• What are the differences and processes of each option?

    Click here to download a very informative table of how each process works

  • How do you prepare for the transition week once you are allocated?
  • Sometimes you can’t always prepare as your emotions are on over drive, so just take a day at a time. Enjoy the time with your new family member and don’t over analyse what the current career is doing just ask as many questions as you want or even write them down.  People suggest leaving a teddy, baby wrap, toweling nappy or square that you have possibly put inside your blouse/shirt/dress to get some maximum effect for familiarity. Also nice to take maybe a bun or some food to the carer's home as you will be there accepting their hospitality for some time.You can always call your caseworker at any point,  if they haven't already checked in with you through that week for a chat. Get lots of sleep, eat out and enjoy the shopping.
  • How do you deal with intrusive questions about the process in particular a child's background?

  • Don’t feel like you have to answer everyone’s questions truthfully, you have every right to say that’s not my story to share or have a prepared sentence that you can use when you feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable in answering. You can politely say I don’t know those answers
  • Are there any tips for getting into a routine in the first few weeks after you are placed? 

  • If the child had a previous carer then try and follow that routine until you feel comfortable to start making small changes that fit into your family life. If you are confident and calm the child will adjust a lot quicker but don’t put yourself under any pressure for time deadlines anymore! Children do love routine but try to keep realistic don’t set your expectations too high, small achievements are a good booster.
    We can beat ourselves up about being perfect. We are not and the children that we we are given will not be perfect either! It may be appropriate to explain to friends/family etc that you need some space for x weeks before they inundate you so you can get into a routine. They need to understand that you have not had 9 months preparation through a pregnancy to be thoroughly ready to be  a parent.
  •  What assistance are you entitled to from the government if you are placed? Explanation of the maternity leave etc.

  • This isn’t a straight forward answer as each case is individual due to the circumstances for example if the child is under one years of age if an adoption order or permanent placement. But if you are entitled to maternity leave at your work place then you should be entitled to adoption leave. Visit Centre link and explain your situation also as if you have adopted the children under the age of one or have the child on a permanent care order leading to adoption then you may be able to get the baby bonus or maternity leave grant.
  •  Is it normal to feel overwhelmed, exhausted and a little low post being placed?

  • Absolutely normal your whole life has changed your relationship with your partner, your daily routine, your home has been taken over by nursery items and you probably haven’t slept properly since the first phone call from over thinking. Which then can lead to all the above, it’s very important to look after yourself along this journey. If you need a little time to yourself ask your partner for a time out coffee break go and meet a friend and off load for example it’s ok.
  •  How long does the adoption process take?

  • The honest answer is no-one knows! The average application could take up to a year from the seminar to being accepted into the pool for either adoption or permanent care placements
  •  How common is contact with birth families once placed?

  • Very common, but it isn’t as scary as it sounds and the key to remember is we have been lucky enough to be placed with the child or children and that is part of their history. Talk with your caseworker.They have been involved in many contact visits and there are there to support you. Remember some birth parents will feel as anxiuos as you may feel about the process- they may feel judged and extremely nervous too and coming to contact can be enormously difficult/painful for them.
    We cannot  change it or deny the children were adopted so try to embrace it and over time hopefully it will be just like visiting your extended family.
  •  How many contact visits do you have with the birth families?

  • Again each case is different it could be 3-4 visits a year. Contact is not always determined by a Judge. Some contact has been decided by a Magistrate in the Children's Court. If the matter is a straight forward adoption rather than a placement through permanent care, then the Local Adoption & Permanent Care Team negotiate with birthparenst to consider what is suitable amount of contact/information exchange that they can manage. Adoptive parents have to agree with this at time of allocation of thechild placed for adoption by completing an Agreement and Undertaking form. The agreements for contact would then be placed on an Adoption Plan which would be lodged at the Supreme Court at the time the adoption order is being made.
    There are also many variables to consider to this answer birth parents involvement, their health, siblings and reasons for placement. If it helps compare the visits to hours rather than days, the key factor is to be positive as the child or children needs happy role models.