Nearly ready to get started but we have several questions-can you help?(19 Posts)
Background information first:
I am infertile (unexplained infertility). Last year we had several rounds of fertility treatment (clomid) with the last one in January.in Febuary we decided to stop. We have always agreed that we don't want ivf, and before we even realised we had fertility issues we'd always talked about adoption (I always had a feeling about it)
At the moment I am on anti depressants and having counselling to help me to process my feelings.
So we are thinking about starting looking into the adoption process,all being well, probably about September/October as it will be well after 6months of my last treatment and I will hopefully be off my tablets by then. (Also hoping to get dh to try some counselling too) but we are very confused about things (I say us, it's me!)
i know that you can get brochures with the information from local authorities, but is that a "first step"? Do they class that as official contact? Or will they just see it as almost sending out a prospectus? (Bad wording I know, but do you understand what I mean?)
We know we need to get intouch with a la or social services but which area? Do you not go for the one you live in but neighbouring ones? Do they have to be neighbouring? Or nearby? Or anywhere?
Thanks in advance for your help. We both look forward to hearing your responses.
R and D
Hi R and D, I'm sorry you've been having such a rough time and hope the counselling and medication is helping you move through this stage.
In answer to your questions:
- in clarifying whether asking for information is the 'first step', is your concern here that you will be seen as having made a commitment to a particular agency? If so, don't worry, it is expected and recommended that you should contact a number of agencies before choosing which one to go with. They will usually chat to you on the phone then send you information. They may tell you they are not interested straight away - this will NOT be an indictment of you, but because they know the children they have coming up and what kind of adopters they are looking for, and it doesn't mean you won't be taken on by another agency. (I was rejected - rather rudely - by the first agency I rang, but got taken on by a fantastic agency that was really enthusiastic about us.)
- You can in theory go to any agency, which could be a local authority/social services or a voluntary agency. In practice, social workers will not want to spend hours driving to you during home study, so you should probably consider all agencies within an hour's travelling time. In London, that gives you a lot of choice - in the Yorkshire Dales, quite a lot less. Be aware that some local authorities have a policy of not placing within their own area, so they will only assess people from outside the area.
There is a new govt website set up to answer all these questions - I think it's called First4Adoption. There's also adoptionuk.com. But do keep asking questions here because MN adopters are very friendly and helpful. And best of luck in your journey. Adoption has been fantastic for my family; my adopted daughter is the light of my life, and I wish you similar joy.
Thank you so much for answering our questions. It feels a very big step to be asking them.
We wanted to know about asking la's etc for several reasons. If we ask now, but then didnt want to do anything until October, would it be harmful to us/look bad on us? If we speak to them on the phone what kind of questions will they ask? Do we need to know what type of child we are thinking of so that we can answer their questions?
That's brilliant about the distance, thank you. We live close to Birmingham so have lots around us, Wolverhampton, Walsall etc.
We will also have a look at the government website, thank you. I think it's one that my mom told us about ( she's trying so hard to be involved and supportive!)
If we were to say siblings would we have to have a room available for each? Even if they were the same sex?
Another silly question. As a white couple would this rule us out of adopting mixed race children? In the past I've heard some stories about children with incredibly diverse heritage not being matched with adoptive families (I have a horrible feeling I am spouting something from the daily fail here) but I didn't know if this was true/had been altered. Or would it be each child would be taken on an individual Basis and it would be judged what was best?
Sorry for all the questions. We are so eager for information!
R and D
Hi Inthebeginning good luck with your journey. We are doing the home study bit at the moment.
Are especially interested in adopting mixed heritage children?
My understanding is that now (in our area and so probably in others) the aim is to find a suitable match for children in terms of ethnicity but if that is not possible then to match the children to a family/couple/person who will be able to meet their needs.
We went along to our local authority adoption evening as a first step after the initial call. They run them about once every three or four months so it might be a good thing asking when the next couple are so you can be prepared to go along to one that suits you, our area had some in day and some in evening but same thing really.
We were asked quite early on about the kind of child we wanted as we have a birth child we had thought about it a bit but we also said we were not sure yet so were just looking into it. I think the reason they ask is because they want to know if they have or might have children in their care who match the kind of child you are describing. The open evening is really about them telling you the sort of children they have in their care so it is a good place to start.
Good luck, let us know how you get on.
Sorry that should say ...
Are you especially interested in adopting mixed heritage children?
Thank you for responding, I have read some of your posts whilst I have been lurking on here!
I think I was trying to be so careful not to be offensive that I tied myself in knots! What I was trying to ask was that if an inner city la had lots of mixed heritage children would we as a white couple not be allowed to adopt them? Just soi could work out if it would be worth us going to that la or if they would turn us down.
So if we went to the open evening, and then decided not to start the process for another few months, that would be ok wouldn't it?
We think we are going to start getting intouch with them this week, just so that we can be prepared. Starting to feel a bit excited about it!
Hi all, first time poster, long time lurker <waves>
... sorry to hijack your thread Inthebeginning but it sounds like we are at a similar stage in putting out feelers to begin more formal enquiries later in the year, and rather than start a separate thread I have a question that may be relevant.
What is the difference between going down the VA versus LA route? Different support? Children? Timescale?
Thanks in advance!
Hiya punky we can be absolute beginners together!
Good question, I remember reading something that made me uncomfortable with the idea of va's but I can't remember what it was!
Hi and welcome to both of you
Adopting mixed race children completely depends on the attitude of the LA, the particular children waiting and your own skills/attitude I think. I know some white adopters have indeed adopted mixed race children, so some LA's are happy for it to happen with the right match. However others are not so keen. You would have to check and guage the reaction of each LA you spoke with. Of course it depends which LA you choose as some hae many more mixed race children than others. Bear in mind though that you don't have to adopt a child from the LA you go with. If in say 3 months you can't fnd a suitable child in your assessing LA, you can adopt a child from any other council, so even if all the LA's say you can only adopt white children, and they happen to have few of them, it doesn't mean you would never find a child, you just look further afield.
If you are interested in adopting mixed race children and the LA are okay with this, expect them to question you carefully...they need to see you are prepared and educated about what it means to be a transracial family.
Siblings bedrooms depends on the LA, but generally different sex siblings always need a room each. With same sex siblings, most places would prefer you had a spare room, even if they are starting out sharing their room. Siblings can suddenly start wanting their own space after all, or start fighting etc...there might be a number of reasons they might need to stop sharing and if you have another room you don't have to move house to accomodate this. Some LA's will always want a room each for all siblings.
LA's and VA's...all children are taken into care by LA's. If you go with an LA, they will always try and match you with one of their 'own' children first (this is called an 'in-house' match) before they will let you look elsewhere, to other LA's, exchange days or waiting child magazines. Mant LA's will as I said lock you in for the first 3 months after approval and only consider their own children. However as VA's (which are independent/private) do not have children in their care, with a VA you can look to all LA's immediately for a match, immediately go to exchange days, read the waiting child magazines and go on the adoption register etc. Because LA's will always try and match their children with in house adopters first, they will only look to VA's after looking through all their in house adopters, unless their are special circumstances such as the child needing a home a very long way from their birth family.
A few years ago, when there were fewer young children waiting adoption, VA's tended to specialise much more in placing siblings, children with special needs and older children, because they are all hard to place and the LA's frequently need to look elsewhere than their own adopters to match the child. However recently, as there are many more young children coming through the system, I have seen adoptive parents with VA's be matched with single babies/toddlers who do not have moderate/severe special needs. There are a few VA's who specialise in hard to place children only, but many VA's will now accept adopters who want younger healthier children. Still, if you are looking for a young, relatively healthy child, I recommend you start with LA's, although talk to the VA's as well, you need to go with the agency that seem the best, and if that is a VA then so be it.
VA's are generally more well regarded when it comes to post adoption support, although as always there are exceptions to this and some LA's are very good with PAS (some are dire though, talk to adoptive parents about it). Basically because VA's tend to have more money available.
I recommend you talk to every single LA and VA near you and you can attend several information evenings...they need to be enthusiastic about you, seem efficient, anser all your questions etc etc.
Best of luck to you!
Lilka thank you so much. That is a brilliant amount of information.
Me and dh are going to have a look this week at different ones we want to get brochures from.
It's all beginning to feel a bit real and positive!
Just to add, in terms of timing and starting the process, I'd recommend making contact with a few potential agencies sooner rather than later to talk to them about their current and planned recruiting plans. Some agencies only do two preparation courses a year, for example, so even if the next one isn't for a while you would want to get on their radar. And you ought to go to an info evening when you can to start hearing some hard facts about adoption and some detail of the process so that you can decide if you want to proceed.
Do keep coming back here to ask more questions, though
That's brilliant advice thank you families
We too came to adoption via infertility.
About 6 months after our final treatment we contacted our local LA and went to an info session. To be honest we weren't that keen on them and it just didn't feel 'right'.
We waited another year and then contcted a different LA and went to their info session and then proceeded with them.
A small compact LA may want to place outside its area so as not to be too close to BPs. A large spread out LA can more easily avoid this. You don't want to be too far away as the SWs won't want to spend all the time travelling to see you!
One thing regarding mixed race. You will be expected to be able to embrace child's ethnicity. This could mean having friends of same race/culture, living in an appropriate area etc.
After the extra year's wait I was so much more emotionally ready to start the adoption process. I had kind of grieved for the birth child I wouldn't have. e.g. I was able to go to christenings without being upset. You do need to have processed all of that before going forward with adoption as that is itself emotionally draining and is a long haul.
(Eventually matched with sisters aged 2 and 8).
I see your point about the small and large La's.
I'm definatly getting there with my grieving. Counselling is helping me and I'm on the road but won't be jumping in until we are both ready.
Inthebeginning how's it going?
Hi Italian, thanks for asking. We had a slight detour this wk as I had a job interviee (didnt get it-boo) so next week we are going to get intouch with some la's which we are both quite excited about. We've made big steps these past few weeks, spending time with our neices again and actively thinking about what ages we would be happy with etc so It's going well.
How about you Italian? where abouts are you now with it all and how have you found the process so far?
The process has been overall quite good and no real problems. We hope to go to panel in August.
If you want to touch base with other newbies we have a newbie thread. If you ever want to chat feel free to PM me.
Thanks greyhound for being so lovely. I'll hop on over to the thread now.
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