Don't be fooled
We started our adoption journey 2.5 years ago, when we attended an open evening held by our local adoption consortium. Our own LA would not take us on because it is against their policy to take adopters from within the borough (I guess due to likelihood of bumping into birth family). So we 'shopped around' by talking to different LAs around the room and eventually settled on another LA, a couple of boroughs along within London. We chose them based on their outstanding Ofsted rating and the good rapport we felt with the representatives at the stand. Bad move. We've had 4 different social workers, all equally bad in their own way - be it rude, incompetent, uncommunicative, absent - and have been severely let down by our agency as a whole during every step of the process. Eventually we managed to get matched with a child from a different LA outside London, by whom we felt we were treated much better, and had our child placed with us in Dec last year. We've now got the adoption order and it's onwards and upwards. We're bonding really well and feel like a proper little family. We're very happy but we will lodge a complaint against our LA. We're not alone in this experience - it turns out our LA has gone from outstanding in all areas of Children's Services 3 years ago to inadequate in all areas. All's well that ends well, but lesson learned is to not be fooled by Ofsted!