out if shielding.
As I said I understand she needs to protect her family and our child ( because that's how I see them now rightly or wrongly , )
But I'm trying to be helpful I've been self isolating since March , OH has isolating for 2 wks straight snd he has agreed only one of us would be at the physical interactions of the meetings. To minimise any risk.
They have also been isolating on their end. Hell I've even said I won't go in the house and will happily sit out in the garden.

OP’s posts: |
Blondie1980s Thu 14-May-20 11:39:22

@Jellycatspyjamas Sorry auto correct on the phone (got to love them !)

What i meant to say was " We have formally been matched, been through the Match panel . Had the Official write off ok'd with that. We have also had the medical examiner meeting, and the a meeting with the FC and the LA together via Zoom.
So all we are waiting on now is the Week of Introductions...

I dont mean it to sound like im trying to over rule her safety etc... I just would like an idea of how long this process if going to take, We got all the agreements in early Aprils , so we are now 4 wks of no moving, with no end date in sight and no actual idea .

Ive been trying to be helpful, and my OH is making a huge sacrafice on just me proposed to the meeting... (he is desperate to meet them, but we are trying to not overwhelm nor cause our FC further distress then needed ... Ive even offered to not go inside the house at all... if i need to just sit in the garden at a social distance then im willing to do that too.... It wont help with learning our childs routine but im trying to make allowances and be respectful )

The Government and LA has said that they are happy for the meetings to occur... and as i said i understand her concern and im doing everything i can to remain understanding, but it feels like im tearing my hair out... (over dramatic i know but its so close but it feels like its out of reach too )

Hope that now makes more sense lol.

OP’s posts: |
Jellycatspyjamas Thu 14-May-20 12:20:16

It makes perfect sense and I totally get your frustration. I’d be asking the SW for a clear plan, they need to work with the foster carer to move this forward, it’s not fair to anyone to drag it on. I get why you’d suggest meeting in the garden etc (which is massively accommodating of you) just be careful about being too accommodating. What I mean by that is having meetings in the garden or driving by etc will give you sight of your little one but won’t prepare them or you for moving in and might mean they feel able to drag it out even longer (eg you can do a garden meeting once a week initial this ends, but not actually do intros. Remember the purpose of intros is to prepare you all for living together and can make a big difference to the way your little one copes with the transition so keep in mind what will help the child most and work towards that, which may mean the foster carer needs to compromise somewhere in this. LAs can be notoriously protective of foster carers and a bit less cognisant of the needs of adopters it indeed the child at the centre.

In your shoes I’d ask for a meeting (online) with your SW and the foster carers SW and the foster carer and ask for a clear timeline and plan - if they say they can’t do that, I’d be wanting clear explanations of why measures can’t be put in place (for example that shielding family members stay in a different part of the house from where you might meet your little one, that you stay in a particular part of the house, little one changes clothes and is bathed after you visit them). It’s deeply unfair to leave you waiting and leaving your little one in care indefinitely when all the formal process is complete.

Blondie1980s Thu 14-May-20 12:44:00

foster carer needs to compromise somewhere in this.

I totally agree with this, and I have been trying to put this point across.. For all my moaning , the FC has been doing a wonderful job from the sounds of it, physio play with him, and i know the whole family dotes on him. (he is likely to be very spoiled as a result, which i dont mind in the least)

It just totally feels like we are constantly having to try and chase things to get answers, and trying not to sound too much like we are hounding... (its a hard fine line to walk )
And its nice to know that im not blowing this out of proportion, my family have been extremely supportive, but they can see its effecting me, who wouldnt it affect. But they of course are all just as eager to meet and include him in the family.

OP’s posts: |
sadwithkiddies Thu 14-May-20 15:06:24

If matched and ready to go....contact the IRO and ask for a clear plan now.
Sounds absolutely ridiculous.

Mojocafa Thu 14-May-20 16:30:45

So there is someone shielding within the foster carers home?

Blondie1980s Thu 14-May-20 16:36:46

Yes @Mojocafa the FC has two family members that are living with them in the shielding category .

OP’s posts: |
Mojocafa Thu 14-May-20 16:45:46

Ok, your not going to like this, but the 2 people being shielded are the priority, sorry if that’s not what you wanted to hear.
Especially if they are children and if they are LAC it simply isn’t worth the risk.
I imagine you have waited a long time for a little person in your life, your almost there, what’s another few weeks?
I have lost someone to covid which is maybe why I think you should just be thankful that you and everyone in the fostering household is currently well, keep doing online contact and don’t risk taking any infection in.

Muminabun Thu 14-May-20 17:40:50

You and the child are the priority. If you have both been isolating for 2 weeks then there really is next to no risk. The fc must compromise. The location may need to be at your home or her relatives will need to move somewhere else. Their isolation for a few weeks comes much lower in my opinion for the permanence of a vulnerable child. Fc are paid a lot. Also op fc will always claim to be doing a great job and some are. In our case the care received was very very far below the story we had been told by sw and the fc. Best of luck and keep pushing, this is urgent and essential for you and your baby.

Muminabun Thu 14-May-20 17:42:36

On another note op the fc ceases to be paid once lo moves in with you....just saying...

Blondie1980s Thu 14-May-20 17:51:46

The FC has been isolating since day 1 of lock down.. Due to shielding family, which i understand completely .

I have also been isolating since day 1 of lock down as we knew there might be a possibility that due to emergency cases FC would need to be freed up so there was potential (albeit small that we might move sooner. )
My OH has been isolating for 2 wks also, he goes out every few weeks just to get the food in cause never getting a delivery slot and they are to be saved for cases that need it more .. So we have all been doing everything in our power to keep safe.

With no end in sight on the shielding letters, and the UK Governments having different rules in England and the rest of the country Again understandable.. We just need some sort of idea when this can happen... Im trying to be accommodating, but what if they extend the shielding dates for a further 12 weeks? Are we still expected to keep waiting indefinitely? The child gets more attached to FC, they have more trauma the longer they are left there, so not only do the FC have our child to look after but the 2 shielding members as well.

Trying very hard not to sound like a major douche bag here.. sad

OP’s posts: |
dimples76 Thu 14-May-20 18:46:45

It is so hard Blondie. Our intros were due to start on the Wednesday after the lockdown was announced. They were then indefinitely postponed but went ahead a few weeks later and DD has now been home for 4 weeks.
It's so difficult with people shielding within the household - your suggestion of just being in the garden (which I don't think would give enough hands on time) or primarily in one room of the house seems workable. Our original intros were planned for a week but the lockdown ones were 4 days and she moved in on day 5. From day 2 the majority of the time was spent at my house (initially with FC).
It's so hard to balance everyone's needs. A newborn has already taken DD's place in FC's.
Take care and good luck

SFCA Thu 14-May-20 18:57:07

Hmm I am an adopter and a foster carer. I do completely understand your frustration however my son is shielded as is my foster son so I see it from the other perspective too.

Shielding is not indefinite at the moment we have been given a provisional date of 30th. I receive at least one text a week reminding me that there are to be no visitors to the house and we are not to leave the house until then. I’m afraid there is no way I would allow anyone into my home at the moment. I owe it to my children to keep them safe.

I do sympathise, you must be desperate to get introduced but this is a time to prioritise safety.

@Muminabun I do think it is unfair to hint this is financially motivated! The OP has stated that this LO is loved, doted on and spoiled, the FCs certainly don’t seem to view LO as a pay check!

ModelCitizen Sat 16-May-20 08:38:13

I personally believe that moving a child once final decisions are made is a priority for the welfare of that child. People shielding could stretch on for literally months so there needs to be a solution which does not require a vaccine being produced. Are you able to explore whether you and your husband would be eligible for C-19 testing?

Blondie1980s Sat 16-May-20 09:19:36

@ModelCitizen there is a shortage of the test at the moment in my part of the country not to mention all over. I'm sure if we kicked off enough we could get one but I also wouldn't want to take it away from a front line worker that needs it.

Apparently as an update there is going to be a meeting next week with the LA and are hoping we will have some more information by then.

OP’s posts: |
Mojocafa Sat 16-May-20 09:26:56

It has been announced that all carers can be tested and you could be classed as a carer to begin with so entitled to a test.

However, when you take the test, you might be virus free, but in between having a test and visiting child you may catch it and symptoms are not being displayed. You go back and forth to meet with child who will be with foster carer. Introductions continue with your time increasing, child moves to your care, how fantastic!

However, the foster carer potentially catches it from you whilst your not displaying symptoms, takes it back to the home environment, introductions increase and the carer successfully moves the child on. Fantastic!

But....two people that have been protected and were safe, have now caught the virus, three weeks later, worst case scenario, they are dead.
No so fantastic!

I have aforementioned that I have lost someone to covid-19.
It’s a horrific way to die.

But hey, it’s only me and and a couple of others that see the different prospective.

Blondie1980s Sat 16-May-20 09:39:21

@Mojocafa I'm very sorry for your loss and I cannot imagine what that is like for you.

As I have said before I have been isolating since lockdown. My OH has been isolating for two weeks coming into the 3 rd week. ( careful food planning means we have been ok for food )
So we do not carry the virus.

Also I think wanting to have an idea of timescale to start our family isn't unreasonable. I understand these are unpredictable times and I have tried to be flexible and understanding of the FC and their families needs.

But yes there's a shielding issue. Yes there are mental health issues mine and theirs. Plus there is an uncertainty issue.
What if the government decided to extend the shielding dates ?
Is it expected to continue indefinitely?
What contingency is in place for placements in this case ?

I don't think it's unreasonable for these issues to be brought to attention and to be actively looking at the answers to these questions now before it might happen.

The child also has to be taken into account in all this.

OP’s posts: |
Mojocafa Sat 16-May-20 10:02:02

I totally understand everything you are saying, and your frustrations!

These times are exceptional 😢

Let’s think about the child.....
The child is safe, it would appear the FC is doing a great job, and working well with you.
I have no concerns about the child.

So introductions start, people going into different households.
Swapping child back and forth building up your time.
Let’s say, heaven forbid , you get the virus, during intros your not displaying symptoms. You don’t pass it on to anyone in fostering household. Fantastic!
So child moves into your care full time, Fantastic!
So your symptoms then become apparent and you become unwell. Worst case scenario, your admitted to hospital, ventilated, then your family are asked to make a decision to switch off the ventilator.

So from the child’s prospective, it has just lost its fostering family and all that goes with it, and now you.

All I am saying is what’s a couple of more weeks, even a couple of months, if it ensures everyone’s safety.

I know I am coming across as really hard, but this is the harsh reality.

Blondie1980s Sat 16-May-20 10:24:00

@Mojocafa I'm not trying to be the douchebag here and if it were myself that had lost a family member then I'd probably be the same as you. Like I said i can't imagine it and I'm lucky I haven't had to , I'm also not making light of covid either so don't take it that way.

But again we have been adherent to social distancing and lockdown rules. On both parties.
So in the isolating where is the transmission coming from ? They don't have it in their home. And I don't have it in my home. ?
This is the whole reason we have been isolating for a safe home environment. Both for ourselves for others and government guidelines.

Yes if we are told a few more weeks I can cope with that. However months is another matter. You are also if you look at this within not just with me but if you suspend all placements of children to their forever homes , leaving vulnerable and neglected , abused children in dangerous situations as you are stopping them being moved to safe placements into FCs.

All I'm saying as these are all issues that need to be discussed now and have plans in place for.
Yes the initial part of the thread is we want to have our family. ( and I'm sure you would do anything to have yours back ). But because of our situation it has brought me to highlight thst we need a back up plan to. It's something SWs and LAs need to be thinking about and discussing with government now. Not in 4 wks when the shielding date is over. Due to none knows if there will be a further peak?
How normal seasonal flu will flood the nhs also in the coming months?
Forewarned is forearmed it's unpredictable we know but the better prepared we can be tje better for everyone.

OP’s posts: |
sadwithkiddies Sat 16-May-20 10:31:52

OP
If you are self-isolating, and they are too...then there is no opportunity for exposure to covid and they are being unreasonable.
Escalate it at your meeting next week to the IRO. The child needs to move on....what will remaining in FC indefinitely achieve? This could go on for a very long time!

Ted27 Sat 16-May-20 13:49:44

@Mojocafa I'm very sorry that you have suffered a loss. However I don't think your posts are helping here.

It seems that both families have been very strict around self isolation. Introductions involve a very small number of people. When the child moves, even in normal times, new families restrict themselves in the number of contacts.
I really am sorry that your relative did not recover, but that does not take away from the fact that the majority of people who contract the virus WILL recover.
So the chances of transmission are remote, even if one if the parties did contract the virus, it is most likely they will not require hospitalisation, if they do, they are likely to recover. Its about balancing risk.
We do also need to think about the bigger picture here. There is already a chronic shortage of FCs. If we keep children who have been found a family within the system, whats going to happen to children who urgently need an FC ?

Mojocafa Sat 16-May-20 14:01:03

As an adopter and a foster carer for many years who has moved many children on to adoption, I know full well how the system works!

I don’t mean for my replies to be unhelpful, it is simply my opinion.

Noseyposey1 Sun 17-May-20 08:09:59

I don’t think your being unreasonable at all, I’ve been through the adoption process 4 times and 4 x introductions! Delays are so tough emotionally and even more so with no date in sight, really feel for you. It’s such a tricky situation but at the end of the day they need to get a plan in place to move this forward and get little one home with you. Surely they could start by doing video calls with you and FC so lo gets used to your voice and face or alternatively you make a video to send. Then sending laminated pictures for baby to play with and look at and then a comforter that you’ve slept with a few nights so lo starts getting used to your smell. I’d then be asking for a garden meet to start with. You’ve all been shielding & If everyone takes precautions throughout then no reason why they can’t make it work imo! Best of luck.

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