Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

Thinking about adoption

(8 Posts)
Poppyred85 Tue 06-Sep-16 10:15:39

Hi. Dh and I have one DS who is 3.5 and would very much like another. Unfortunately we're not sure if that will be possible/practical for us. I had awful hyperemesis gravidarum with ds, spent a lot of time in hospital and was off sick for most of my pregnancy so we're just not sure how we could do that again along with having ds to care for. I am wondering whether adoption would be an option but don't know much about it. What's involved? How easy is it to adopt a baby vs an older child? How common is it for adopted children to have behavioural/attachment problems? Do you need to have one sahp or is it ok for adoptive children to go to nursery/family members for child care. I currently work part time (about 35h a week) as a GP and DH is self employed and works long hours. Any experiences/advice would be appreciated. As I say this is really only in a very early thought stage. Thanks.

greenandblackssurvivalkit Tue 06-Sep-16 12:56:15

Easy? Not at all.

Think about the patients you see who have had their kids removed. It's their children that are in the care system. Think about the kids at safeguarding meetings that are not removed. The kids needing adoption have been in worse situations, to require removal. Not all adopted children need a sahp, no, but you will be closely questioned on your work pattern. Could you or DH reduce your hours if needed?

All adopted children will have trauma, and uncertainty. The younger the child, the greater the uncertainty.

Consider the cases discussed at safeguarding training.

I would read through this board thoroughly, and next time you see a patient who has had children removed, think "could I parent your child?"

Adoption agencies like a big gap between children.

Rainatnight Tue 06-Sep-16 14:05:45

These are all the right kinds of questions to be asking if you're just starting to think about it. And the biggest question is what could you personally as a family deal with?

There are certainly more older children and sibling groups available for adoption. Thought that's not to say there are no babies.

Older children will have been exposed to neglect and abuse for a longer time though there is greater uncertainty with babies, as PP has said.

You don't have to be SAHP but you need to think very carefully about how you'll organise your working like to meet the needs of a child who will more than likely have additional needs.

Coping with nursery seems to be down to the individual child.

A wise person sadly no longer on these boards used to say about issues that she thought around one third of adoptive children had serious issues, one third had moderate issues that needed some extra help but they broadly led a 'normal' family life and one third didn't have anything you'd particularly notice. But you need to be prepared and think about what you can manage.

Definitely worth going to the information evenings of a couple of local authorities and voluntary agencies to find out more.

I should stress that I'm only a prospective adopter, going to approve panel next week. I'm sure people with more experience will be along smile

matimeo Tue 06-Sep-16 15:34:13

Hi Poppyred,

I'd like to start by saying that adoption is a wonderful, positive experience (for most) and a great thing to do for a child, if you can. Don't let the potential pitfalls put you off.

You would need to think carefully about your first child, to make sure consider the impact on him. Given his age you would probably be wanting to adopt as young as possible, the gap will be a good size by the time you are through the process for you to accept 0-2 years old. You want your son to be a least 2-3 years older.

This is the age range most in demand. You might wait many months or even a year or two for a child with no additional needs of this age. Our two were each in this category and both matched shortly after approval, but matching is a complete lottery, we were lucky.

The proportions given by Rainatnight are right from the current research (about one third with little additional need) and obviously more needs are harder to place. You will be given support to decide what you think you can handle, but there is never complete certainty about the development of any baby under 2, adopted or not.

The actual process is about 6 months long (can be more in some circs) and involves lots of forms, training and a SW being fairly nosey about your lives. This gets you to a panel which decides you are suitable to adopt, followed by the process of matching with a child. It's supportive and it's about making sure you know what to expect and that you are a good choice as adoptive parents.

It can be an emotional rollercoaster, but I'm not sure it's harder than what you went through already- just different. I think being a parent is the hard bit really.

Good luck.

Clockworklemon Tue 06-Sep-16 18:07:13

I know that your get lots of positive stories and encouragement, which is great. There are many adoption success stories.

Having adopted 18 months ago and suffered Post Adoption Depression (more common than I realised when I set out on this journey) and only just starting to really bond with my adopted daughter (already had a birth child aged 5 when adopted) I recently did some soul searching and realised the following:

I had underestimated how hard it would be. We adopted having had 2 unsuccessful and traumatic rounds of IVF and didn't want to put ourselves through that again. I didn't "care" whether a child was biologically related to me or not and considered myself to be very maternal. I had no doubts whatsoever that I would love this child the same as my biological child and bond instantly.

I actually found it extremely difficult to bond with a baby who wouldn't be held, cuddled or comforted due to the trauma of losing her birth mother then foster family. It's been a hellish 18 months where I have beaten myself up every day for not being a good enough mother and mostly not liking my child (let alone the adoption process which took a year) and I realised in hindsight that adoption was far harder than going through another round or two of IVF.

I thought that whether we did IVF or adopted, that we would achieve the same end result. This has not happened YET.. And we now have the added complication of realising that our "perfect" 9 month old baby who went into foster care as a new born in fact almost certainly has Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and certainly Attachment Issues. We have just been awarded funding for Theraplay from the adoption support fund.

I wasn't naive, I did loads of research, but it's been the hardest 2.5 years of my life. I am starting to love her and don't doubt that I will one day love her the same as my biological child, but there are many uncertainties around her future. Obviously there are no guarantees for a birth child, but Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is unlikely to be an issue. We had been assured that birth mother didn't drink and "always stayed healthy during pregnancy", we now know this not to be true.

Our LA insist that one parent takes 1 year leave post placement, and looks for 4 years minimum age difference between your birth child and adoptive child (adoptive child has to be younger) but that may differ depending on authority.

Do I love her now? Yes. Would I change her? No. Would I go back and do it all again, knowing what I know now? Perhaps, but until a couple of months ago I would have given anything to undo the choice we had made to adopt.
I really hope that if you asked me again in a year I would fiercely say it's the best thing we ever did.

Sorry for the ramble but I hope that it gives you some insight into how it can be.

Good luck with your journey whichever path you decide to take

pleasemothermay1 Tue 06-Sep-16 21:48:39

We adopted twice bit he children who were under 1 however

We are a dule heritage family so ther are less family's and more children hence we got our pick of the bunch so to speak

If your white and looking for a white healthy child then you would have to be very very lucky to get a baby

The age gap for us is 16 month old and 3.5 year old

It's very hard I have had very dark days but live my girls and that's from someone who fostered for 5 years before hand

Italiangreyhound Tue 06-Sep-16 22:42:56

poppyred I adopted with a birth dd aged 9, now 11. Our son was 3 when he came, he is adoprable but can be hard work.

My best suggestion is to consider all your options:

Go to an open evening at a local county council adoption services offices, or voluntary agency.
Could you consider a surrogate if you have eggs but can't risk a pregnancy?
How do you feel about your ds being a single child?

Good luck and ask any questions you would like.

tldr Wed 07-Sep-16 16:21:31

I know loads of people who adopted babies. It's not impossible, it's just rarer (and, yes, the uncertainty is greater).

There are loads of threads here about adopting with a birth child - look for some of them.

And if you use the desktop site I think there are some links at the top of the page to some useful orgs/info.

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