Hubby and I went to matching panel this Wednesday 21st.
All involved think we are a great match for a little girl. We met her 10 days ago and she is amazing. We love her so much.
However the panel were really harsh. There was one guy in particular who liked the sound of his own voice and kept asking questions but not listening to anyone's answers. He completely went off piste, putting us on the spot, asking us questions that weren't relevant or in the list we were provided before panel.
He kept asking about fetal alcohol syndrome which was completely irrelevant. The little girl, who is almost 5 has no signs of it and neither does her older sibling. He asked if it had been discussed and if we had any training on it. He was told by the social workers by both sides that there was no reason to think that she has it. I reiterated that and explained we had covered it in our prep training and stage 2 training. I'm also qualified to work in early years so it was covered in the course, and I've worked with children that have it.
At the end he brought up stranger danger as the little came straight up to us when we met her and wanted us to play with her. He said had we picked up on it. We obviously explained that we had and the social workers pointed out that she'd had permission to talk to us and interact with us. She's only 4 she's not going to have that awareness. We said we would obviously teach her about it.
The other thing brought up by the panel was lack of contact with other adopters. Neither us or the social workers could understand why this was an issue because it's of no benefit when we haven't yet got a child placed with us. It was explained that we would have access to a Buffy system and other online resources once a child was placed and also that we now have a support worker in place as well as our social worker.
We were told to leave the meeting while they discussed everything. We had no idea how long it would take so didn't know what to do with ourselves. It took them about an hour to contact us to ask us to rejoin. By this time we knew things couldn't have gone as we'd expected.
We were told we were being recommended but not unanimously. The reasons being that we need training on fetal alcohol syndrome and his to teach stranger danger and that we need contact with other adopters. They had the cheek to say that we had been let down because of this, which we felt was out of order and unprofessional. We found it patronising that they say we need the training particularly stranger danger which is common sense. So now we have no idea what the final result will be. Deferring would be detrimental to the little girl, she starts year 1 in September and it wouldn't be right to delay that.
We thought we'd come away with a good idea of the result but we haven't a clue.
We had a meeting with our social worker for a debrief and she said that both her and the child's social worker agree with us that the panel were harsh and that the way they behaved towards us wasn't right. We explained that we don't feel let down at all, far from it and we couldn't believe how pathetic it all was.
Has anyone else had this sort of experience? What was the outcome? We are trying to positive. We very much feel it's meant to be. But it's hard.