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Foster Parents Stop Introductions

72 replies

Faith20 · 12/11/2020 09:51

Hi All,
We are due to start introductions in a week's time. It has been an uphill journey to get this far! Taking over a year to reach this stage, due to new psychological assessments of birth mum, court delays etc.

Three weeks ago after our transition planning meeting, foster mum phoned me to say she doesn't agree with the child being adopted. She threatened to come forward to adopt the child and described how we would be ripping them from their family.

We were extremely shocked as we knew none of this! We sought advice and were reassured that we were matched and the decision was made.

Last week , on the day our child was to be told they were moving to us, they halted the process by stating they wanted to put themselves forward as adopters! We were then told there was to be a professional meeting but introductions were pulled and they were going to be assessed as adoptive parents of the child. For 4 nights we didn't sleep, barely ate and were totally bereft. On the Monday we were told they changed their minds!!!!!

We were elated but feel emotionally and physically drained. We no longer feel any enthusiasm for the adoption and are dreading the introductions. She won't be allowed to contact us again but this child has been in their home for 3 years. We know they need the foster carer's permission to move on and fear the consequences if this does not happen.

Any advice would be welcome?

OP posts:
Ted27 · 12/11/2020 10:47


What a hideous situation. The FC have shown themselves to be very unprofessional and not acting in the best interests of the child.

Personally, I would carry on, intros are difficult anyway and if the FC misbehaves you should inform the SW and let them deal with it.

My son had been with FC for over 3 years, intros were ok if a little strained at times. We have had very little contact with them, their choice not ours. Its been hard for him at times but he’s got over it with time and maturity. He understands why he couldnt stay there.

Keep your focus on the child, grit your teeth, play nicely, don’t rise to any bait and just get through it.

I know a number of adopters who had really fraught intros because of the FCs, they were far from ideal but things worked out.

This is not meant to guilt you into going ahead, but I wonder what will happen to the child if you withdrew, its possible that if there is an inquiry into the FCs behaviour, would she be moved on anyway.

Good luck

Italiangreyhound · 12/11/2020 11:02

I 100% agree with Ted. Especially "Keep your focus on the child, grit your teeth, play nicely, don’t rise to any bait and just get through it."

The authority and the foster care gave been very unprofessional IMHO. However, for you and the child/ten nkthing has changed really. You were chosen and approved, you are the parents (in waiting). Once they are placed this will all be another part of their story but the future is yours ... And theirs...

SFCA · 12/11/2020 11:21

This is outrageous behaviour!

I am a foster carer and an adopter and cannot see that this type of behaviour will be accepted. If you have been matched with your child and their care plan is for adoption SS are not going to want to make the child spend an additional 6 months in the care system whilst the foster carers are assessed. I know it’s hard but try not to worry, I think SSs are probably very aware that you are going to have to work with the foster carers to get your little one home so are trying to talk them round.

Having adopted one of our foster children the motivation is entirely wrong for them anyway. The reason to adopt a foster child is because you want them to be your son / daughter not to stop them being removed.

We are currently doing introductions for our foster son who has been with us for over two years 😢 it feels like we are losing a member of our family and it is going to be hard all round but it is absolutely the right decision for him. We will give his adopters support in whatever way we can to help the next chapter of his life be successful.

I agree with PPs try and focus on your child and smile and nod. Their behaviour is completely unacceptable but it is very sad when long term FC leave.

Niffler75 · 12/11/2020 12:29

@Faith20 I am so sorry you are experiencing this. 💐 If the atmosphere is very stressful I would argue for the best interests of the child and speeding intros up.
This is just so unprofessional on the part of the FC's. Are you getting enough support from your Adoption SW?
I agree wholeheartedly with the previous posters. Keep your focus on your beautiful child. This is temporary and will pass, then you can enjoy being a family.

Jellycatspyjamas · 12/11/2020 13:03

We know they need the foster carer's permission to move on and fear the consequences if this does not happen.

The children don’t need the foster carers permission to move on, the move will happen regardless but yes the children will find the transition easier if the foster carers can communicate that it’s ok for them to love another family.

My two had been with their foster carers for 3 years, the foster carers cried openly through every professionals meeting, didn’t do any transition work with them and took them on holiday just before intros started (so kids returned from holiday to meet their new mum and dad which has impacted how they cope with holidays etc. The reality is the foster carers were just not able to put the kids needs first.

We got through intros by being friendly, pleasant and focussed on our children - intros were a nightmare nonetheless and our children really struggled with the move. It’s very hard and not how you want to start off, but once placed you get to set the tone. This is a short period in your relationship with your child, from there you can start helping them make sense of it all.

I found the local authority were very accommodating of what the foster carers wanted and I had to really stand my ground about what I felt was appropriate- don’t be scared to push back if you think the child’s needs are being overlooked in favour of the carers.

Faith20 · 12/11/2020 13:19

Thank you so much for your kind words.

Niffler75- unfortunately SS were going to assess them as she has a good attachment. This in itself is very painful as we were going to be dropped
with preference given to the foster carers.

We are left feeling that everything we thought couldn’t happen nearly did.

We are also emotionally exhausted and worried the child may be further traumatised by difficult introductions.

We were excited and looking forward to the move but just feel flat and so tired. It’s just a mess!

OP posts:
Jellycatspyjamas · 12/11/2020 13:34

It’s completely understandable that you’re feeling wary, good attachment or not it was way too late to be considering the fostering carers for adoption. All I can suggest is you give yourself some breathing space, remind yourself of all the reasons this little one is right for you and reconnect with you as his mum. It’s very hard because our instinct is always to protect ourselves, which is why you feel so detached from the process now. The intros process is just something to get through as best you can - lots of ranting and lots of wine.

In terms of trauma, he will be traumatised anyway - I don’t mean to be flippant but it was always going to be difficult for him to move after so long. While they’re behaviour won’t have helped, and it’s infuriating to know you’ll be picking up the pieces, you’ll always have had to deal with the trauma of separation. He won’t be “more” traumatised, it’s all part of the same package.

How old is he? Mine were 4 and 6 and really mourned their foster carers albeit in different ways. Folk here can give you some tips - most of us have been there in some form or another.

Jellycatspyjamas · 12/11/2020 13:36

unfortunately SS were going to assess them as she has a good attachment.

And just to say that’s wholly the wrong way round - she should have been supported to cope with the loss, her attachment to the child is irrelevant when considering adoption. What a nonsense.

SFCA · 12/11/2020 14:23

I am really sorry to hear you are going through this, it seems like a really mad course to follow?

If they have been his FCs for a long time they would have been aware the LA were pursuing adoption. If they wanted to adopt they should have registered their interest a very long time ago. I really would have thought the time for assessments has passed.

Niffler75 · 12/11/2020 16:23

@Faith20 Have your intros started again yet? The FC would have had time to process the plan for adoption.
Are you getting good support from your adoption SW? Their focus should be very much on supporting you and facilitating the intros.
Intois are exhausting, plus with this happening on top it is completely understandable how you feel. Please try not to loose faith in the adoption process. Intros may need to be adapted so you spend less time with the FC's.

Faith20 · 12/11/2020 16:31

SFCA - yes we thought the same but no they were going to assess them. They had been asked numerous times if they wanted to adopt and declined.

We still feel dreadfully shocked! The foster carers feel strongly that the child should be left with them in a long term fostering placement.

Jellycatspyjamas -your experience sounds worryingly familiar! i thought we were the only ones. The SW is going to have to check the child has been shown the videos. Honestly we feel like crawling into a corner!

What has shocked us too is everyone else seemed to know how they felt only us. We weren't prepared at all!

OP posts:
Faith20 · 12/11/2020 16:34

Niffler75 - no we haven't. they start in a week's time.

Yes I would say we are getting good support.

But it's this awful flat feeling of dread has replaced all the excitement that is worrying me more than anything. We have been so upset by what has happened!

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Niffler75 · 13/11/2020 18:57

@Faith20 How are you feeling today? 💐

Jellycatspyjamas · 13/11/2020 19:16

The foster carers feel strongly that the child should be left with them in a long term fostering placement.

Of course they do, because if the child is fostered they’ll be paid but wouldn’t be paid if the child was adopted. Which sounds horribly cynical but the little one has been assessed and matched for adoption - if they needed a permanent foster placement there was lots of time to put that in place.

Try not to be disheartened - you’ll pick your way through intros and never need to see them again. I’d caution against ongoing contact with foster carers, if that’s requested - it can work really well but only where the carers can put the child’s needs first. We tried with our foster carers and it was a complete shambles.

Faith20 · 13/11/2020 19:33

Niffler75 - thank you very much for asking.

I actually feel a lot brighter today! It has really helped to hear other people's experiences. But still wakening up in the dead of night frightened and anxious.

Jellycatspyjamas - we really were very keen to have ongoing contact with them for the sake of our child who calls them Mum and Dad. We are really trying not to take it personally. But it was such a shock and strong emotive words have been used, which are hard to forget.

The child's SW said today that they intend to step support up for us and the foster carers.

Still dreading introductions but they are only lasting 8 days. Not long in the grand scheme of things.

OP posts:
Niffler75 · 13/11/2020 20:19

@Faith20 So pleased you are feeling a bit better, that you are getting support and intros are short.
It is very tricky that your young one has been calling the FC mum and dad.
Are you as organized as you can be for intros? Rest up, stock up on food and please let us know if we can be if any additional support. We're a friendly bunch in here!

Faith20 · 13/11/2020 20:34

Thank you Nifler75. I’ve bought a car seat and have their room ready. I just need to do a big shop! I’ll be back on when introductions start. I’m hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.

OP posts:
Italiangreyhound · 13/11/2020 20:55


"Niffler75 - thank you very much for asking.

I actually feel a lot brighter today! It has really helped to hear other people's experiences. But still wakening up in the dead of night frightened and anxious."

It's great you feel better.

Try not to worry, this little one is your little one. The foster carer wasn't prepared to adopt but wanted to keep the child in limbo. Foster care is great and, for some children, long term foster care is good - but your child was identified as able to be adopted. That means you are what your child needs.


LockdownLove · 13/11/2020 20:59

If the FC have so badly failed to put the child’s best interests above their own then they are not the best family for the little one.

Your child will be with you in your Life for 50 odd years the Intros will be a minuscule part of that shared Life. Yes their behavior may make things harder but you sound very aware of the challenges and I hope SS step on and speak to the FC before intros start .

Jellycatspyjamas · 13/11/2020 21:09

we really were very keen to have ongoing contact with them for the sake of our child who calls them Mum and Dad.

We were too, our kids were with them for 3 years and called them mum and dad, they showed themselves to be unable to put the kids needs first and couldn’t follow any part of the plans agreed for transition or intros and the contact we had with them was disastrous at which point I pulled the plug. It was hard for my two but it was much harder on them to have contact which was wholly centred around the carers needs.

See how it goes, but don’t be afraid to draw a line if need be.

Faith20 · 14/11/2020 19:24

I think we are both still in shock at how close it all came to being over.

It’s been hard too in that the foster carer introduced the idea that our child would have been better Longterm fostered. I know it’s not true but she has sowed the little seed of doubt.

But we can’t wait to get our child home. It’s only 8 days. It has just been a total nightmare and we are very thankful to still be here.

OP posts:
Niffler75 · 14/11/2020 19:56

@Faith20 💐 It's ok. We had a bit of a rocky time with matching too! Rightly so you have a whole host of feelings added to the expected anxieties of intros. You are allowed to feel peeved. As other posters have said it's a minuscule 8 days to cope with versus your future together!

Faith20 · 14/11/2020 20:09

Thank you Nifler. I think maybe you’ve hit the nail on the head. We just need to accept that we have now lots of unwanted feelings that we will take forward into introductions. We just have to tolerate them and move forward.

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ac73 · 14/11/2020 20:48

We’ll be counting the days with you. The foster carers sound unbalanced and are not acting in the best interests of the children. As someone else said, “You’ve got this!”

Italiangreyhound · 14/11/2020 20:52

I'm sitting on the sofa with my hubby and adopted son. He came home over 6 and a half years ago. It is all worth it.

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