Meeting your new child

Before your child moves in to live with you permanently, there'll be an introductory period when you gradually get to know each other. Here is a picture of a lttle girl with baby brother in her arms.You'll probably start off by visiting the child in their current foster home. It helps the child to meet you in surroundings that they are familiar with, and it gives you the opportunity to spend time with their foster carer who can explain the child's likes and dislikes to you and tell you about their usual routine.

Once you have started to get to know each other, you wil probably take the child out once or twice before arranging for them to visit you in your home. The next step will be to arrange an overnight stay with you. The child will gradually get used to you and to your home before the day when they move in.

How long will this all take?

The introductory period can last for a few days, or it may take a few weeks, particularly for an older child who is very disturbed.

What about the birth parents?

You may have the opportunity to meet the child's birth parents as part of the introduction process. This can be a daunting prospect for you, but most adoptive parents who meet their child's birth parents are happy that they did so. The meeting can be very valuable for the birth parents – most are very happy to meet the people who will be caring for their child and offering them a bright future. Your Parents for Children social worker will be with you at the meeting to help if necessary.

Moving in

On moving-in day, the child's social worker will accompany them to your home. Don't worry unduly if the child is upset – after all, despite getting to know you during the introduction process, they are still leaving a foster home and family that they are familiar with for a new family and new surroundings.

At first, adopted children can be very suspicious of their new home. How does the child really know that this isn't yet another move to a temporary foster home? Your training with Parents for Children will have prepared you for this, and your social worker will work with you to help the child to settle in to their new life.

Photo © www.johnbirdsall.co.uk