Matching panel is one of the most important milestones in an adopters journey. It’s a momentous occasion and is testament to an array of professionals who have worked extremely hard to get to this point. It’s a day most adopters are nervous to approach because it’s the final meeting prior to parenthood.
This final step signifies a link and match has been made with a particular child. This formal meeting is there for the panel to consider and approve the match between the adopter(s) and child. Several weeks prior to the meeting the panel will have been provided with a detailed report which gives them the background of the child and adopter(s). It is for the panel to review the match, ask questions at panel and if needed, either approve or reject the match being considered.
Just over a month ago we travelled to matching panel, both a little nervous but excited that the day had now finally arrived. We had first seen a photograph and profile of Little Man back in December 2019 and here we were, 3 months later about to be considered as his parents.
We arrived in plenty of time along with our Social Worker and went into a pre-meeting for an update about Little Man, along with a catch up with his Social Worker and Family Finder. Sadly we were informed something had occurred that day which would result in the process being delayed. However we could still move forward with the panel that day. As you can imagine, this really knocked us before going into panel. However we knew we had to carry on so we walked into panel with our heads held high and with positive attitudes.
The panel was made up of 9 people including social workers, adopters, an adoptee, medical professionals and other officials from a social care background. We were in the panel for about 30 minutes and asked a multitude of questions about Little Man. One question we knew that would be asked and was the easiest for us to answer was “Why him?”. Quite simply, our hearts are full of love for this Little Man who has the most sweetest and caring nature and who stole our hearts the moment we met him.
Once the panel had asked their questions, we were ushered back to the meeting room we had initially been in to receive the outcome and recommendation from the panel. About 10 minutes passed and the panel chair came in to share the amazing news that they would be recommending a unanimous yes for the match to be made. This would need to be formally and independently reviewed by the Agency Decision Maker (ADM) within a few weeks of the panel date. We were elated but even still, emotions were running high and we both struggled.
So what now? We’re a month post panel and everything is in the air. We are awaiting a further update in the not too distant future. For now there isn’t anything else we can do - it’s out of our control. However we’re engaging often with his Foster Carers and having video calls which is a great way to keep the connection going and to see him happy and content.
We hope in the coming weeks more will be known and that restrictions are lifted so we can finally start our journey as a family.
Keep Safe All.