Can this stop us from adopting?

(9 Posts)
Sweetbanana Thu 17-Oct-13 15:07:48

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to this site,but have read some of the threads relating to adoption. I figured this would be the best place to ask my question - first off some back story - Me and my hubby have been together for nearly 11 years, we got married last year. Nine years ago i suffered really badly with panic attacks which developed into agoraphobia. I was given anti-depressants which i said i didn't need, so was then offered 6 weeks of CBT (which helped so much) I now have a part time job and my hubby works full time. We are wanting to start the adoption process as of Jan next year.

My question is would my past mental health condition stop us from adopting?

And because of how i was my social circle is not that big - for references - will this also jeopardise our chances of being approved?

thank you for reading and any advice which is given to me
SB XX

Lilka Thu 17-Oct-13 16:11:06

Hi and welcome smile

No your past mental health condition shouldn't stop you from adopting. A lot of adoptive parents have had prior mental health issues, it's very common. However social services will want to discuss it with you, what happened, what you did, what help you got, how you feel now etc. As long as you are relatively comfortable discussing it, there shouldn't be any issues. SS are very big on adoptive parents being able to seek help for their problems and not bottle things up, so its a positive that you sought help, and accepted therapy - that's a quality they're looking for in prospective parents IME.

With your social circle, the main issues is support, because you need a support network around you, and demostrate you know enough people who can provide both emotional and practical support for you - could be family, friends, church, groups you go to etc. For references, it depends upon the agency policy, as different agencies have different requirements. Most seem to want about 3-5 references, but some more, and they will specify who they want as referrees, so if you can go to an open evening and ask your question there, you will get a better answer as to what that particular agency wants from it's adopters. You may only need say 2 willing friends as references, that's what I had - 2 close friends, 1 family. Although that was years ago, maybe agencies tend to want more than 3 references now?

Lilka Thu 17-Oct-13 16:13:17

Actually no, I needed an employer reference on top of the 3 personal references, so technically 4 altogether

Sweetbanana Thu 17-Oct-13 16:43:04

Thank you for your reply lilka, you really have put my mind at rest smile I have no problems talking about my past mental health problem, years ago i had a huge group of friends but because of everything that happened i stopped contact with them (last year, with the help of fb ive been able to contact most of them, but having not seen them or spoke to them in years i think it would be a bit cheeky to ask them for a reference)

That being said i do have 2 close friends -one ive known for 15 years and another since moving to Cheshire (Ive only known her for a year though)

My dh also has a huge family, so we know we can count on them for emotional and practical support

I apologise for the thread title, i noticed it was the same as another forum members thread after i posted (not sure how to change it?)

hi sweetbanana
just to reassure you further. We are shortly going into stage two and my anxiety has been no issue whatsoever. I was on ad's for 7 months (was still on them at the beginning of stage 1) and completed cbt too. From what our s. w told us a huge amount of adopters are/have been on them.
hth and huge good luck to you x

MyFeetAreCold Thu 17-Oct-13 21:56:13

We have very few friends in the town we're in now (and families are elsewhere) but our SW was mostly interested to know if there was someone I could hand a screaming child to in an emergency or if I was at end of my tether. And there was.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. (That said, we were advised to try and strengthen our local support network (not to get approved, just for life!), so if you're up to it/for it, this might be the time to join some groups/clubs/whatever...)

Sweetbanana hi, just wanted to say that I had anxiety (panic attacks) some time ago (about 14 years ago). I didn't have any medication but had CBT and it worked brilliantly! I am a huge fan of CBT as a result!

We chatted about it in our hoe study and it was not a big issue. I thin Lilka has covered most of your questions brilliantly.

We were asked for 6 referees but that seems to be rare, we could have two family members so we chose a dad and a sister. The other 4 are people who either know me or know us both but mostly me and one who knows me and DH equally.

I would say just choose your referees carefully and try not to worry. Your DH has probably got people in your life who he knows and you may have have known a while and so don't feel it has to be you who supplies all the referees.

In terms of building up your social cirlce it is vital to have friends who you can trust and who you can talk to who also have kids. because we have a birth daughter I know a lot of people who have chidlren aged 0-10 (DD is 9). I am not sure if you will need to (or will want to) get experience of children by volunteering with local organisations but if you are working part time you may find you can volunteer at local toddler groups, Rainbows, Beevers etc. This could be a way to meet local people who already have kids and start to build your local network. You may not yet know the age of the child you will adopt but to be honest that is not such a big deal as many people I know have more than one child so whatever age your child is at when you adopt you may find people with kids that age or older child so they will know what that stage is like.

home study not hoe study!!!

Sweetbanana Fri 25-Oct-13 11:14:34

I apologise for the delay in my reply. Thank you so much for the advice and experience you have offered me smile it's made starting our adoption journey a little less nerve wracking smile

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