Matching & Marriage

This past week and bit has been eventful in some ways and really not in others. We attended some training on Tuesday about how the matching process works both from ours and the children’s perspectives.

It seems like we’ve inadvertently already started this process even though we’re not approved yet. We have signed up to Children Who Wait and Be My Parent, both of which are online and paper magazines detailing the profiles of children who need adopting. We did this to get some idea of what profiles would look like rather than to find a child, but it’s difficult to read through them without wondering if you could see them as part of your family. Essentially looking for that “connection” with a child, based on some fairly basic information, that seems to be the holy grail of the matching process.

Combining that with the profiles that our social worker keeps sending us from other authorities that can’t be placed local to them and actually we’ve read through quite a lot already.

A fairly major non-event was that we got married on the 9th. This was a non-event because we were converting our civil partnership to a marriage, so it took a grand total of 20 minutes and didn’t require any witnesses or other formalities except for a proof of identity. We went out for a meal on our own afterwards and had a rare bottle of wine to go with it.

We didn’t really need to convert, legally speaking there isn’t much of a difference, but people actually don’t know what a civil partnership is. Many standard forms (even government ones) don’t have Civil Partnership as an option for relationship status which always makes you wonder what you’re meant to put, we’re certainly not single, our relationship is more formal that co-habiting, and we weren’t technically married. So, to make things easier for us, we decided to convert it with as little fuss as we could.

We also decided to use this as a trigger point for double-barrelling our surnames so that when we do eventually adopt our child or children we will be able to give them the same surname as we have rather than us all having different one. Basically being able to show that we are all one family unit rather than a mishmash of people who live together (what’s in a name, right? Well… Hopefully a sense of belonging!). So, we’re now in the process of changing our names on everything official. Note to anyone thinking of double-barrelling – get THREE copies of the marriage certificate, not two as we have, so you can both send off for driving licences at the same time and still have a copy at home just in case you need it.

The assessment process has also been uneventful, no further questions have been asked by our social worker other than some very basic information about where we had our civil partnership and where we got married subsequently (we had to answer that one in advance). We’re waiting for the Prospective Adopters Report to be completed so that we can go through it before it is sent to the members of the Approval Panel. Our social worker has said she’s aiming to have that with us Wednesday, and that she’ll come and speak to us about anything which we don’t think is right on it.

Something fairly eventful, potentially anyway, is the matching process. We’re trying not to get our hopes up because we’re not approved so will be low on a list of prospective adopters should there be multiple people expressing interest in a child, but our social worker sent us some profiles which she thought would suit us (having previously checked that they hadn’t got any potential links yet). She was right. It’s so difficult saying no to a child’s profile that seems to fit your family but you don’t feel able to cope with for one reason or another. We managed it though, in a very difficult-to-write email we said a definite no to two profiles and asked some questions about three. If all those three profiles come back with a “sorry we’ve already found matches for them” I think we might be a bit upset. The fabled “connection” was there though which, even if nothing comes of these profiles, means that our social worker definitely has a reasonable idea of what we are looking for.

For this week we’ve got a few things going on on the adoption front:

1. We’re waiting for a response on the profiles we’ve asked about (or more likely the inevitable “sorry, no”).
2. We have another training session to do with connecting and communicating with an adopted child.
3. We’re waiting for our PAR from our social worker.

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