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Profiles - how did you know?

23 replies

RoomForMore · 29/03/2019 08:35

We were shown a few profiles this week. We haven't seen any till now. It just feels so overwhelming working out what needs we would be able to meet and what needs we realistically wouldn't cope with. We've been on a bit of a high since panel and excited about this part, and we just feel a bit flat now.

We knew we would be taking on some sort of developmental delay, learning difficulty, physical problems etc. But when they're not sure if the children will ever live independently as adults, that is more than we expected. I guess we've been a bit naive.

Can anyone relate? How did you know when you saw the right child? Was it heart, head or a bit of both? Did you feel guilty saying no to some children?

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AdoptAdapt · 29/03/2019 09:59

I'm envious, I'm still in Stage 2 (but panel is looming!). Congratulations on getting approved! :)

I've spent a fair bit of time with my social worker working out what I can and can't cope with / what behaviours would trigger specific issues related to my own childhood / which illnesses I would realisitically be able to manage or not. Obviously the future is uncertain for all of us but I said I'd struggle with a child who may not be able to live independently as an adult (I'll be a single adopter).

Did your social worker do this with you before panel? So that you're not having to make these decisions now or be shown profiles that you will realistically say no to? It seems really harsh for you to be having to figure this out now with actual children...

poppet31 · 29/03/2019 10:30

I was asking myself the same questions yesterday OP. We have panel in a few weeks and our social worker showed us a few profiles yesterday for the first time. It was tough. Much tougher than I expected. We've had a lot of discussions about what we could and couldn't manage but it felt very different looking at active profiles. It suddenly just feels a lot more real and I honestly don't know how we will make the right decision.

EightWellies · 29/03/2019 11:40

With DD1 it was an in-house match, so hers was the only profile we saw. We read through it and there was no reason to say no.

With DD2, we expressed an interest through Linkmaker - right age, right gender, nothing we thought we couldn't cope with.

It sounds quite cold, but what else can you go on other than your matching criteria?

I love both my girls fiercely and it's bizarre to think I could have ended up with any other children, but I think the head has to come first, then the heart. You don't know these children. You need to work out if you think you could realistically meet their needs before anything else.

I will say though, as DD1 has got older her needs have further emerged and as first time adopters we might have baulked at those needs on paper, but she's our perfect little girl. In my experience, which is only with adopting quite young children, needs get greater, not less, with age, so if you are looking at profiles which are already out with your comfort zone, don't do it.

RoomForMore · 29/03/2019 12:19

They want to do it in house too but they are only a small LA so hardly any children in the age group we're approved for. It feels like they've gone "do you want a child with serious needs or a child with extreme needs" and those are our options Sad we feel selfish for saying no.

If we say no to all 3 profiles then they will see if there are any other children coming through to them soon. Linkmaker was discussed but always a bit negatively as it would involve more social workers, going to matching panel in a different area, our SW wouldn't know the kids etc. And i understand all those reasons. We have 2 BC which complicates the decision already. I just needed to let it all out to you!

Thanks for reading and replying!

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RoomForMore · 29/03/2019 12:21

Also i feel like we did express all that we could or couldnt handle previously. But they cant give us much choice as only 3 children fit the age group. So its not their fault either.

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piratedinosaursgogogo · 29/03/2019 12:30

I think when it comes to it, you may surprise yourself. I know that when we’d been talking with our sw we’d been quite clear in our heads about what we felt we could/couldn’t cope with. Looking back, I think this was in terms of medical/additional needs.

When it came to it, without giving too much away, we were matched with a young sibling pair but from a larger sibling group removed from a family due to sexual abuse. The biological mother was still in denial and not accepting the allegations against the father. This was the situation that we felt ultimately was ‘too much’. Fear of what may/may not have already happened. Fear of what potential contact with the rest of the biological family would look like.

In my head I thought I could cope with this situation but when it came to it, I knew it wasn’t right. It’s a few years on now and I still think of those children.

However the ‘right’ match was not too long after that.

Ted27 · 29/03/2019 14:00

calculated risk, bit of head, bit of heart.

To be fair to SWs, they cannot possibly 100% predict how a child will develop. Once you have them so many other factors come into play, schools, post adoption support, therapy etc.

I have been very fortunate, we have had excellent schools, snuck into the Adoption support fund before it was capped. My son is unrecognisable from the child that came home to me - 7 years ago this week actually. I think if his SW could see him now she would be shocked, expectations for him were very limited.

I think its useful to think about the worst possible scenario, if you can't cope with that, don't proceed.
But ultimately its a leap of faith

jellycatspyjamas · 29/03/2019 15:25

If you have clear things you know you couldn’t deal with, it’s ok to say no. For us we knew we needed any children to be able to live be independently in adulthood, which ruled out significant and extreme additional needs - I know my limits and my husbands limits.

Our experience of linkmaker was very positive, there were a variety of profiles which met our matching criteria and the involvement of other local authorities was fine. It also meant we ended up with an adoption allowance that my own LA hadn’t identified.

Yes, futures are uncertain and you’ll cope with whatever comes along but it’s ok to look for the best possible match for you - someone else may be those children’s ideal family.

excitedmuchly · 29/03/2019 16:04

I think it's a ' tummy feeling ' !! sounds silly but I think you just know when you know.

I'm just matched and am waiting for my matching panel and when I saw my little girls profile come up on link maker.... it was a definite ' tummy feeling '. It''s funny how quickly a few words and a photo can work its way into your heart!

The worst part is when you think.... this is the 1.... and then you gave to meet with their social worker to see if they think its a good match. My heart was screaming... please please please say yes whilst my head was trying to be all sensible and ask all kinds of good questions!! Luckily for me it was a yes almost straight away .

Good luck searching! Feel free to PM me if you want to chat more xx

EightWellies · 29/03/2019 16:04

Of course your LA will try to put you off Linkmaker - they will understandably want to match you in-house and they won't mind how long you wait. Our LA also tried to put us off. We persisted and were linked and matched quickly after signing up.

RoomForMore · 29/03/2019 16:19

I have really found comfort in your responses! The adoption process can be a bit lonely at times, and it's nice to know we're not just being difficult but are rather just being realistic about what we can cope with. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

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topcat2014 · 30/03/2019 14:46

TBH we have expressed interest in about 10 children so far, including 5 we played with at activity days.

I can honestly say that I have felt positive about each one - doesn't mean anything is going to happen though.

I also find FBk groups can be good - but they are different to MN..

I am actually learning to be less 'invested' and just apply for 1 child per week until we get somewhere. Seems a bit less 'fairy tale' , but otherwise we are going to get nowhere.

Alljamissweet · 31/03/2019 10:36

SW’s will always want to place their children with their adopters as it costs them A LOT of money to either buy in adopters or have their children adopted through another LA/VA.
You have to consider the children you already have and their needs so if you don’t feel that these profiles fit with your family, hold out until it does feel right.
Ours was from linkmaker, and we couldn’t see a reason NOT to adopt them rather than the other way round. 7 years in, the 3 year adoption “journey” was worth it. (15 month matching wait)!

DLouise2004 · 31/03/2019 11:25

My advice also would be to try and be patient if you can - our LA wanted us to take a child in house but there weren't any thatcrenotely met our age considerations. We were approved in December and a couple weeks ago we have been told a match where the pricess could be long but we feel it could be worth it. So in a way try not to rush it. I can see the benefits of in those and the process so far has been smooth but we have also liked linkmaker illustrating the realism and providing us with hope x

topcat2014 · 31/03/2019 20:23

fingers crossed @DLouise2004!!

DLouise2004 · 31/03/2019 20:54

Thanks @topcat2014 - trying to not get too excited but is difficult!

Italiangreyhound · 31/03/2019 22:00

RoomForMore we read DS's profile and the next day I woke up feeling happy. It was as simple as that. Plus I knew I could cope with his issues (or at least I felt I could), and dh did too.


'Was it heart, head or a bit of both?' Both

'Did you feel guilty saying no to some children?' I did but I felt it was right and the child did not know, so on balance it was the right thing.

'we feel selfish for saying no' PLEASE do not feel selfish. IMHO generally you can only parent children you feel equipped to parent. Maybe you would surprise yourself and do brilliantly but do be careful saying yes to a child you do not feel able to parent at the onset.

'Also i feel like we did express all that we could or couldnt handle previously. But they cant give us much choice as only 3 children fit the age group. So its not their fault either.'

IMHO it's no their fault or your fault but if you say yes to a child you feel you really cannot parent, simply out of guilt, it will most likely be a very difficult situation.

You may be able to handle more than you expect, but I would also say you may not know what to expect.

I totally agree with jellycatspyjamas "If you have clear things you know you couldn’t deal with, it’s ok to say no."


Yolande7 · 23/04/2019 21:11

Our children's family finder was very keen on us and contacted our sw even before the children had their placement order. Our sw also felt it could be a good match. But most of all, there were several odd similarities in the children's story and ours'. We knew there was no chance the four of us would find a better match.

Like others have said, we went by a mixture of head and heart. So we stuck by our criteria, but were also looking for chemistry. It all felt right for everyone from the very start.

Saying that, we met a "hard to place" boy a few years after our adoption and I knew that on paper we would never have been interested in him, but in real life we would have adopted him in a heartbeat had we had that option. Fortunately someone else saw how wonderful he is and adopted him.

chocolatebrioche · 26/04/2019 21:39

We are a year into adoption with our AS7.

We went through a VA rather than an LA, so had access to Linkmaker from the start.

We first of all saw the profile of a little girl who really touched us - it took our SW to point out that she had very complex needs, and that this would be really hard to balance along with the needs of our birth daughter. It was heartbreaking, as the little girls SW was keen to meet us, but we knew our SW was right.

This shifted the focus onto our birth daughter - we realised that first and foremost, the match had to work for her. We were then approached by our family finder, who had been called by our son's SW and she had thought of us as a potential match straight away.

I can't say that when we saw his profile that my heart leapt the way it had done with the first little girl, and it was much more of a head decision. However a few weeks later we got to see him on a 'bump-in' meeting at his school, and that was the moment that I knew he was meant for us. I was very emotional afterwards, and couldn't stop crying!

It has been a really tough first year, but we are 100% the right family for him, and after a bumpy start, he and our BD are starting to connect too.

I would say get on Linkmaker as soon as you can. There are a LOT of children on there. And don't take on more complex needs than you originally planned - adoption (especially with birth children) is not for the faint-hearted so head-decision making is good, at least at the start.

Riley16 · 14/07/2019 15:37

I felt terrible guilt when I said no to profiles, I cried the first time, but as others have said you know your limitations. I always took comfort in the fact that someone else would be so glad I'd said no. When I first read my daughters profile I just thought well nothings making me say no, then when I found out more I felt the same , the more I found out the more I realised I was saying yes. Now 3 years on I cannot imagine my life with anyone but her. Good luck x

PositivelyHopeful · 16/07/2019 23:34

Hi @RoomForMore
It's an overwhelming process on the best of days
Like you I also feel the apprehension
Honestly we are nearing the end of stage 2 and being shown profiles
My DH is going by heart and I am brain so honestly I don't think there is a right or wrong answer
You will know what works for you and your social worker will help guide you
The final decision will be yours please don't feel bad about not saying yes if it doesn't feel right to you because in the long run none of you will be happy
All the best

RoomForMore · 21/07/2019 07:16

We were made aware of a child back in April. We are hoping to go to matching panel in Autumn. Seems so surreal that its happening! I don't think I'll believe it till we're doing intros Smile

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topcat2014 · 21/07/2019 07:50

Try not to over analyse, if it doesn't seem right just move on. We start intros in a week and I can't remember any of the other p a r s. Sounds harsh but you cannot take them all.

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