Newbies

(1000 Posts)

Hi I am a newbie and only just started this journey, officially made the call last week.

Just interested how may other newbies are out there who are still in the early stages. I keep coming across people and recognising names. Anyone want to let on what stage they are at?

Swizzersmum Fri 27-Sep-13 21:01:55

Hi all new on here! I am looking to adopt to complete my family as I had an emergency hysterectomy after the birth of my first child. I feel very blessed to have dd but feel my family could expand! I have chosen the concurrent planning route where we will foster until (fingers crossed because they could return to birth family) the adoption order is granted then we adopt so we will hopefully get a newborn placed. I have two home visits left then panel in mid November !! Aarrgh! It's taken about 6-7 months and at times has been draining and intrusive but understandably so. Hang in there it will be worth it! My main issue and only downside is my battle with work to get adoption pay... Because I'll take unpaid leave to foster they won't pay adoption pay as it is based on the preceding 8 weeks before adoption takes place! Thinking of taking the battle to my mp next!! Hope u all doing well xx

Swizzersmum welcome and good luck with your battle. Can you take paid holiday leave and then adoption leave?

Choccyjules Sat 28-Sep-13 10:37:33

Hi!

Can I ask how you are preparing your BC for the uncertainty of concurrent planning? We are still very much in two minds about it due to how a child going back to birth Mum may affect our DD.

Meita Sun 29-Sep-13 11:46:38

good question choccy, Swizzers I'd be really interested in your answer to that one too!

bertiebassettsbelly Sun 29-Sep-13 17:43:33

Hello! Please can I join in? We have just sent an initial enquiry to our LA and have been advised that they will be in touch within the next two weeks. We are hoping to adopt a slightly older child (5-7years) and we are very excited, aswell as very nervous of the next year or so!!

Can anybody give me some idea of the general process from now on please? Thanks smile

Hi bertie welcome! the process changed as of 1st July so by rights it should be quicker. It does change from place to place though how they go about it.
Each la you enquire too will either invite you to a meeting or come and and see you for a chat. They'll then give you an application form to fill out and accept you onto stage 1. From the date of their acceptance to panel should be 6months.
Stage 1 lasts two months includes health and safety check of your house, drb's , finance check, your references filling out forms and being interviewed and you meeting your sw (and maybe a family support worker) and you going on a course (sometimes four days , sometimes 3 and fourth day in stage two.
If they are happy with all of this you go onto stage two although you can take 6 months out.
Stage two is last day of course and then building up your portfolio. Eco maps, info about yourself, relationships etc and then it's panel.

We are on the verge of stage two. Have our course in a fortnights time!

So sorry that is a right essay! Sorry if you know it all already!

bertiebassettsbelly Sun 29-Sep-13 19:56:52

Thanks so much in, that's really helpful! It's all so new and we feel so excited and scared at the same time!! I'm sure that everyone has similar feelings-we are a bit older, I'm 38 and DH will be 45 in December, hence the reason for hoping for an older child.

Stage 2 for you-how exciting!! How have you found the process so far? I work full time, but I have read the policy for adoption leave and I think that I will be entitled to paid time off for meetings etc, in a similar way to antenatal care for pregnancy I guess.

Will your adopted child be your first child? We have spent so long waiting for a family, its so good to finally be doing something positive!!

Yes it's our first child. We had been ttc for 4 long years, decided to end it in January. felt ready to start our new journey in late July so made "the call' when we got back from our holiday at the beginning of August. I'm 31 and my dh is 34 so I think we are some of the younger ones.
I've found it ok so far. I'd read up on here an awful lot so I wasn't too surprised by it all but it does feel a bit intrusive but it's all been so fast that I haven't had (much) time to stress about things. We have also been given some "homework" to do so that keeps me busy and makes me feel like I'm not floating along too much but it is all very exciting.
so have you decided on your la? We looked at two but loved the first one. I think choccy was more thorough than us. smile

forgot to say the school I work for have been brilliant and treated any meetings like ante natal appointments. I've been honest with them throughout everything right from the beginning of my fertility issues so they're not surprised by anything. dh works for a ridiculously laid back company so they've been fine too.

prumarth Mon 30-Sep-13 20:43:23

Hi everyone, I was hoping for some advice from people a bit further along the adoption process or who had already adopted. We received a document to fill in today from our social worker called 'feelings' and it has a large section about how we would deal with sexualised behaviour from a placed child who had been exposed to inappropriate behaviour and also what we would do if a child accused my husband or myself of sexual abuse (they said they wouldn't nesessarily know in advance of placing a child with us for adoption if abuse had happened). We have both found this quite upsetting and scary - and its opened up a whole series of fears for us such as if this is a common issue (placed children making sexual abuse accusations against new parents) and how to respond to this section as a whole. I'm worried that if this is a common issue, and would rightly need to be investigated if an accusation arose, but it would be like a grenade going off in our lives that we are ill equipped to handle & would have huge implications for our lives, jobs, relationships with nieces and nephews etc. Also does this mean me or my husband wouldn't be able to put our new child to bed or have bathtime without the other being present as a 'witness' for example.
I would really appreviate any feedback from anyone who has already adopted or who has also had to complete a similar review?

Namechangesforthehardstuff Mon 30-Sep-13 21:25:13

Hello everyone <waves> Finally sent in the form. Now twiddling fingers and trying not to be impatient. Not v good at not being impatient...

And hi Prumarth. This sounds as though.it could be a stock form to explore your feelings - can you find out from SW? If it is then you probably need to be honest about feeling that you couldn't handle that. What age children are you hoping to adopt?

Swizzersmum Mon 30-Sep-13 23:35:53

Hi I have said that we are helping to look after the baby as their tummy mummy needs help and if she gets better at it then they may go back. Hard really but my daughter is just 4 so she grasps most things but doesn't really get it. She wants to help so we are just being honest and stressing that point at the minute. Have to just go with it it's a risk I know x

Swizzersmum Mon 30-Sep-13 23:37:54

Hi I have said that we are helping to look after the baby as their tummy mummy needs help and if she gets better at it then they may go back. Hard really but my daughter is just 4 so she grasps most things but doesn't really get it. She wants to help so we are just being honest and stressing that point at the minute. Have to just go with it it's a risk I know x

Swizzersmum Mon 30-Sep-13 23:38:53

Not enough hols I'm afraid!

Meita Tue 01-Oct-13 13:22:05

Hi Bertie welcome! we are at similar stages, though we are looking to adopt a young child, due to our DS' age. Hope all goes well for you.

Hello Namechange wow how does it feel to have sent it off? Have you had a reply yet?

prumarth I think this is part and parcel of exploring which children would be good matches for you. I think it is important to be aware and honest about what you would be comfortable with and what you wouldn't. Depending on the children's ages, sexual awareness/sexualised behaviour is more or less likely I guess, and I doubt anyone can really put a number on it. I would say don't hesitate to state that you would be uncomfortable with a child who has sexual abuse in his/her past, if that is what you feel. Of course you can never be 100% sure, but you can say no to cases where it is known. Can, and should, if that's what you feel. Don't try to bite more than you can swallow.

I think in adoption there is never certainty, so at the end of the day, you need to be prepared to some extent to take a leap of faith, commit, and then deal with whatever gets thrown at you.

Regarding allegations of sexual abuse, I have gathered from reading books by foster carers that many foster carers are accused of abuse at some point in time, maybe as many as 1/3 (that is NOT one in three children make abuse accusations. Rather, over the course of a 'career' of looking after child after child, sometimes more than 50 different children over the years, one in three carers will have to deal with abuse allegations at some point). That's why, as soon as there is an inkling suspicion of sexual abuse in the background, foster carers should practice 'safer caring' where they have protocols such as you mention, where for example bedtime stories are read in the lounge in the presence of other people rather than 'alone' in the child's room.
However, I think fostering is a bit different to adoption, in that the children will only recently have been removed from their homes, and hence little may be known about their pasts - many children will only open up about abuse after a little while, when they start feeling safe. Whereas once they are placed for adoption, this phase of not knowing tends to have been resolved - if there was sexual abuse, many children will have talked about it at some point during their time in foster care. If the child behaves in a sexualised way, it will have been noticed. So for adopters it is much less likely to have to deal with previously unregistered sexual abuse than it is for foster carers.
And well. If you find yourself to be the one whose child discloses previously unknown sexual abuse to you, or whose child suddenly starts behaving in a sexualised way, then I suppose you grieve for the poor LOs innocence and try to help them in whatever way you can.

Swizzers that is pretty much what I have been thinking. However, I can anticipate two problems with that. The first, with our BC still being so very young, I worry that learning that some children have to be looked after by someone else than their parents - that some parents aren't able to look after their children - will cause him much distress and shake his heretofore unquestioned trust and reliance on us, his own parents. I worry that he might start worrying that we can no longer look after him and that he has to be looked after by someone else. I'm going to think very carefully about how to broach the topic with him, so that he understands that we are looking after this baby because their parents need help, but so that he doesn't start worrying. In a way I would like to spare him this awareness, of families not being able to stay together, until later.
The second, if all we tell our BC is that we are looking after this baby for now, then if/when the placement order comes through, the baby would suddenly morph into 'your new brother/sister' - I worry that our BC would then be totally unprepared for the idea of having a new 'forever' sibling. But I would not want to talk about a new sibling before the placement order comes through, for in case baby goes back to BM.
What do you think about these problems? I'm honestly curious, as still trying to resolve them for myself.

prumarth Tue 01-Oct-13 15:43:45

Thanks Keira and namechange. I think I was just having a massive wobble yesterday - the section came up out the blue for me and suddenly I went from imagining how happy me and my potential new family would be together (kind of like a scene from the Waltons!) to imagining us being arrested for false abuse claims and being hounded out of our home! A good night sleep has given me a bit more perspective - and sadly I guess abuse is a hideous reality of some of these kids lives and it needs to be raised and explored with us so we know worst case scenarios. I'm still a bit scared of my ability to cope with something like this and don't think it's something I could take on if it's known in advance, but we will just have to pull up our socks and deal if it became a later reality. I guess it just never entered my consciousness as a potential issue that might affect my life so I am very fortunate ultimately.

pru I can understand your opinion totally.
Our family support worker is visiting my mom and dad tomorrow. I'm more nervous than them! grin grin

Namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 01-Oct-13 21:06:30

No nothing yet. DH works with LAs a lot and is cynical and says the form won't have made it out of the postroom yet. smile

I am trying to be calm. <tries> One positive thing is that now that we're moving forward I can engage with other people in 'family planning' type conversations without wanting to strangle them with their own smuggery grin

Prumarth good to hear you're a bit more settled today. TBH anyone who answers questions like that without a qualm is probably really not to be trusted.

prumarth Tue 01-Oct-13 21:46:28

Good luck Inthebeginning - I'm sure they will do you proud!

Thanks Namechanges! I'm sure your form is winging its way off to the relevent person. What age group are you hoping to adopt?

Namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 01-Oct-13 22:03:30

DD is 3 so we can only adopt 2 years younger. So when we.get there probably 0-2? That's why we weren't sure an LA would agree to assess us. You?

Inthebeginning I told my mum she was a referee this week and I could see her heart sinking as I spoke. Good luck to you all. Let us know how it goes.

prumarth Tue 01-Oct-13 22:15:00

We have asked for 0-5. Fingers crossed! We have our course in 2 weeks time so I guess I will discover even more scary and exciting things then!

dh's mom was the same! buried her head in the sand about the form and then kept phoning us asking stupid questions including "do you class the chickens as pets or livestock? " we have six of them for gods sake!
Our course begins in two weeks too. Look well if it's the same one! Our la begins with an s (outing myself totally)

prumarth Wed 02-Oct-13 08:11:24

That would be funny! Unfortunately just coincidence - ours begins with a w! But great that we can compare notes on the courses as we go through them!

dh spoke to our sw today and they're happy for us to go through to stage two! She's sent us our par information pack through too and has told us to start filling it out! has made our day! !!!

Choccyjules Thu 03-Oct-13 18:47:51

Our LA seem to have managed to stall starting stage one again by sending us another form to sign with our acceptance letter...we already agreed to everything starting on the application form!

Having said that, DH just pointed out we have done one day's training. So actually we have NO IDEA when or if our stage one has started!!

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