My feed

to access all these features

Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.


babysitting/respite care before adoption order

15 replies

CaramelKoala · 02/06/2016 16:56

Hello, my husband and I have been linked with a little one (excited/freaking out) and we are now busy filling in lots of forms... The parental responsibility form (which will be in place until the adoption order) says we can’t leave LO in the care of any other adult without seeking agreement of the social worker. We don't want to ask the SW too many dumb questions (although we will be asking plenty!) but wondered if SW would approve use of a baby sitter for an hour or two once LO has settled in? No family in UK so it would likely be friends who have LO's of their own. I'm talking generally - of course if LO has attachment issues etc we wouldn't. But if the adoption order takes months, and you never know from what we understand, we might just need the odd tiny break. We are not parents so we have no clue if this is normal to think about, but we'd like to understand what's allowed. Thank you!

OP posts:
Alljamissweet · 02/06/2016 17:54

Exciting times ahead.
Its a tricky one.
I think if you run it passed SW once lo is settled and you have a better idea of how things are, they will be fine about it.
There was a time for us when SW's asked us to attend a meeting with BP and this involved a 5 hour round trip - we were about 3 months into placement with lo and had never left them......I was having palpitations!
Anyway, all was fine. I then asked if GP could take lo to the park whilst I got a haircut and SW looked at me as if I was bonkers for even asking!

CaramelKoala · 02/06/2016 18:46

That's reassuring, thanks for sharing! Sounds like a good idea to wait until it seems like we need a break.

OP posts:
Threesocksnohairbrush · 02/06/2016 18:53

With both of ours we got grandparents CRB checked in advance, on the understanding that they'd be our childcare if needed - which they were a few times, generally for meetings with SWs! Grin

I'd suggest asking whether you can get a relative/responsible friend checked and agreed as babysitter in principle in advance. It'll make it all a lot quicker if you do have to get agreement from SS for every instance, or it might mean that if you need a couple of hours ad hoc, you can just get on with it.

Cleo1303 · 02/06/2016 20:01

How exciting! Congratulations.

The SW knew I had to work - single mum - and I had to write something called "My Child's Care Plan". (I don't know if people have to do that any more?) I said that I would be at home as much as possible in the early stages but would probably have to go to my office for 12-15 hours a week. I said my mother would be there a lot of the time, but I also named three friends who had young children and were therefore experienced with babies and said that they would step in if I needed them.

None of them had to be CRB checked but that may depend on the LA/agency and/or SW.

CaramelKoala · 03/06/2016 08:58

Thanks Cleo1303 and Threesocksnohairbrush that's a great idea. Our own SW said we shouldn't need or use respite/babysitting which seemed unrealistic to us. I'm glad I checked in on the forum. Appreciate it!

OP posts:
RatherBeIndoors · 03/06/2016 09:44

I can't see anyone would object to you getting someone else pre-checked, if you describe it as "wanting to be certain you have back-up plans in place, in case of emergencies". That's just sensible planning, and I would hope your SW would see that. And it's most likely going to be SW-related meetings that would need you and your partner there, that would cause the issue. You can talk about what you'd do to make it easier on LO, such as making sure the sitter was always in your home so there were no new environments to cope with, etc.

You'll just follow your instincts once LO arrives, and in your first post you already mention your understanding of attachment and how your possible plans might need to change. Which is great, and you can only do that as you get to know LO's needs in reality.

I'm a single parent, and my LO could not cope at all with separation, so I didn't use any sitters or alternative care for a very long time. Ideally in the early months, especially while LO is grieving, confused and unsure who to turn to, basically it needs to be the parents consistently providing the vast majority of the care. You can always take it in turns to pop out though, as there are two of you - and with luck, your LO will sleep sometimes so you'll have some couple-time to stare at each other and gasp about being tired! It is such a massive change, but you absolutely can do it. Good luck with all your plans Smile

Cleo1303 · 03/06/2016 11:11

RatherBeindoors is right. It is going to depend on your LO and your instincts will tell you what to do. I think it may also depend on your LO's age. If LO is under a year and has always had the same foster mother/parents they may well find the transition easier and attach to you quickly.

CaramelKoala · 03/06/2016 13:40

Thank you both so much. It is just one of those things we couldn't find any guidance on, no thanks to our own SW. Appreciate your insights and encouragement! We will meet LO (almost 2) for a soft introduction on Wednesday. Can't wait :-)

OP posts:
MintyLizzy9 · 03/06/2016 15:59

Another one saying go with your instincts!

Every child and situation is different, my parents had to help out a lot (I'm single) in the first 3 months as I timed a back injury perfectly with DS arrival! SS didn't bat an eyelid or ask for DBS.

Six months in and he sometimes stays with my mum for an hour or so and has just started a two hour nursery session a couple of times a week but I can't tell you how guilty I feel so don't be surprised if you only want to leave LO with your partner for a while.

Enjoy intros....and the lovely sleep/lie in you get before heading back to see them.

Aaaaah lie ins Envy

Cleo1303 · 03/06/2016 18:27

I bet you can't wait until Wednesday. Have a lovely weekend.

bostonkremekrazy · 04/06/2016 18:55

first time around we didn't leave our 3 yr old and 18 month old for 3 months...till 3 yr old started nursery, we started gently and then also started to leave our 18 month old with family only for an hour or so.

this time its been 5 months and i've not left our 15 month old at all. it'd be handy yes, but overall we consider it too important to not fracture the still fragile bonds of attachment she has built in the last 5 months.

dont underestimate how long attachment takes - its not weeks, its months of hard graft, the more you can funnel and be the only sole caregivers the better opportunity you will give him to build attachment to you.

BarkGruffalo · 04/06/2016 23:03

We adopted a 2 year old and didn't leave him with anyone else until we had the AO (6 months). PILs were okayed by SWs for emergencies but we were told except for emergencies it needed to be us for attachment purposes.

Cleo1303 · 05/06/2016 19:08

I think your instincts will kick in, CaramelKoala, and you'll know when it is okay to leave them.

DD arrived at eight months. We have photos of every single day for the first month or so and you can see how her moods change.

Day 1 she is confused and cries until 2.00 in the morning. Day 2 she is sad and cries until 1.00 in the morning. Day 3 she is tired and a bit sad but not as bad as Day 2. She goes to sleep at 9.00 p.m. and sleeps through. Day 4 she is brighter and by the evening is having a giggle and laughing a lot. For those four days she didn't want to let me out of her sight.

Day 5 she didn't mind if I left the room for a few minutes and is cheerful and interested in what is going on around her. Day 6 is the same. On Day 7 she met my mother, and sat on her knee smiling. She picked up that I was Mummy very quickly and I was always there in the morning and at bedtime for the final bottle even if I did have to work for part of the day.

Every child is different. DD went to her absolutely wonderful foster mother when she was two days old and stayed there until she came to me. She had had no bad experiences and was well looked after. I gave the foster mother disposable cameras which were given back to me and DD was in a happy home where they clearly laughed a lot. She was a very happy, smiley baby and I was very lucky.

I think it can be more difficult when they are over a year, but I've had friends who have adopted children of 2-3 and they have settled in very quickly too.

As I said above, every child is different and your love and your instinct will guide you through.

CaramelKoala · 05/06/2016 20:24

Thanks everyone, it's been so great to hear about your experiences and I can't wait to meet our LO for the first time this week. I'm sure intuition will kick in once she arrives! But it's so good to hear how others have managed it. What a welcoming place this forum is.

OP posts:
Italiangreyhound · 06/06/2016 17:50

Lots of sensible replies.

We did leave little one with grandparents as dh and I had to attend meeting without him. We never thought to ask if it was OK as social workers had asked us to attend meetings!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.