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New to adoption process

(6 Posts)
englishspanish Wed 02-Sep-15 23:23:34

Hello, we're new around these forums so hope we've come to the right place to ask some questions smile We're an English Spanish couple (he English and she Spanish) and we are considering adopting a child in England. We are both aged early to mid 40s. We have some concerns about our personal circumstances that we'd like your thoughts on before we formally start the ball rolling with our local adoption agency / council. Firstly, although we are a committed couple and have been together five years, for work / financial reasons she lives in Spain the vast majority of the time and he in England. Obviously if we are able to adopt, this would change...but in the meantime this is our situation. Will the fact that we are in two countries be a major stumbling block initially or is the adoption agency likely to understand our current situation and accept that we will obviously change our living arrangements if we are able to adopt? Secondly, having spoken to a couple we know who have already adopted, they have told us to expect at least 20 home visits from a social worker (on average one a week). This could prove difficult for us where, at the moment, our lives are split between two countries. Does anyone else have experience of how many and how often the home visits are as 20 seems extreme? Thirdly, what are the main areas of our lives that the adoption agency are going to be most interested in researching and knowing about? For example, he has three children from a previous relationship and has had a vasectomy, etc. I must stress that we are not in anyway trying to cheat the system and we both appreciate that the rules and procedures are in place to protect children. We are however trying to gather as much information to help prepare us for what we are sure will be a long and emotionally tough process. Thanks for reading and any thoughts would be very much appreciated. x

Kr1stina Thu 03-Sep-15 13:23:34

Hi and welcome . I think there are several things you will need to think about.

You can only adopt in the county in which you are ordinarily resident .So if your partner lives in Spain, she can't be approved to adopt in the UK. You need to both be resident in the same country .

Second - in the Uk, a couple need to live together to be assessed as a couple, although they don't need to be married or in a civil partnership . Each agency will have rules about how long they would want you to be cohabiting before they would asses you , but I expect it will be around two years .

The adoption agency needs to assess your living situation now, not what it might be someone time in the future .

As you will appreciate , they want to place children in stable homes , and a newly cohabiting couple will have many issues to address in their own relationship without taking on the additional complexities of a child with special needs .

With regards to the other things you mention , having children from a previous relationship and having had a vasectomy are not barriers, nor are your ages. And having knowledge and experience of different languages and cultures is often an advantage .

englishspanish Thu 03-Sep-15 13:36:04

Hi Kr1stina, thanks for taking the time to message. Can I ask if you have been through the process of adopting a child yourself? Is there any other more general advice you can offer about the process of adopting? Thanks.

Kr1stina Thu 03-Sep-15 16:11:33

Why don't you read through the threads here ? There's lots of good advice and background information

If you are still seriously considering adoption , you might like to write or email a number of agencies near you and ask if they will take applications from couples who are in your situation?

excitedmtb Thu 03-Sep-15 16:36:23

Hi, I would second what Kr1stina said above. You would both need to be resident and living together. Unsure of whether you could be assessed as a single person? but not sure how an agency would view that.

With regards to the assessment, we had 8 assessment sessions at home over a number of weeks. Each session was up to 2 hours long. 20 sounds extreme but I guess it depends what is covered and for how long. Each agency will be different. The SW want to get a feel for how you are as a couple and want to get to know you a little. This will help when it comes to panel and matching etc..

With regards to the length of the process, again this varies. Our process was very quick. Approx 9 months from attending an adoption course to being matched and placed with our child. The process to approval seems to be relatively quick these days but the matching part of the process seems to be taking longer and longer.

Kr1stina Thu 03-Sep-15 16:51:23

As well as the assessment meetings at home, you will be required to go to group meetings and training . And attend panel and a medical . So could easily be at least 15 meetings in total .

The training and group meetings will be on set days and you must attend . The dates of home visits can be flexible, but will probably be more dictated by the SW workload than your own commitments. Of course they will try to fit around work schedules etc if they can.

But remember you are trying to convince them that you have the time and space in your lives NOW to care for a child. Not just any child , but a very needy and troubled child who will take for more time and effort than a baby you have just given birth to .

I'm afraid the agency will take the view that if you can't make 15 half days to attend meetings then you probably won't have the time over the next 15 or 20 years to bring up a child. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh , but that's the reality.

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