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Prospective and Early Permanence by Kerry 

Our adoption journey thus far has been anything but a leisurely ride. So, we searched for a sense of belonging and sought to build connections with people who understand. Understand the wait, the setbacks, the sense of intrusion into our lives, the moments of self-doubt, the nervousness in the days leading up to panel and the periods of absolute excitement!

I found that understanding in the support groups I attended. I was relieved and overwhelmingly grateful that we were not completely on our own and others understood, even though our experiences were different.

These groups are a part of my self-care. For me, sharing is a means of catharsis. It is a relief knowing that offloading all my challenge-filled-experiences simultaneously offers a realistic picture and glimmer of hope to others, listening to the experiences of others, supporting them, enabling a safe space for their discussions, and offering a sense of belonging. That is why I do it; that is why I volunteered to facilitate the prospective adopters group.

As a prospective adopter the periods of waiting can be agonising. Waiting for your next stage 2 interview, waiting to read your full Prospective Adopter’s Report (PAR), for panel, for Agency Decision Maker (ADM) confirmation letter, profiles from your social worker, waiting to wade through Link Maker, a response after expressing interest in a profile, hearing and managing “no”, or not hearing back at all from the child’s social worker or family finder, waiting for a match, for matching panel, waiting for your son(s) or daughter(s) to finally enter your life.

While you wait, having an avenue of focus can be helpful. That was the idea behind our Art in the park events this summer. We invited prospective adopters to paint a canvas for their future child’s/children’s room(s). Soon-to-be parents learnt simple techniques to make lovingly created, memorable pieces, to serve as a beacon of hope, something on which to glance during the periods of waiting, or moments of disappointment.

Two amazing groups of prospective adopters at various stages of their journeys had enjoyable afternoons in Hyde Park and Crystal Palace, where they picnicked, socialised, talked about the joys and struggles on the path to building their adoptive future, shared information about upcoming adoption events, exchanged contact details and of course painted!

In September, our group adopted a new name and an amended purpose. We are now: We Are Family Prospective and Early Permanence Support Group. The group supports all prospective adopters. Be they single or a couple, Stage 2, including those considering early permanence or Stage 3, approved for adoption and/or early permanence. We have monthly informal online discussions and occasional social face-to-face meetups. Our online meetings offer a great space to ask questions and boost learning. We meet the third Friday of each month starting at 8:30pm for 1.5 hours and have input from experienced adopters and adult adoptees on specific themes.

We look forward to welcoming you at one of our online meetings or a face-to-face meet up. Everyone’s adoption experience is unique; we encourage you to use the Prospective and Early Permanence Support Group to ask questions, share views or stories, or just listen to others.

Our next online group meets on Friday, 15th December 2023 from 8:30 to 10:00pm. December’s theme is “Meeting birth family and EP Support”.

All are welcome and will undoubtedly benefit from the discussions by our guest speaker.

If you are approved for EP or currently examining this as a route to adoption you may gain particular benefit from this session.

The session is however beneficial for all prospective adopters as you are likely to be offered an opportunity to meet with birth family at some point on your adoption journey.  Our guest speaker, Lisa, will share her recent experience and learnings from meeting with birth family. To join the discussion, email

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