Really want to adopt but very scared as well.(10 Posts)
Have namechanged for this because I am so confused and also ashamed to be feeling like this. DH and I want to adopt. We'e got an initial meeting with a SW in a week. We already have DC and want to complete our family with an adopted child.
I've spent lots time on here and on the much more scary Adoption Uk boards and it has just left me really confused.
We have the capacity physically, emotionally and financially to have another child. We know that adopting a child won't be the same as having a BC and that there will difficult times. We want to be able to make a positive difference in the life of a child who might not have another chance. We know that adoption comes with many more uncertainties than having a BC. We're not scared of making all of our lives more challenging in the hope that we might all be better people for it.
BUT We have a lovely life, we're a happy family. I am terrified that adopting a child will completely shatter all of this and affect our BC for ever.
There seem to be so many more unhappy stories than positive ones...It seems almost inevitable that an AC comes and will develop with many problems which will have a deep impact on the whole family.
I don't know what I am expecting from this thread except that I have seen the support that this board offers and I know that there are some very experienced people from all sides of adoption who might be able to reassure me, or not.
It's ok to feel confused and ambivalent, so please don't be ashamed. It's a big step, it's only natural to be scared as you take the first steps on the journey.
I'd be more worried if you weren't worried, TBH
Don't forget many people have the same concerns when having DC no2 even if not an AC. Any child added into a family changes the family - you all grow organically with it. We were 3. Now we are 4. I know several who have gone from no DC to 2 AC ..
I had a few moments like this. We had a super life, lovely little unit with our dog, did whatever we liked when we liked, yet we had a yearning for a child. But we just read horror stories (didn't know of the lovely MN board back then). One of my biggest fears was of how we would cope.
And now? There is a thread on here about the positive stories of adoption. I'm on there. Life isn't dull but we certainly haven't been presented with any of the difficulties that we were told would be likely. We haven't a BC to consider of course, but the only impact on us has been positive and DD has made a life so much better
apart from the lack of lie ins
I think being scared is okay actually. Better to be prepared than to think it is going to be all rosy.
Thank you all for your replies.
I'm sure you're all right and 'the fear' is probably a good thing and I guess at least if we're asking these questions of ourselves the we'll be prepared when others, especially SWs, ask us.
I think we need to start the process and along the way our motivations will be questioned and we'll have the time to reflect on whether it's the right thing for us all. If it was just the DH and I then there's no question that we'd go ahead.
It's natural to be worried. I'm adopted and I think my (adopted) siblings are fairly happy- but it impacted my family a lot and I don't doubt it was tough for them for the first year at the very least. And I think I turned out okay It's a big step and imo I think you SHOULD be questioning yourself and evaluating your decisions and that going into it without many worries would mean you weren't as set on doing the right thing for your family, if you adopt then you'll probably be a bit more prepared than someone who thinks it will be a breeze!
I think it's all the stories of children who can't attach because of their traumatic early experiences and the frankly terrifying descriptions of the behaviour that they exhibit, especially as teenagers. And the stories of SWs who don't tell you or don't know the history of the children. And the stories of the lack of post-adoption support when things do get tough.
Stories like yours theSarcasticFringehead are exactly what spurs me on. As a family, we're not afraid of some hard work and difficult times but I can't compromise my DCs future wellbeing.
We don't have BC.
You can't eliminate all risk. Just as with a second BC you don't know whether they will be born with a physical disability, or severe autism or whatever.
But you can be 'defensive'.
- Have a good size age gap between your youngest and the AC
- Be realistic as to known physical or emotional issues you can handle
- Consider the background of the child carefully and likely impact
I think people who adopt after BC, or who adopt twice are very brave - (we got round it by adopting siblings).
You are right to be scared of the impact of a child with serious attachment disorder.
And you are correct, very few agencies offer adequate post placement support , let alone good.
You need to know that you are pretty much on your own once the children are placed. If you need any extra help from education, social services, the NHS, you will have to fight really hard for it. As do nearly all parents with SN kids. Especially if these needs are invisible .
I'm sorry, I don't mean to scare you. But I'm not going to tell you that your fears are groundless , that wouldn't be honest .
I agree with Sanders and Kristina
Adoption is a big leap into the unknown, and it's very normal to be scared. Especially because unlike when you have a birth child, when you adopt, right from day 1 you are made to consider the difficulties you or your new adopted child may face
Most adoptive children I know have some additional or special needs, be they emotional, attachment (attachment issues are common, but it's a spectrum and many children with attachment issues are able to form attachments and love their parents), behavioural, developmental, learning, social etc. I think it's wise to prepare for issues, and know a bit about them, because then you won't be taken by surprise if your child does have some of these issues. BUT the majority of families I know are also doing very well and are mostly happy families who do not regret their decision. A child with AN/SN does not mean you are going to regret adopting, or that you will be miserable all the time. If you are comfortable with the idea of parenting a bit differently if necessary, and prepared to go through some difficult periods then I think you are going in with a good mindset Theere are no guaruntees with parenting, any kind of parenting, of course, but again I would say that the vast majority of the families I know do not regret adopting, and absolutely cherish their children unconditionally.
With a child already, of course you will be thinking of their needs, and this will affect what kind of child you would feel able to adopt. I chose to adopt 2 children with very significant needs - but if I were to adopt again right now, I wouldn't choose a child with that level of known needs, because it wouldn't be right for my 9 year old son. Of course, again there are no guaruntees, and you have to accept that your son may struggle at points - getting a new sibling can be emotionally tough and he might find it difficult even if he doesn't think he will.
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