House Requirements?(13 Posts)
I have a newbie question I'm hoping someone might be able to help with.
DH and I are in the early stages of looking at adoption (we have received our 'information pack' from the local adoption agency). We have no DCs.
An acquaintance of ours was recently rejected by an adoption panel and they are understandably devastated. We're all very surprised, but not knowing why they might have been turned down I'm now very anxious about whether we'd be considered suitable and potential pitfalls we can start working on at an early stage.
One thing that's troubling me is our house. We have a 3 bed Victorian terrace, very much the traditional style with two downstairs rooms and three upstairs.
Because I work from home the large front bedroom is my office. Then there is our bedroom, and off our bedroom (this is the crucial bit!) down two steps there is a third little bedroom. At present there is no door but that can be dealt with (we are in a long-term private tenancy).
When we first moved here we felt this would be perfect for a baby up until 3 or 4 by which time we would have hoped to have moved to a bigger house - or, failing that, I'd give up my office and move into the little room (which is by no means a box room but is pretty small).
I've seen lots and lots of families with this arrangement but I know social workers and adoption panels are understandably very stringent and exacting with their standards on accommodation. Would they consider this to be not good enough for a child? We'd be looking to adopt under the age of 2.
Very grateful for any views/experience/advice.
So basically a small child size bedroom which is reached only via your room?
Actually, sounds ideal to me in the early years! It's quite rare for babies and toddlers in foster care to sleep alone (often share with other kids, or under 2s often in a cot in parents room). Both of ours found sleeping alone a new and scary experience especially when they first came home. Even now they spend more time in our bedroom than theirs (it feels like!)
So I'd say a room which is technically separate but actually very close to you for reassurance and company would be great. You'll need a door as you may occasionally want some private moments might be an idea to get it fitted before the SWs come to do home study so it looks like a proper bedroom.
As they get older if you haven't moved you might want to think about the moving the study option as a big 7 year old charging through your room every time he's mislaid his vital Lego thingy may not be quite the same!
I am so sorry to hear about your friends situation. If you get so far as panel there is usually the expectation that you will be approved, and they should be raising any concerns through the process. There must have been some unusually difficult issues for that to happen.
Lots of helpful posters on this board who will be happy to reassure as you go through the process! Good luck.
We are approved as adopters but have not yet had a child placed. I am sure the social workers will be able to advise about the house and I agree I would fix on a door before they visit.
It is very sad when someone you know does not get through this process. I know two couples who did not get as far as panel. One did not have enough experiences of children (I think that is what was said) the other did not want to modify their house/garden to accommodate a child (I never really got to the bottom of what was wrong with it).
Anyway, try not to worry too much, your social worker will help you with all this.
In the two cases I mentioned both did not get as far as panel, I think getting to panel and being turned down is rare so try not to worry.
Couldn't you just make the small bedroom off your room into an office ?
Then you would have a proper second bedroom
As it stands at the moment, with a door added, would be good for a young child. As the child gets older, and if you don't move house, you could possibly move your office to the small room and let a child have the bigger room.
This, on it's own is not a negative to adopting. Also, remember people do not always tell you the truth why they are turned down to adopt.
If a SW feels ready to take a couple to panel, they are pretty certain that they will be approved.
Thank you very much indeed for all this. It's something that's been brewing at the back of DH's mind for a long time and has only lately been something I'm really happy to think about, so it's all very new.
Kristina on the face of it, that would make sense - but the room that's currently my office is absolutely vast (I mean: a teenager would think they had a good-sized room!), very very cold, and quite distant from our bedroom. So the little room is kind of better for a baby/toddler - cosier and nearer to us.
Useful to know it would be good to get a door on ASAP. The other thing that troubles me a bit is that it's two very steep steps down to the room - but I think maybe I'm finding things to worry about!
One of the odd things to get your head round with adopting is that all kinds of things that no-one would think twice about if you had birth DCs suddenly become real bones of contention!
Really grateful for all your help.
Could you change the steps to a ramp?
As part of the home study process they will do a health and safety assessment of your home. You can ask advice before that, see what they think you should do.
It's really rare for people to get rejected at panel - I can see that it might have shaken you up. But your little room is unlikely to be a deal-breaker, I think
Sorry, I didn't mean you should do that now. Just that you could do it later, when a child was older, if it was an issue.
I would just say that, depending on the age of the child, I would put a stairgate outside the door of the small bedroom rather than put a ramp up.
Re the steps, if teeny tiny they will be in a cot so no problem. If at wobbly toddler stage as pp said you can put a stairgate across the door so they can't go in and out without supervision, put up a handrail or teach them to go down them on their bum.
Between two and three they will have developed so many other inventive ways to terrify you the prospect of a tumble down a couple of steps onto carpet really won't matter too much
I agreed with just about everything thats been said - small room off yours shuld be fine depending on what age you're looking to be approved for with a plan to turn it into the offfice at a later date.
As Devora said is is vanishingly rare to be turned down at panel without having an inkling that there is a problem. It would be a pretty poor social worker that gets you to panel without spotting a problem big enough to get you refused unless you say something monumentally stupid at the panel meeting.
And it snot really that you have to think about things that you wouldn;t if you had a birth child, its just that you have to prove your solution to someone else and also the time scales are . SOmetimes you don;t have the time to work out gradually what the problems and solutions are... I went from having a non crawling babe in arms (due to institutional and prem delays) to having a running toddler in the space of about 3 months!
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