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London adoption process

33 replies

unusednickname · 22/02/2013 21:02

I am probably being very stupid here but...

I don't get how we would register to adopt in London. Our borough says they'll treat applications from people who live in the borogh cautiously because of the proximity to the birth family. Clearly we'd like as much chance as possible so we wouldn't want to regsiter with them if that would mean fewer chances. Do we have to register with a number of other boroughs? That makes no sense surely? We're in SW London if that helps?

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KristinaM · 22/02/2013 21:47

You contcat all the adoption agencies who cover your area and find out which ones will assess you. Then you choose one. Most agencies will only assess you if they have a need for families like yours

So if you are , for example, an Indian Seik family and you want to adopt a child under 5, you woudl probably want to be approved by an local authority with a large Seik population. If you are able to adopt a school aged child with special needs or a sibling group of three or more, then most agencies will assess you. If you are a white family wanting to adopt a healthy child under 2, you may have soem difficulty, unless there is a demand for such families in your area. It's pretty much supply and demand, I'm afraid

PheasantPlucker · 22/02/2013 21:54

Hi, our local borough wouldn't take us, but we were taken on by a nearby borough who thought they would have children whom they could consider placing with my dh and me, who would match our racial heritage.

We only registered with one borough, and had an obligation to stay with them for 6 months post approval, as they hoped to match us with one of 'their' children. All went well.

Hope this makes sense!

unusednickname · 22/02/2013 22:21

OK that makes sense Smile so call a few and find out who's desperate for a m/c white couple...

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PheasantPlucker · 22/02/2013 22:24

I suggest you call Richmond. Good luck!

unusednickname · 22/02/2013 22:35
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Domjolly · 23/02/2013 00:07

Not sure what m/c white couple is you could also try VA which will look for children all over the uk for you not just with in the LA

Also i would ask how long you need to stay with the la post approvel

Good luck on your journey

Domjolly · 23/02/2013 00:10

Oh i get it middle class white couple lol

I would say if your looking to take on a sibling group or a older child you may put yourself ahead of other couples but if your looking for a white baby with no helth issues i would say join the cue i am afraid

unusednickname · 23/02/2013 08:45

Just another question on this - once we'd registered with one borough if we also wanted to register with another would the process start again from scratch? And if so are there any pan London agencies who deal with a lot of children?

This feels a unpleasantly like choosing a supermarket Sad

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unusednickname · 23/02/2013 08:49

Thanks Dom Jolly. We have a dd who is nearly 3 so I'm afraid it would most likely be a young child w/o health issues. I know they aren't the children most in need but I'm thinking about what dd might have to cope with after we can't too and, well yswim?

I don't know who VA are? Have seen it on this board - they're an agency? Should I jfgi?

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PheasantPlucker · 23/02/2013 08:53

We were taken on by a borough (getting taken on was a trial in itself!) then given training by them. Their Panel then 'approved' us as adopters.

We stayed with them for the requisite 6 months. Then we could also request details of other children waiting to be adopted - from other London boroughs and from across the UK. Being approved as adopters by X borough meant we were eligible to apply to any agency to enquire about children in their care.

Also, if you join Adoption UK you will be sent a magazine called 'Be My Parent' in which agencies/authorities highlight children currently waiting for adoption. Our agency automatically paid for us to be members of this for 3 years, as part of their 'package'.

unusednickname · 23/02/2013 12:28

Thanks pheasantplucker that makes sense :) And you are now parents? Smile well done!

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PheasantPlucker · 23/02/2013 12:45

Yes, we've had our adopted child a number of years now. We have a birth child who is 4 years older than the adopted child.

If you have any other queries please feel free to ask.

Just in response to a point made above: There is a 'Matching Process' to match the child to the most suitable parents. There is never a queue as such. But what there can be is a number of families expressing interest in a particular child, and the agency having to decide which is the best home for the child, based on a number of factors.

Best of luck with everything

unusednickname · 23/02/2013 12:53

Thanks - that's actually very helpful. I'm not sure where the debate wrt ethnicity in adoption is in London at the moment. I have a huge amount of experience working in complex urban schools and our circle of friends/family isn't either white or middle class. Not sure if that would make us a better proposition?

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KristinaM · 23/02/2013 15:08

Generally the preference is to place children in a family that reflect their ethnicity. But supply and demand isn't matched up, in that there are many older children, sibling groups and those with special needs who need a black family than there are approved black families. So if you are able to parent such a child you have some chance of the rules being bent for you.but as you are a white family wishing to adopt a healthy baby, I'm afraid that's unlikely to happen.

Domjolly · 23/02/2013 15:13

i think you have to be careful when you say you have experience with "complex urban school" you might what to think about weather you simply mean you have experience of children from ALL different back grounds.

and when you say your circle is not all white this very might depend sw will want you to demonstrate that your close support network is made up of different races eg your sister married to a black man with mixed raced children it will need to be somone who you have exposure to on a regular basis also its about were you live

you are highly unlikely to be able to adopt a mixed child if you live n what is viewed as a white part of the uk or in the outskirts of London were very few black people live.

also i have been told by my sw that me being a stay at home will be a big factor when sw are chooseing as they will most likey prefer this to a full time working mother not fair i know but just saying i have been told if there are two familes of equal merit because i am a SHAM will likey have the edge.

so if your a SHAM I WOULD SELL THIS point to the LAs

Domjolly · 23/02/2013 15:16

again one more point to make is your age not sure how old you are but n going for a baby they do prefer couples in there early 30s over older couple

but as the poster above said if your wanting to adopt a baby with out any issues you are more likey to find a dodo wandring around the Mayfair

unusednickname · 23/02/2013 15:19

Yes I'm a SAHM Grin and I wouldn't particularly mention the 'complex urban' thingie (that's just the technical name) but it would be obvious from my employment history iyswim?

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PheasantPlucker · 23/02/2013 15:29

I work part time, but stopped working for 6 months to be with dd2 and bond with her. It was a lovely time!

mrsballack · 23/02/2013 22:06

Hiya, we are in London too and our local borough have been terrible. We contacted two other boroughs and have found one we are happy with and we are just waiting for our prep course dates.
The borough we are applying with is a borough where there are lots of 'minority' groups and as a white British couple we were unsure as to whether they would have children for us. Our sw reassured us and said that they were actually in need of white adopters as most on their books were non white and they have plenty of white children passing through their system.

unusednickname · 24/02/2013 09:23

Thanks MrsBallack that's helpful and reassuring Smile Any chance you would possibly message me the name of the rubbish authority? I'll understand completely if not Grin

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mrsballack · 24/02/2013 13:30

We're right on the other side of London to you (NE) so I'm pretty sure you won't be contacting them. If you are venturing that far I will let you know.

unusednickname · 24/02/2013 13:54

Thanks Smile probably not going out that way - and can possibly guess Wink

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mrsballack · 24/02/2013 17:46

They also said that after approval they only match within the borough for 6 months, then if no match is found they will search other boroughs and the rest of the country.

unusednickname · 24/02/2013 17:54

That's interesting. And once approved is there a time limit?

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Devora · 24/02/2013 18:22

I am also in SW London and adopted through Ealing, who were fantastic from start to finish. They were keen to take us on because of our ethnic mix, though in the end our child came from outside London. It's important to understand how the adoption market works, especially in London where there is a big choice of agencies. A social worker from Richmond explained to me that they wouldn't take me on because they have mainly white children, and how important it is to find an agency that feels it has a high chance of placing a child with you. Once you are approved they will usually keep you as their exclusive property for a few months but then you are free to look for children across the country. We were matched with our beautiful daughter through the national adoption register, though Ealing continued to support us for another year.

It's hard to know whether cross cultural adoption has increased. I certainly do know white couples who have adopted minority ethnic toddlers. This is more likely where the child is an unusual racial mix, and I would think your experience of living and working in diverse communities would help demonstrate the skills you could bring to parenting a range of children.

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