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Family finding- slow process!

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Jayne April 8, 2022 17:56

Is everyone else who is family finding feeling like it’ll never happen!?

It’s not the lack of children that we’ve been in open discussion with but the lack of communication from their social workers or them changing goal posts constantly I.e changing info on their adoption plans or foster careers suddenly decided they want to adopt them. There must be thousands of children needing families but where are they? They can’t continue to blame covid forever surely!

Safia April 8, 2022 19:22

It’s always been like that - a bit hit and miss - like a game of snakes and ladders!

Lighthouse April 16, 2022 22:18

It is certainly taking longer than we expected. It took us a year to be approved and we have now been family finding for 3.5 years.

April 17, 2022 18:10

My DS joined our family 13 years ago. It took about 4 years. When we wondered if we would be finally matched we decided to book a holiday abroad as we had previously booked UK holidays and twice been contacted whilst being away. We enjoyed our last holiday abroad and two months later were contacted about our son. We know it was the right decision and worth the wait.

Anabell July 19, 2022 17:38

We have started our adoption journey early this year but finds that social worker is quite slow in moving things along and I understand it’s because of staffing issues and Covid backlog. We are working with our local authority. Is there a difference if you go to an agency instead? Do they tend to be quicker?

Simon July 20, 2022 09:10

Hi Jayne

I often chuckle when I here this comment from "adoptive parents to be" - it is very common indeed.

I feel the reality is that in most instances (not all), unless you feel able/confident enough to adopt the "harder to adopt children"; Family Finding may take a while. We adopted older children (6 and 7 year old siblings). They moved in exactly 3 months to the day after we were approved.

On the positive side, waiting a long to find your family is no bad thing. It is a good preparation of your future adoption journey i.e. most things on your journey will take a long time e.g. support at school, therapeutic support, EHCP, Contact and further/higher education etc etc.

Good luck with family finding - your time will come.


AlisonAUK July 20, 2022 20:02

Hi, Simon is right that those who are open to considering 'harder to place' children are likely to find a match more quickly. There are currently more adopters waiting to adopt than there are children waiting for adoption. Those who have disabilities, are in sibling groups, from an ethnicity minority or slightly older all wait the longest for adoption. Take a look at this campaign for more information:

chestnuttree July 20, 2022 20:10

It has been said here many times, but I will say it again: "harder to place" does not equal "harder to parent".

Simon July 20, 2022 20:34

I agree with Chest Nut Tree. Harder children are not harder to parent. The adoption journey is long and complex for ALL adoptees and their adoptive parents.

Donatella July 20, 2022 21:26

And conversely - easy to place does not mean easy to parent! And, yes, as mum to three of those easy to place babies .. who all turned out to be rather complex .. I can attest to that.

Safia July 20, 2022 21:36

Mine were considered hard to place - as ethnically mixed but also my daughter was considered an “older child” at just over two - not at all what I took older child to mean! They weren’t being placed as siblings but that also would be seen as harder to place. So harder to place does not necessarily mean very much in itself! They had their challenges but not for any foreseeable reasons - as Donatella states. Learning difficulties (not known at the time) trauma and attachment difficulties. Agree wholeheartedly with what Simon says above

Edited 21/07/2022
chestnuttree July 21, 2022 09:46

Mine were also "hard to place": siblings, over 5, ethnic minority, complex background. They were actually pretty easy to parent until the teenage years. There really are no rules.

I think it is important to embrace the fact that no matter how young the child is at placement, adoption is something fundamentally different from having a birth child. However, it is very difficult to understand what that means before living it.

August 2, 2022 08:32

This is quite interesting reading. We are also frustrated as it's been almost 8 months since approval and there seem to be hardly any profiles for sibling groups of 2 aged 3 to 6. We were told we'd probably be inundated with profiles and family finders due to us taking on a sibling group, but it's been quite the paradox. This is not a slight on any of the SWs or the FF as they work very hard at what they do, but does anyone know how many profiles were on here before Covid19 hit? We were told almost 3,500 profiles, but it seems there are around less than 200 at times.

Is there any official clarification as to what is going on regarding processing children through courts?

AlisonAUK August 8, 2022 10:56

Hi Briony and Gavin, There is still quite a court backlog because of Covid and other things. It's probably worth getting in touch with Link Maker directly with your question about the number of profiles on their platform. They don't moderate this forum - it 'belongs' to Adoption UK. So sorry you're having such a frustrating wait. Our Adoption Barometer tells us it's a very common experience and we're working with adoption agencies to try and improve things for people who are waiting for a match.

Best wishes, Alison.

HayesFamily October 14, 2022 13:20


Just posting in here. We started the adoption journey in September 2021. We are approved and currently can only see profiles from our local authority area.

We have a 6 year old birth child and looking to adopt a 0-4 child, I know this is already an age group that doesn’t come up often.

It’s been quite ‘full-on’ up to approval in terms of the adoption journey.

My husband is very much ‘if it’s meant to be, it will be’, which I entirely agree with, but it doesn’t stop me feeling a little lost at the moment whilst we wait. I’m reading about some people waiting 4 years.

Any tips for not getting obsessively distracted by this journey and wanting to find the right match!?

Thanks for reading.

Safia October 17, 2022 11:28

There were lots of good discussions about exactly this on the old boards - which you should be able to find in the archives. Advice along the lines of “do all the things you won’t be able to do once your child / children arrive” - from holidays to special days out with your older child to redecorating and doing any jobs around the house or anything else you might need to sort out. It’ll all happen before you realise it and once it starts there’s little chance for those things so use the opportunity while you have it was the general gist

Grants January 7, 2023 15:27

Well we showed interest in 16 boys and was told no for various reasons, finally got a yes last week, started this 3 years next month, and been approved for 19 of those, so yeah a long long wait.

Like everything it will happen if you wait long enough, its enviable, doesn't make you feel better along the way, we wantes to stop a few times, but thats why people like us adopt, patient, resilient, and strong

Were looking for friends, advice, hope and our boy,

Lighthouse February 7, 2023 00:15

Just thought I would drop back into this thread to encourage people that matching can happen after a long time - 4 1/2 years of family finding in our case. Transitions start next week. 😊

February 7, 2023 11:38

Omg Lighthouse 4years !!!!!

That's some staying power. Hope it all goes well for you.

Congratulations !

Au April 20, 2023 11:27

It took us 1.5 years after approval to hear about our child. Almost 2 years from approval to placement. It was a longer time for us than for 2 other couples we trained with and shorter than for the other 2. I believe there are profiles on LinkMaker available only to a handful of people considered best potential match. That means you could be contacted anytime.

Waiting for a match is very hard. It helps if your social worker is communicating well. Also, it helps to surround yourself with exciting friends. It is definitely more important to be in the right link than to happen quickly. You are looking potentially at 3 to 4 months after placement or more, when you will try to comfort your child, but they won't take it - you are still a stranger to them. That is hard. Also, you might be looking at waking up at night many times, struggling with meals/ naps/ bath time. This is hard, also. My advise is to do yoga, exercise, time spent outdoors, anything that will get you there calm and relaxed.

Edited 20/04/2023
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