I have found another paradox in the adoption process. It seems it is full of them. First there is the cabin fever, and now it is settling the child after placement.
Maybe I am banging on about it too much, but I feel it is worth a mention.
If you know about adoption, you will know I am really talking about the same thing – not going out, and ensuring the child is settled. This means that we need a firm routine, it means being careful when leaving him (if only to go to another room), and making sure he is not out of his comfort zone too much at the start of the placement.
It also means restricting visitors – and here lies the paradox I am talking about.
I will pre-empt this by stating that this is by no means a dig at our social workers, and I am not trying to point the finger of blame at anyone, for anything. It is merely my observations with the adoption process as it is at the moment.
By restricting visitors to our house, we are protecting our son from a number of feelings, specifically him sensing that he is about to move, or be removed from our house.
At the beginning of the placement, it is vital that the child feels as secure as he can do. Ultimately, time is the main factor in this, but by ensuring that people knocking on the door is kept to a minimum we can help that feeling of security.
After placement however, the adoption process dictates that we have regular visits (once a week) from our own social worker, and the child’s social worker.
This seems like a huge contradiction.
Imagine what this is like for the child. They must have some kind of association of moving or being placed when they see the social workers, and now he is seeing them every week. What is so secure about that?
It is a double edged sword of course, and as we have seen before, social workers working within the adoption process are being pulled left, right and centre. I understand that they have to visit us, I know that they need to ensure the placement is going as planned.
The welfare of the child is paramount, and we have all seen the news. Social workers are the first to get it in the neck when a child comes to harm, or a placement fails.
So yes, the visits are unsettling, and the adoptive parents bear the brunt, but I am glad the social workers are duty bound, and quite frankly, I am grateful for their support.