Thursday, 24 March 2011

Our first social worker meeting

Yesterday was a big day. Our first home visit from a social worker. It’s fair to say that G & I were pacing a fair bit before Siobhan arrived. I don’t know what we were expecting, and we certainly had nothing to be nervous about, but it felt like a very significant part of the journey - it was Siobhan that would decide whether or not we would be put on to the prep course.

As it turns out, we had nothing to be nervous about. Siobhan was lovely, really put us at ease and assured us that from our application form, we had nothing to fear.  We chatted about various things for a couple of hours, she asked us how we thought having children would affect our relationship and our social lives, she asked about friends and family, we discussed the types of children we would consider taking on, we talked about the support we would need and where that would come from, she had a look around the house, looked at potential bedrooms, and chatted about the process from here.

She explained that we were in a good position, that there’s lots of young children currently needing a home and she surprised us by asking if we would consider taking on a baby, which we had never considered to be an option. If we were to take on a baby, it would be on what’s called concurrency adoption, which would basically mean we would take on a baby literally straight from the maternity unit, but would initially be foster parents, whilst social services and the courts worked out a permanent adoption order. We said we would consider that, but would need lots more information, for example, if there’s any chance that the adoption order would be contested, we would effectively lose the baby back to the birth parents and neither of us think we could cope with that loss.

Siobhan left us feeling very positive. We weren’t expecting her to give much away, but at the end of the meeting she said ‘I’ve only known you for two hours, but from what I can see, I think you would be wonderful parents.’ We didn’t expect such open and positive feedback at this stage, so that was amazing!

We got home from work tonight to an email confirming that we have indeed been accepted on to the prep course! Time to celebrate! Our first day is the end of June, that looks at motivation and loss. Loss is a big part of the adoption process for all three parties involved. Children have to deal with the loss of their birth family or foster carers, birth parents have to deal with the loss of their children, and adopters have to deal with the loss of their ability to conceive naturally. I think the latter is less of an issue for us (as we never thought we would be able to to!) than it is for perhaps a couple that have come to adoption having failed to achieve success with IVF.

After that course, we have a few week's break to do some reflection work, and then we go back for three days.

If that all goes well, we make our formal application and then start the home studies, which Siobhan said normally take between four and six months. Then comes the Approval Panel. I was surprised to learn that our local authority hold panels every two weeks, there’s clearly more children being placed than I realised. Siobhan thought it would be realistic that we would be at approval stage by the early part of next year.

So, now it really is all systems go - time to book out last big holiday before the process really kicks in!

No comments:

Post a Comment