This week’s interview is the first in a series about matching. In the series, adopters will share their experience of matching and how it worked for them. I found this part the hardest bit of the process and I’ll be sharing our experience in a few weeks. First up is Sam who shares how she found out about her daughter.
Introduce yourself and your family
I’m Sam, a solo adopter to my daughter who is now two and a half years old.
At what point in the process did matching / family finding start?
I was given access to Link Maker during Stage Two. Foster to Adopt (Early Permanence) is also something I was open to.
How did matching work? Did your social worker do all of the looking or did you get involved in that part?
I looked at Link Maker and expressed an interest in a couple of profiles but didn’t hear anything back. My social worker then advised me of a potential match with a new born baby which would be on foster to adopt basis.
How many profiles did you read?
I read nearly every profile on Linkmaker! But wasn’t sent any profiles from my social worker to read. I was given details of my daughter when she was born which were very brief.
What was the hardest part about this part of the process?
Looking at a site like Linkmaker as it is heart breaking to see so many profiles of children waiting to be adopted.
I was matched with my daughter and she came home before matching panel. Therefore, I also found matching panel one of the hardest parts. To me, she was already my daughter and it scared me that they may not agree the match.
How long did it take to find your match?
One week after Approval Panel!
What age and number of children were you matched with? Was this the same as you expected or did it change when you started looking?
She was new born. No, I fully expected it would be an older child. Being a solo adopter I didn’t feel I would be matched with a very young baby. I thought a couple would be preferred over a single person.
What happened once you were linked? Who did you meet to find out about your child?
Following Approval Panel I was told about a baby and asked if I’d be interested in fostering to adopt. I said I was and later met with her social worker who gave me a brief background of her history. I was then invited to go to a hospital appointment with her and her foster parent which was the first time I met her.
How long was it between being linked and matching Panel?
As it was a foster to adopt placement, she was home with me for a couple of months before the official matching Panel.
At what stage did you start preparing your child’s room and buying items for them?
The week before she came home! Because of the nature of the placement, things moved quite quickly.
How did you prepare for matching panel?
She was already living with me so I didn’t need to take any toys or photo albums to the Panel to pass on.
What happened at matching panel?
I was asked ‘why her?’ It was very emotional as she had been living with me for a couple of months. To me she was already my daughter, so I was very nervous they may not agree the match. They asked a few other questions about maintaining contact with birth family, etc. and then it was a very quick unanimous yes!