Hi all. We enquired with our LA but when they asked was our house done up and we said no, they said do your renovations and then apply in earnest. Good advice. We might have gone with our LA but knew someone who had already adopted and said the post-adoption support, courses and events were good/better than with an LA so we followed suite. Our process was straightforward: info day, expressed our interest in starting, initial interview, paperwork/checks, acceptance to training course, more paperwork and checks, approval pane (via Zoom in lockdown!) acceptance to adopt, family finding...Aah, this is where the whole process slowed down for us. Everything has slowed down and our preferred profile does not come up much on LinkMaker so it’s a waiting game (VA’s don’t have children on their books; they only family find). The waiting is harder some others. When profiles are scare and you can’t attend Activity Days because of lockdown or your area suddenly goes into another lockdown and you are not eligible to attend, there is a lot of thumb twiddling. We have a good SW who is doing all she can but there is only so much that can be done. Apparently the court processes are picking up again and more children will enter the adoption system. We have already been waiting 6 months, but the average appears to be longer from what I have read, but you have to factor the effects of lock down in as well. You just have to be patient, I guess, and hope that your time will come. It’s hard because it’s so surreal and real at the same time. An adopter gave me a piece of advice; enjoy yourself and do nice things and treat yourself whilst you wait for a match.
To give ourselves the best chance, we have said we will go/drive anywhere no matter how far to facilitate a match. We are reading/learning about therapeutic parenting and other adoption matters and hope to start going to Activity Days soon. There are online courses but some have a cost implication if your adoption agency does not cover this for you.
Regarding Avocado’s post, I have heard that the ‘rule of 40 (years)’ I think it’s called, no longer applies. I have only seen a few profiles where a max. age limit was specified and that was because the children were energetic. As well as geographical preferences (e.g. you cannot adopt if you live here or here due to birth family location), there are sometimes preferred ethnicities, religions, family situations (e.g. no birth children), etc. that would benefit the child. Sometimes you see a profile/profiles you like, it you won’t be eligible or get a look in.
Whenever we expressed an interest, despite help from our SW, the responses would vary: no reply, no thank you, slow, delayed, some information but not the CPR or not enough for us to make a decision about whether we wanted to proceed, a ‘glossy’ profile that did not really match the CPR or follow-up information on the child. This is the hardest part of the process. You have to suck it up and as you learn more you can start to see how complicated it all is.
We’re still happy we went with a VA, though, as we have heard that with some LAs they sometimes try to foist the child/children at the top of their list on you and you might have little say in the matter. I don’t know how often this is the case but it’s worth considering. We feel we have more control of our choice. Fingers crossed!