Fostering to adopt

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Is anybody out there considering fostering to adopt ? It is offered by my local council adoption services, and I have seen it work well in America. Any experiences or thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages ? I have one birth child who is about to turn 7.


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Lots of previous posts on this. Have a search through. There are risks - contact, birth family member suddenly appearing abs baby being returned. Not straightforward.

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We were recently asked to consider fostering to adopt a young child. Despite our reservations regarding the uncertainty, we were initially told by our social worker that it would be straightforward as there were no obvious risks (family members turning up etc) . 6 weeks later after preparing our house, we received the news that a new family member had been traced and that they wanted to care for the child. Whilst fostering to adopt is good in theory, it carries huge risks and uncertainty for adopters. We were fully aware of all the risks from the offset however we did feel pressurised from our social worker to consider FTA, in light of the current situation (more adopters than available children.) In hindsight, I also feel that if the child had been placed with us, it would have been hard to form a bond and attachment to them, knowing that we could receive a phone call at any minute informing us that the circumstances had changed and that the child was being returned to their birth family.

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We (approved adopters in May 2014) recently contacted our social worker asking her whether we could FTA given the current situation. She said no because we were 'only' approved to adopt. This didn't make a lot of sense to us but I do understand what you are saying about the acceptance/ability to have to say good-bye at any point. Are you approved adopters and with a local authority?

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Hi freiheit, we were approved as adopters by our LA but then asked to be fta, so our PAR was just amended, no need to go back to panel. You are an adopter but when a child is placed on fta you get temporary approval as a foster carer, this lasts 16 weeks after which it can be extended to 24 weeks, if the child has no placement order at 24 weeks you would need a full foster carer assessment. This is how it works in our

LA anyway and I suspect it will be the same or similar elsewhere. We are currently on weeks 2 of our foster to adopt placement. Our friend had a child placed on fta and the child had a placement order by week 18. Perhaps worth querying with your social worker if you really feel you could offer an fta placement?

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Thanks for your reply, DB. We will get back to our social worker and see what she says.

The information and advice one can get on this site is just invaluable.

Thanks again and good luck with your placement.

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Good luck. If you don't mind me adding- contact with birth family is managed so that you don't have it in your own home, we don't meet the birth family in our case but I think this varies. There is always risk of birth family coming forward to be assessed to take on the child but they aren't guaranteed to be approved. Sadly many birth parents had tough childhoods of their own and so their siblings may be no better equipped to parent a child than they were. It's a risk but if you feel able to accept that risk then go for it and good luck!

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Can I ask question please if child goes back to birth parents/family members what happens them for foster carers do u look again or go back to work and wait for call and try act ok about it all?

How would this work out with adoption leave etc if had to give child back?

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We did fostering to adopt. With the second child we were getting approved as adopters (for our first child's birth sibling) and the LA did a quick add on process so that when we went through panel we were given dual approval.

She came to us straight from hospital and stayed. We have a lovely relationship and she is untouched by trauma (though has some mild attachment issues having been in NICU for several weeks and then going to direct contact with birth family for 6 months).

In our case a birth family member wanted to be assessed to have Mouse go and live with them. It did make things tense and difficult for the first few months but then social services decided that a placement with them would not be viable and Mouse stayed with us.

Despite the emotional rollercoaster, I would recommend FTA whole heartedly.

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Chocolate crunch my dh and I do concurrency which is slightly different than straight f2a with a higher risk of child returning home.

In answer to your question about what happens if child returns home it depends on lots of factors and not least your LA's attitude and thinking behind fta. We have now helped to rehabilitate 2 babies home to birth family who were placed with us under concurrency. I am not getting into the emotional side to this, that is not what you have asked but I am happy via pm to discuss this. After our first case we had to wait over a year before getting second placement. We had to be re-approved and do a lot of work to ensure we were ready emotionally to take a second concurrent placement. In the meantime I returned to work and life returned to normal for a while. A new normal for us but not awful. After our second placement things have been much quicker (it was fairly recent) and hope to have another placement within 4-6 months of lo leaving. Regarding adoption leave you can claim adoption leave and statutory payments continue for 8 weeks after lo returns home if that happens.

If it is straight f2a then the risk is minimal ( I think around 98% of cases go onto adoption) but only around 90% in a concurrent planning case. Regardless of which route you choose it is a difficult emotional journey that is not right for everyone and only you know what emotional resilience you have. DO NOT go into f2a in order to parent a very young baby. YOU must go into because you believe in it as a child centred approach that ensures the best outcomes for the child and be prepared to accept and support whatever decision is deemed right for the child putting your own needs aside.

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Thanks for advice bakergirl I pm u if that's ok

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Just replied to your pm!

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