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Should I adopt or foster long term?

(11 Posts)
chickenmama Mon 15-Jun-09 19:51:14

I've been matched with a child, my first foster placement (and long term). I am very tempted to adopt. I haven't met the child yet but we seem to be a very good match and as the child is the only one of several siblings without an adopter it feels like the right thing to do. The LA would be very happy for me to apply to adopt. My agency however are not happy and have said I should foster. Both sides have said the other are basing their advice on finances and I feel a bit stuck in the middle. The LA have said they'd like a decision before I meet the child so they can introduce me in the appropriate way (as either adopter or foster carer).
Would love to get some thoughts on this...

chegirl Mon 15-Jun-09 20:54:30

Arrghhh wrote a brilliant reply and lost my connection!

Here we go again.

I am a bit concerned about the 'want a decision before I meet the child'. It sounds as if you are being pushed into a huge decision.

I do not see why they need you to tell them now. If the child is to be on a long term placement with you anyway why do they want you to make your mind up now? Are they going to find another FC if you say no? It doesnt make sense to me. If you said yes you would have to foster LO for quite a while anyway (our adoption from fostering took two years).

I am not suprised you agency are a bit peed off. They have spent money recruiting and training you and now the LA want to take you out of the workplace before you have mad ethem [agency] and money!

I cannot advise you what you should decide but I would say DONT be manipulated by either side. Stand your ground. If LA think you are a perfect match they should do all they can to support the placement. If that means you fostering LO for a while so be it.

It DOES sound to me as if they are trying to meet targets and possibly save some money.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

wb Mon 15-Jun-09 21:02:14

Chickenmama,

does the child have special needs, behavioral issues or other circumstances that may require a lot of ongoing treatment/therapy/intervention/equipment?

If so, then bear in mind that whilst a child is fostered then the local authority is responsible for funding these, if you adopt you will be (with whatever help DLA etc will provide).

Obviously I don't know your circumstances but quite a few children with complex special needs are long-term fostered, not because the foster family don't love them enough to adopt them but because of the financial hardship associated with doing so (it is obviously in nobody's interest esp. the child's if they cannot access the help they need due to lack of money).

chegirl Mon 15-Jun-09 21:06:24

That is a very good point wb

We had to negotiate [hard] to get a decent support package for DS.

chickenmama Mon 15-Jun-09 21:38:34

chegirl - I do feel like I'm being pushed to make a huge decision (partly brought on by myself as I was the one who suggested adoption). The LA have said that if I want to adopt they won't change the order they currently have - to place as LTFC they would have to go back and remove one order and get another granted (forgive me for being a bit vague about all that!) So I think they want it in writing so they know how it will be progressing.
They won't find another carer if I say I'd like to foster (I hope!!) and they've said the adoption process is likely to take around 18 months.
As for my agency, I can understand they want to make some money out of me, but I've been approved for almost 2 yrs without a placement and every possible I've had I've found myself so I'm not too worried about how they'd feel if I do adopt!

wb - the child has some special needs and currently sees CAMHS. To be honest, I don't know enough about things to be able to say if ongoing support and therapy will be required, but the LA have said that my local CAMHS will be contacted. They also said that they will support for 3 yrs post adoption, and then it's down to my LA. Perhaps this is the reason I should foster first. I had no idea I would have to fund such things myself...

chegirl Mon 15-Jun-09 21:54:38

In that case Chickenmama I would take this at YOUR own pace.

You have expressed an interest in adoption so that is the first step.

If it were me I would prefer to foster the child and take a while to decide. This will not harm the child as s/he is in a stable placement with you already.

Get all the information you can. you cannot possibly consider adoption without this and it could take a while to winkle it out of the LA. If they reall want you to adopt there is no reason why they cannot support the placement indefinately (until 16-18 that is). If LO is likely to need ongoing support and therapy an adoption allowance can be awarded.

You may not be able to foster for a long time after adoption, have you thought about how you will support yourself? (sounds nosey sorry!)

Take your point about the agency. I wouldnt be too worried either but it could explain why they were using the finacial argument smile

chickenmama Mon 15-Jun-09 22:26:02

Message withdrawn

chegirl Mon 15-Jun-09 22:55:28

Gosh Chicken I couldnt say how long you should foster for. Its all so unknown. Its your first placement, you havnt met the little one, you dont know much about them or the LA. What about birth children? Will that be an issue?

I wouldnt set a time limit right now. Get the child placed and settled before you do. You will be having regular reviews anyway so you should have plenty of opportunity to discuss it surely? Get to know the LA and how they work. Assure them that you are interested but you want to do what is best for the child.

I would also ask about contact issues. You mentioned siblings. Is contact planned with them? If they are in seperate placements this could be very time consuming. I am all for contact but it needs to be carefully planned and considered. If you adopt you may find yourself left to deal with it on your own.

SGO were introduced to late for us. I think adoption was the best thing as it happens but we probably would have considered a SGO if they exsisted. Be careful though, financial support is limited an [i think] discresionary {sp}.

Sorry to bang on about money so much. But it can be so important. It can make or break a placement.

Its all very exciting I must say smile.

Do let us know how things go as confidentiality allows of course.

KristinaM Wed 17-Jun-09 16:39:06

i agree with chegirl

just go ahead with the fostering arrangement

you need to know a LOT more before you consider adoption

chickenmama Thu 18-Jun-09 18:56:22

Thank you so much for all the advice

Matching meeting was today and it's official now - she's coming to me as a foster placement and we'll look at adoption again once she's settled.

I'll finally get to meet her in a month's time. So exciting! grin

KristinaM Thu 18-Jun-09 23:44:47

congratulations! smile

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