Mixed Asian/White Adoption

(37 Posts)
Peona Sun 27-Jan-08 16:41:18

Hi, does anyone know which boroughs are good for mixed Asian/white adoptions? We live in Lewisham (London) and were told they never have any children who would match us and we have tried Newham, Tower Hamlets, Ealing and Hounslow and have had no luck. We have considered adopting from abroad but have been put off by the amount of time it takes and the cost. We're in our 40s, so feel time is running out, and we've spent about £20K on IVF already!

LadyG Sun 27-Jan-08 20:08:41

We have some friends of friends who adopted a mixed Bengali /white British little boy from Birmingham-they are both in London but she has family up there.

Kewcumber Sun 27-Jan-08 22:44:27

if you're not having much luck with indiviual councils why not contact someone like Coram. Would you not consider an Asian child, it might give you more choices? I think beemail is the expert, she may be able to help... or do I mean Bran???! shock Blimey my brain is softening

colditz Sun 27-Jan-08 22:48:11

Try Leicester, as Leicester has a very large Asian community.

bran Sun 27-Jan-08 23:59:42

Are you an unusual Asian/white mix? We are a mixed couple, dh is Indian Malaysian and I am white Irish and we adopted ds from Tower Hamlets. We did have quite a long wait for him though as most of the asians in this borough are Bangladeshi and Muslim and neither of us are Muslim. We got ds because the ethnicity of his birth father is unknown, but he looks like a mix of asian/white.

We are about to be approved as adopters a second time and I'm not sure what sort of wait we are looking at. Our SW has indicated that they are not quite as strick about placing a child with one Muslim parent into a Muslim family unless the birth parents have expressed a preference for the child to be brought up Muslim.

I'm surprised that Tower Hamlets weren't interested in taking you on tbh, as they seem to be quite open to taking adopters from outside the borough. It may be that they don't have that many mixed-race children needing permanant families at the moment, or it may be that the type of asian that you are is too far from Bangladeshi (I'm sure that can be expressed in a better way, but I'm a bit sleepy).

If you do decide to go for a foreign adoption your local authority is obliged to assess you, but they charge you for the service.

beemail Mon 28-Jan-08 15:42:06

We are white Bitish/Indian Hindu Gujarati and when we tried to adopt in this country we met with a negative response and at that time we were told they wouldn't place an Asian child with us and a mixed race child would have to reflect our own mix. this despite the fact that we were reasonably flexible about age (pre school) and prepared tot ake child with mild disability. We tried various authorities and were told the same by all. However this was some time ago and and I think there is now more flexibility as Bran says where origins not known or no preference expressed. We adopted from India. Your LA is obliged to do homestudy at a charge of usually £3,000 - £5,000
The Intercountry Adoption Centre have more info on this www icacentre.org.uk

Peona Mon 28-Jan-08 19:28:15

Thank you all for your advice. DH is from Sri Lanka and I am white English. He has family in SL but it looks like SL has a long wait for non-domiciled adopters. We said we would adopt any Asian/Mixed Asian child, not necessarily Sri Lankan, and were also told that most kids from Tower Hamlets would be Muslim and their families would not agree to non-Muslim adopters, which sounds OK in theory but surely reduces the pool of potential parents? We'll try Coram - thanks Kewcumber! Presumably if no adoption teams think they would have kids to place with us, once we are approved could look further afield, to Leicester and Birmingham?

bran Mon 28-Jan-08 19:55:57

If you are assessed by an independent agency (ie not Local Authority) then you may be able to go on the country-wide register straight away. However that can be a bit of a double-edged sword as most Local Authorities prefer to place child with their own adopters over external candidates. This is because they have to pay the agency who assessed you, they essentially have to buy external adopters and they may have budget limitations.

Also some LAs have rules about needing a certain number of families on the shortlist for each child. We found several times that our social worker would be contacted to see if we were interested in a particular child, but when the child's social worker and family finder came to visit us it was obvious from the start that we were just there to make up the numbers and they had already pretty much decided who was going to get the child, probably before they even contacted our social worker. That was really gutting as we would get our hopes up and then be disappointed, and huge waste of time and energy to boot.

Adoption UK has a fairly active message board. You could try asking there if anyone would recommend their Local Authority. If you give your ethnicity and religion (I'm assuming Hindu for your DH) somebody might know where the most likely area to apply is.

grannyslippers Mon 28-Jan-08 20:25:53

Peona

Might you need to do a bit of detective work to find out where there are Sri Lankan/ Hindu or Buddhist as appropriate, communities in the UK. Eg. Wembley/NW London, or am I just being naive?

Leicester were our placing authority, and they are very professional, could be worth giving them a call.

Also the magazines Children who Wait or Be My Parent often have children of unusual ethnic/mixed backgrounds. There is supposed to be a National Adoption Register just for this purpose!

HTH

Megglevache Mon 28-Jan-08 20:33:59

Message withdrawn

Kewcumber Mon 28-Jan-08 20:40:16

beemail can no doubt give you more specific info but it is generally very hard to adopt form India (despite all the press articles recently to the contrary) however I know that there is a much better chance for people of Indian descent so you may have a very good chance (I'm not sure how they view mixed marriages)

Megglevache Mon 28-Jan-08 20:47:37

Message withdrawn

bran Mon 28-Jan-08 21:19:06

I think India is a bit undecided in it's attitude to allowing children to be adopted by foreigners. On one hand there is a lobby that says that there are more abandoned children than there are domestic adopters and it's better for them to be sent abroad than to languish in orphanages. But there is also a very strong lobby that says that as the country is becoming more wealthy there should be more effort to help the poorest families and stop children from being abandoned. Furthermore they want to stop all foreign adoptions as they feel that having the children sent abroad brushes the issue under the carpet and means it will take longer for it to be addressed properly.

I know that there are some rather underhand tatics being used to discourage forign adoptions. For instance orphanages are regularly accused of taking bribes or selling children. Whenever this happens any adoptions that were scheduled to take place from that orphanage are put on hold while the claims are investigated. We have met a family (mixed white and Indian) who spent 6 months living in India waiting for their daughter to be released to them after her orphanage had been accused of corruption. They were very lucky as they could both work remotely, but most families would have had to return to the UK without their prospective child.

The is a charitable organisation that deals exclusively with Indian adoption - Asha I think. I'm pretty sure they are a subsidiary of the Inter Country Adoption Center that Beemail mentioned.

Peona Tue 29-Jan-08 21:06:19

Hi, we contacted Coram today and spoke to a lovely SW who was very encouraging, said they have links to eg Birmingham, and so we will be going ahead with the meetings etc from April, so thanks again for all your advice everyone smile.

bran Tue 29-Jan-08 23:38:53

Fantastic, that sounds very promising. I hope it goes really well for you. grin

Will you be come back and let us know how it's going?

Peona Wed 30-Jan-08 18:44:36

I certainly will. Back soon!

KristinaM Wed 30-Jan-08 21:49:04

oh thats great news Peona! There are so many waiting children who are of mixed heritage - its seems crazy to me that they SS are often so discouraging to families like yours

Do come back and keep us up to date

beemail Fri 01-Feb-08 19:24:29

megglevache - yes no probs just contact me at your leisure

Peona Tue 15-Dec-09 10:54:01

Hi - it's been a long time since dh and I started the adoption process, but I'm finally back to give you an update. We started the home study in March 2009, it was quite challenging (!) but overall a good experience. We were approved in September and have potentially been matched with a mixed-heritage boy age 21 months. His birth father is unknown, but probably not Asian, and his birth mother is White, and his SW thinks he would fit well in a Sri-Lankan family. We had the impression there aren't many Asian/mixed Asian children available, and those there are need Muslim adoptive parents. It would be good to know if other people found this too, before going ahead as it has been a relatively short time between approval and matching - should we wait longer for a definite Asian/mixed Asian child? It's probably just normal jitters, but when we started out we had hoped that our child would not look obviously different from us, but having seen this little boy's DVD, he has really charmed us - he's gorgeoussmile.

KristinaM Tue 15-Dec-09 11:41:49

oh that's great news that you have been approved so quickly smile

as to whether or not this is the right child for your family....well obviously its a very personal decision. but personally I would be more influenced by possible risk factors and how is is developmentally rather than exact ethnic matching. but that's just me

good luck with your decision

TheWorldFamousKewcumber Tue 15-Dec-09 13:45:52

why does SW think he would fit in well with a sri lankan family? IF both birth parents are probably white? It sounds odd when SW's get so aerated about ethnic matcehs.

Apart from my conclusion, I agree with KristinaM

Peona Tue 15-Dec-09 16:50:37

Hi, sorry for the delay in replying - been out for a few hours. Thank you both for your posts. I realise I didn't explain - the little one is not white. The SW has experience of placing children in white/SL families and thinks that he looks like he would fit with us - he does have similar facial features to DH and has olive skin but does have very curly/afro hair. DH has curly hair (or did have once upon a time wink) but not afro. He has attached well to his foster family, is meeting all milestones, so he is pretty perfect - particularly if we might wait 2 years for a child who looks 'more Asian' but could have had a far worse start in life with future behavioural and emotional problems. Is it normal to have wobbles about whether you are right for the child you're matched with before you meet him or her? Honestly, it's like I'm pregnant: hormonal and tearful all day today!

bran Tue 15-Dec-09 21:18:54

Congratulations, how exciting for you. It is entirely normal to have wobbles about whether you are right for the child and the child is right for you. He sounds adorable. smile (If you think you're having wobbles then have a look at my thread when we were matched with DD. Major meltdown, and that all worked out absolutely fine. grin)

They do seem to have eased up on the religious side of things, depending on which local authority it is. We had DD placed with us in March and she is Pakistani Muslim on her birth father's side (she is white and black Jamaican on her birth mother's side). However neither the birth mother nor the birth father expressed any preference regarding the religion of the adoptive family so it wasn't high on the list of priorities when they were placing her.

If everything else is right then I wouldn't worry too much about ethnic origin, especially as it's unknown on the birth father's side.

What would be the advantage to you of knowing that your child was definitely a white/asian mix? I know that it's advantageous to the child to be matched with a similar heritage family so that they can know some of the cultural background they come from, but in the case of this particular boy as his BF is unknown then an exact match isn't possible anyway.

TheWorldFamousKewcumber Tue 15-Dec-09 21:51:27

I think if the child looks even vaguely like you thats an advantage. My DS is a completely differnt race and though it hasn't been a problme so far I'm not blind to the possibility that it might be one day.

Oh blimey, wobbles. I wobbled all the way form passing panel until DS had been with me about 3 months! Perfectly natural, make your judgement based on the facts you know then just stick your fingers in your ears, sing "la la la la la" very loudly all the way to ignore that little gremlin inside saying "are you ABSOLUTELY sure?"

Of course you're not absolutely sure, you're not brain dead!

Was that helpful? grin

Peona Tue 15-Dec-09 23:22:55

Very helpful! Thank you Kew and Bran for reassuring me, I thought I was losing the plot today. Not helped by being kept awake for 3 nights in a row generally over-thinking things. I now realise I was discombobulated grin. Anyhoo...the next step is meeting everyone involved in his care, foster mum etc in Jan, with a view to panel in Feb, and introductions early March. I'll let you know how we get on. I'm off to bed now!

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