4 1/2 years on and no further forward. We've shown interest in over 50 children and only had one visit from a possible match. We're getting older and feel were being over looked for younger couples and for second time adopters. It's very frustrating and disappointing that after all this time we are getting nowhere. When do you give up your dreams of becoming a mum and dad
Calling time on our journey
This is heartbreaking to read. 4.5 years is a shocking time be waiting. What has the social workers being saying? What's the feedback? Have they helped you with training or suggestions to help you with your search? Sorry for all the questions and feel free to ignore them all. We are all told there are more children than adopters and yet your situation is baffling. Sending you a tonne of virtual support and luck!
Thank you Orion,. Our SW is not much help, a whole year passed without any contact. We didn't complain as we didn't want a label on us as being difficult. SW due next week but we are not going any further. Heart broken and let down by our local authority.
Hi, so sorry to hear that. Have you ever approached a voluntary adoption agency? They might be able to give you a second opinion on your profile and your chances of adoption. I am rather surprised that you have been for such a long time with your local authority if you were not happy with the level of their services, if that's the problem.
Looking back on our journey, we should have changed authorities a long time ago. Some of SW responses to our interests in children were ' oh, they'll be a lot of interest in that one as there's nothing wrong with them' or why don't you up the age range (approved 0-4) but we have shown interest in 5+6 yr olds only to be turned down again.
We initially started our journey for a sibling group (2 children) but we're quickly turned down for that also, saying we only had room for 1. ( we have 2 spare bedrooms).
We were new to adoption like many others and didn't really know what to expect. ....A BIG MISTAKE NOT TO SAY ANYTHING now it's too late.
You say that you considered 5 and 6 year olds, so could you go forwards in the direction of a school aged child? There are many wonderful school-aged children 5, 6, 7 and upwards who wait a very long time in care before a family is willing to take them. Just as you found that your ages counted against you in matching (even if sw don't admit it), the same is true for "older" children. These children are still just little and vulnerable and they don't deserve to be continuously overlooked in favour of the tiny ones.
You could ask for your approval range to be extended. The 0-4 is not binding, but a higher range would look better to family finders for older children if you specifically felt you could be a match for a school aged child.
I was told that the older the child, the harder they are to place as prospective adopters prefer younger children. We were advised to go with your gut. Personally when we expressed interest, we held back a little of ourselves so we wouldn't get too disappointed. I'm surprised your SW was not in touch for a year. We decided after hearing other stories that you should put lots of pressure on all the professionals. They are so busy and forget things that you need to be reminding them of lots of things. We've had changes in SWs that we feel we can rattle off our stories in our sleep now. Your SW should be helping you with your profile so it gets maximum attention. If possible, why not remove your profile and start fresh again with a new one. You may have better luck with a fresh approach. Also, use all the other adopter friends out there to help you rather than going it alone. This whole process should be enjoyable, so you should be supported to keep your spirits up. A friend of ours expressed interest in over 100 childs but was rejected for lots of reasons (and lots of questionable reasons too). He did find a beautiful child in the end and it was totally worth it.
Thank you Lettice,
We have shown interest in older children only to be rejected.
Think we have come to terms that we are just not good enough to be parents. Totally Heart broken.
Our journey has definitely not been enjoyable to say the least. We have extended our search area also. We have friends in another social work area and they are horrified by the way we have been treated. We didn't go with them because we didn't want to be treated differently as we have many friends in the same department.
From what you are saying, it seems that you are being let down by your LA. A year of no contact is unacceptable. They are not only failing you, but also 2 children who could have a forever family by now.
There are currently lots of children waiting. Your sw should fight your corner and not tell you, you have no chance. If you are up for taking siblings who are 5 or 6, you are in a much less competitive group and these children are still very little. Mine were 5 and 6 and I would take a child of that age again in a heartbeat.
Ask for a meeting with the manager and find out what is going wrong. You have nothing to loose now. Contact a voluntary agency (eg. Coram, they are highly professional and helpful) and talk to them and see if they can help or give you advise.
Change your profile and use a new photo, maybe one where you are on holiday or just come from a holiday, so you look happy, energetic and relaxed. Make sure a sw can skim read it and get all the relevant information. Try to read it from a sw's point of view. Does your profile it tick all the boxes: strong support network, flexible, energetic, caring, stay-at-home parent (for as long as poss), well informed, resilient, enthusiastic, etc.? Does it list your strengths and what kind of children you can consider (eg. trauma, abuse, neglect, different ethnicity etc.)?
Many sw weren't keen on us, because we are European and we lived in a flat on the 4th floor. However, our children's sw were extremely keen on us and looked no further. Don't give up, your children are out there!
Our experience has been similar 4.5 years littered with multiple failed matches and a similar story about social workers and their lack of action and support. My main regret after four and a half years is not being all over the social workers from the start. We started to manage them much more closely recently (only to be told that they didn't like our 'managerial' approach) after which we started getting results. I now have no hesitation in raising concerns very quickly to our social worker, her team leader and to the head of agency. I have also lodged complaints to the head of the adoption approval panel and others along the way for poor quality or delayed work.
My advice is to be all over them. The four and a half years you have waited effectively means that a child has been in foster care for four and a half years when they could have been with you in a permanent family.
The whole system is barely fit for purpose but so few people are speaking up about it.
Me and my Husband are curently awaiting our panel date so we have not yet started family finding but it's heartbreaking to hear how long people have been waiting to be matched!
We are currently working with Banardos who i believe specialise in 'older couples' and same sex couples looking to adopt. They have been absoloutley amazing so far and would reccomend them to anyone who may be looking to move away from there current LA or agency.
After commiting so much time and energy into the adoption proccess it is so sad to hear that many people are struggling to link with children and start / exspand your family. xx
This behaviour from the LA is absolutely unacceptable. We also threw ourselves in without reaching out to Adoption UK forum. Big mistake. But finally, 3 years later we are so close. Your profile says you are 360 miles from me, in the south east, so I can only assume you're near my 'home' area in the north. Speak to Adoption UK, they can help, call the help line. Don't finish, you've committed too much time. Me and 'him' are in our 40's now, we've had the 'older' couple comments many times but we just laugh it off and say hey hold on, we've had our fun years so we will be there 100% for our little one, no partying, girls/lads holidays, all done and over. Family time now. That seems to convince them. Do NOT give up, please x
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