lots of questions!(19 Posts)
Love reading all the messages and support on here, am a newbie and wondering if anyone can give me a bit of insight into the adoption process.
DH and I are late twenties, homeowners (with a small yard!) and been married about 6 months (together for two years before that, not living together). We both have experience of children (DH is primary school teacher, I have worked with children with special needs) and would love to adopt, particularly children with special needs or possibly a sibling group. The plan would be that DH works FT while I was a SAHM - he earns about £29k. We are talking about things alot more seriously now and beginning to think about making initial enquiries now so that the adoption would go through in the next 2 years or so - we will probably be around 30 by then (if all went smoothly!)
We don't have any children and have never tried to conceive - I've actually always wanted to adopt more than I wanted birth children. We love the idea of adopting first as we would have the necessary time and energy to give to children with additional needs, however I worry that we might have some difficulty conceiving - nothing has ever been confirmed but I have always had irregular periods, pain at random times of the month, been to the gp a lot for period etc.
I guess my questions are;
- is there anything about our situation that might make us more/less favourable for adoption? Do we earn enough money? Will the fact we have only been married/living together a short while work against us? Do we need a house with a garden for children to play in?!
- How long do SS want between adoption and possible birth children? We really want to adopt first but also don't want to leave it too late to try for birth children, especially if it might be difficult.
- What can we do/read/experience in the meantime to help us prepare for/decide about the adoption process?
Sorry if the questions are naive/story too detailed. I'm really excited about the process and would just love as much info as possible - didn't want to drip feed!
I think these concerns might be raised by some SWs
- you are younger than most adopters (as most come to adoption after BC or failure to conceive)
- you have not been married/living together very long (many require at least 2 years I think)
- you are wanting to keep options for BC open (how would you feel if adopted children had such needs that having BC needed to be discounted / what if you needed treatment for BC, impact that could have on adopted children)
- (It would be more usual to have/discount BC first before going on to adopting).
- you being willing to be SAHM plus partner being teacher (long holidays)
- your experience of children
- willingness for to consider special needs
Your income should be OK (one of the things you would be asked to do is prepare a budget sheet showing you could cope).
They may query your outside space, but could depend on other local facilities.
You would almost certainly need a bedroom per child (on same floor as yourselves)
AdoptionUK website has a wealth of information. (Be aware the Adopters section of the message board can be pretty full on, as mainly people only post in that section when they need help. Many adopters adopt and then get on fine).
Thanks Tween - I hadn't thought until today that we might have had to be living together for longer. Pretty frustrating because it doesn't mean we're any less committed than anyone else, but I do understand it's in the children's best interests.
We have a 3 bed so are ok for rooms. In terms of conceiving future BC I don't think that we would consider IVF - if that's what you were meaning? I think if we couldn't conceive then we couldn't - it is something we have talked about very hypothetically.
Thanks for your feedback - has given us things to think about!
Hi , even before we found out that we had trouble conceiving , I called some LA s to discuss adoption , they practically made it clear that we probably wouldn't be considered as we had not tried to have bc..... Be prepared to have some well thought out answers to this bit ..... For us, 2 years later and a failed ivf course , we are proud parents to a beautiful 14 month old dd who came to live with us at 7 months . Good luck xx
Hi, you would probably be asked to commit to using contraception whilst you were going through the adoption process and for some time after so that your time and energy is devoted to this rather than a possible pregnancy.
Even if you are clear that adoption is how you want to start your family, this may have the effect of meaning that you will never be able to have a birth child, so you might be asked to undergo some form of counselling to work through what this really means for you (as individuals and a couple).
But - I would suggest that you phone a couple of agencies and have a chat with them (they are mostly pretty friendly and happy to chat through their current recruitment process / cycle) and might flag up any areas that might give them concern or otherwise
I also remember being asked about the fact that if we adopted a child we couldn't then have our birth children ... We would have to say goodbye to any chances
Thanks everyone, lovely to hear your story Middle.
Families, do you mind explaining a bit more about why we might need to commit to not having BC? Do you mean because of the additional needs the AC may have?
Definitely a good idea to ring the agencies - it's still a while off yet but i'm just so keen!
Really, Middle? Was that because you'd gone down the IVF route do you think? And they were asking you to commit to not having more IVF?
No this was before we went down the ivf route , like u , I've always wanted to adopt .... Just questions to be prepared for I guess x
Ahh interesting, definitely something to think about for us then.
Hi and welcome
They may have questions about your desire to have BC after AC. There are adoptive families who do this (though often it's an unexpected accidental pregnancy rather than deliberate ttc) as well as a lot of adoptive families who adopt more than once.
Their questions will likely be based round the fact that there are some AC whose additional needs are so great that it is best they be only children. They aren't the majority of children placed for adoption by far, but when you are matched with a child, you just don't know what will happen and so no one can guaruntee you won't adopt a child who needs to be an only. Therefore I imagine SS will have questions for you about this.
They won't ask you to never have any BC - but they want you to accept the uncertainty of adoption and the small possibility of your adoptive child being your only. In other words - how important is having BC to you? If it's very important, then you may be better off having BC before AC. The chance of severe additional needs still exists with a BC of course, but the reality is, it's a smaller chance. If it's not very important and you would not be devastated if you were never able to have a BC, then that's fine.
You will however need to agree to use contraception throughout homestudy and for a while after your child is placed if conception is a possibility for you. After finalisation, it's up to you - you know your child and family and when is the right time for your child/you to consider another.
In answer to your other questions - you definitely earn enough money, SS will want to see that you don't have a lot of money owed in debts etc. But you don't need to be rich to adopt. Having a stay at home parent is a big plus point, especially as you are considering children with additional needs who are likely to benefit more from this. Being willing to consider special needs alongside experience of working with special needs children is also a big plus point for SS. As you are not intending to start the process just yet, by the time you are ready, I imagine you will have been partners for long enough.
I do agree that ringing round and having a chat to agencies could be a good thing and they may be able to tell you what concerns they might have (or not have, as the case may be).
Also, there is plenty you can read to start preparing
There are a lot of books about adoption, from personal accounts to information and advice from professionals. At this stage you'd be best just reading books which are more general or personal accounts. I like "Real parents, real children" and books which explain attachment and trauma - there are quite a few good ones. Also there are plenty of books which focus on giving you information about the process and personal stories.
There are also several forums out there aside from this one, AdoptionUK is the biggest UK site.
And a lot of blogs, some brilliant ones from people at all stages of adoption which I enjoy reading. They can give a lot of advice and information as well as encouraging stories.
First of all I am not a parent of adopted dc, but must say your comment you may not be able to conceive, was how I was and ended up with 3 dc, so it doesn't always go to show.
I think you are in a very good position to be approved as your situation sounds ideal. The fact that you want to adopt first is lovely and willing to be a sahm, I know ss like to hear this. Although, I don't think they always expect this, but the commitment to put the dc first is of paramount importance for obvious reasons.
I wish you Luck and know you will have lots of support from people on here, they are wonderful caring people
In our situation we were approved as adopters but asked to take a punt on a baby girl who had not yet been subject to a placement order , stressful but at the same time definitely worth considering concurrency if you are looking to adopt a baby x
Sorry for the really late reply - exams have been keeping me away from MN!
Thanks so much to all for your questions and advice - it has certainly given us loads to think about and discuss before the next stage, I really appreciate it. Hopefully we will be back here in the future!
cheeseandchive you sound like a lovely caring woman and I am sure you will make a great parent.
Personally, I would take the decision of whether or not to try for a birth child/ birth children very seriously for yourself and your husband and make sure you are both very much on the same page. It is sometimes the case that the process of adoption can take over and you can start to think what will social workers say/think/want (I know I have done it myself) but I would also really encourage you both to know what you want.
I must clarify I am not yet an adoptive parent, my husband and I are part way through home study and do not have an adopted child yet, we have a birth DD aged 8.
You have been married a very short time and so you probably do need to really enjoy each other and get to know each other very well before taking any massive steps, just my humble opinion.
Do you want to know if you have fertility problems before you postpone possibly trying for a birth child? If you adopt and then find you can't have a birth child might you resent your adopted child? I am sorry if this sounds horrible but I think that the agency or social services you go with may ask these type of questions and it is important you know what you both really think and feel.
There is nothing wrong with living with the uncertainty of whether or not you will have a birth child but having lived with it myself I would just encourage you not to underestimate how important this may be to you.
All very best wishes, you will make a great mum, I am sure.
Scuttles away, because I sound awfully grumpy compared to the other lovely ladies on here!
ahh thankyou, greyhound - you are not grumpy! I really appreciate all the different experiences and POV, it's so easy for me to rush in and want to adopt immediately but DH and I definitely need to think through all the implications. Thanks so much for taking the time to give some insight.
cheeseandchive thanks for taking my comments so well.
My biggest piece of advice would be to decide if you do want birth children/a birth child or are genuinely happy to adopt and possibly miss or not have the chance of a birth child. Many people do not have birth children, some because they don't want them, some because of fertility issues or through lack of a partner or because they started trying too late. If you delay having a baby by a period of time you might have a situation where you cannot have a birth child. This may be totally fine for you and for your DH and of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.
As you are in your 20s and have found your partner, you do have time, if you wish (assuming all things are equal) to pursue adoption and a birth child, but people do normally seem to do it the other way round, birth child first.
If you wait before trying for the birth child you may find that option is not open to you.
My friend had pain during periods and was diagnosed with endometriosis and would have trouble conceiving. She conceived two children, three years apart, with no problems. I had no pain and was not told of a specific problem, but did have one. So really you can't tell from pain or erratic periods for sure (as far as I am aware) exactly what will happen. A doctor may be able to help and if you experience pain in periods it might be worth asking about this anyway for the sake of alleviating pain. I note you have been to the GP and obviously not got an answer that cures the pain. I do hope you will find an answer.
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