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Questions asked in initial visit

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Hello, new to the forum.


My wife and I have been married 18 months, together for almost 6 years. We've thought about adoption on and off over the years, but seriously for about 4 months. We're a same sex couple and have no plans to try to have birth children.


We attended an informal Info event last week and filled in a form to register our interest and have a home visit. We had a voicemail this afternoon from SS asking to get a date in the diary for early in the new year.


It seems to be happening quite quickly. I am worrying about the visit and how much we are expected to know about adoption in advance, or whether the purpose is to give us more information.


For example, I have some health issues, and we also have a cat, so I know the visit is discuss these sorts of things.


But, for example, are we expected to be able answer very specific questions on the potential issues the child could have - attachment, FASD, ADHD etc... Is it enough to be broadly aware of these issues or do we need to be conversant? I'm doing as much research as I can but tbh finding it a bit overwhelming as it's all so new to me. I feel like I've got a fortnight to prepare for an exam I've never had any classes on!


I suppose I'm asking for a bit of guidance on what we need to know vs what we will be informed about.

What sorts of questions will we be asked? We just want to be as prepared as we need to be. We do want to adopt, we want us to be a family and give a child a home as we have a lot of love to give and don't want to mess things up before we can start.


Thank you for your help.


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The first chat is just that - a basic exploration of why you want to adopt and checking out if there is anything that would be a complete block. They will probably ask about life histories (childhood, significant partners, convictions), finances, housing, health and your motivation to adopt. Its really all about you and the best policy is to be open and honest. Complete blocks at this stage would usually be convictions for crimes against a child, major health issues (especially if life limiting) or significant debts.


They may ask what you know about potential children, but at this stage they won't expect any in depth knowledge - in fact from what you say you know more than many at this stage.


Good luck!


PS Do a search for other threads as this is a fairly frequent question Smile


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We are adopted a few years ago, but the first chat was really just that - a first informal chat. It is certainly not like an exam of any kind. You don't need to worry at all. Good luck!


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Thank you both.


Questions about eg childhood, are they just looking for "Yes, it was happy" because I just don't know how to elaborate on that, so in a way I hope they are quite specific questions and not too general. Same as why do we want to adopt - because we want a child, don't want to pursue fertility treatment, want to give a child a home - is that enough? Because I'm not sure how else to express it.


I'll try very hard to treat it as an informal chat but I'm feeling under pressure! I can live with (or understand at least) if we're rejected because of my health condition as there isn't much I can do about that but I'm so scared I'll just say the wrong thing and that'll be it.


Wife is a bit more chilled out, at least!


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we has our initial visit 3 weeks ago, they asked us both about our childhood up to us sitting on the sofa talking to them, also how we met and the proposal and the wedding etc....

My cousin adopted and he told me that anything you don't mention they will pick up on and ask you about, I didn't really talk about my dad and sure enough they asked me about him. I had a pretty rocky childhood but I told them everything, and they seamed fine with it,

Just be 100% honest they wont expect us to be 100% angels.

They did ask what kind of child we wanted to adopt but to be fair were not 100% sure yet, so we just told them we need to figure that out with some help from them, they seemed happy with that! But only time will tell I guess x


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The initial visit is really just a cursory get-to-know you session. Why do you want to adopt? What do you have to offer? Is your home suitable?

The really in depth stuff about your past and expectations comes much later in stage 2


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Thank you everyone. I think my nerves are making me get ahead of myself.


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Hello all, just an update for anyone else who was in my position and wondering what will be asked in the first assessment.


SW visited us last week and was here 5 hours - quite the grilling for what was supposed to be an initial information visit, I thought, but at least it was productive. Questions covered our individual lives from growing up to where we were now - childhood (inc discipline, major events etc), our immediate relatives, relationships with our relatives, our relatives relationships with each other (ie parents divorced or still together etc), friendships, education, employment, health, current financial situation, any major traumas, and more.


She asked about our lives together as well, support networks, our experience with children and what children were around in our network, who we could rely on for emotional, practical and financial support, and who we turn to in emergencies. After that came questions about the children themselves - any preferences on gender, age, ethnicity. She asked about diversity within our families and friends and truthfully although we're in a very diverse area we don't really know anyone of ethnic minorties in our network so she said herself she would recommend White European, age 0-3 (although we are flexible), any gender.


We discussed fostering to adopt - early permanence - but we don't feel it is for us at the moment.


Our flat was deemed perfectly fine and she wasn't at all bothered we had a house cat - she actually said if she's aware a family has a pet when she's thinking about matches she usually asks the foster family to try and have the child spend time with cats/dogs in the hope of identifying problems before introductions are being made. And generally was of the opinion pets are usually good for children.


As has been said on other posts and forums, she was always more interested in how we coped with a situation and sought to resolve it more than what the incident was eg I became upset talking about the death of a grandparent and explained I had had bereavement counselling a few years ago and was generally fine, just talking about all my happy childhood memories with him made me miss him, and she saw this as a positive I could show my emotions and sought help in my past rather than me being unable to cope with loss, which I was worried about as often once I start blubbing I can't stop!


She didnt give any indication we couldnt progress to Stage 1 and was talking as if this won't be a problem. My wife is half way through an MA degree so she was of the opinion we ought to wait 10-12 months before starting Stage 1 in order for us to know exactly what our financial situation is then. Although I'm fairly impatient to get started, at leat this gives us plenty of time to read more, and get more varied childcare experience than what we already have.


We should get our written report and recommendations within four weeks.


She was a lovely lady but all in all it was tiring and headache inducing and I fell asleep immediately, haha. Need to toughen up before we start things properly!


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WHoa! 5 hours! That’s a bit crazy and unusual I would say!!!!! The longest visit I had was about 2.5 and that was for an assessment session! Best of luck.


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That’s a very very long time - our pre stage 1 meeting was about an hour and a half, maybe 2. She touched on all of those areas but not in any great depth. That sounds like an intense session that’s for sure.


For stage 2, we had an individual assessment and then 5 joint sessions, none of them went over 2.5 hours each and that includes some complexities!


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She did say most of her colleagues normally did it in around 3 hours but she likes to be thorough...! 2-7pm just solid talking - we were shattered but it's hopefully a positive start.


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