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

when and how to get started.

(9 Posts)
allhallowsandwine Mon 01-Nov-10 11:46:28

Im single parent to dd 4.7, i have just recently given up work to study social work to begin next year. fingers x. im renting my home and currently claiming benifits and will be untill I qualify in 4 yrs time.

I would like to consider adopting and plan to look into it nearer the end of of my degree. from reading threads on here and just watched this morning it would appear that maybe I should consider begining the process soon, if i want to be adopting at some point near the end of my course or within the year after I have qualified.

Any advice needed.

KristinaM Mon 01-Nov-10 18:26:24

placing agencies do expect one parent to be at at home full time, or at least , only work part time. so you woudl need to figure this into your career plans

as a lone parent you are likely to be considered for a school aged child, who woudl need to be at least two years younger than any child you already have.

any placed child woudl need to have their own bedroom, it doesnt matter if you are renting or buying

and you are unlikely to find angency to assess you until your life is a little more stable and settled, in terms of income and career

so all things considered, i think you shoud think about delaying this for a bit

but there is no harm in approaching local agencies and getting their opinions

good luck with your course

ginodacampoismydh Mon 01-Nov-10 18:46:31

thank you very sound advice, obviously my initial plan in waiting was that my situtaion would be more stable and i would be seeking employment orin pt work. but seems it is a very long process and can be upto 4 or 5 years so that would take me to the end of my course. if i waited untill then that would be 8 to 10 years from now.

would an agency begin working with me now with my future plans in sight?

ginodacampoismydh Mon 01-Nov-10 18:48:42

should have said i name changed

KristinaM Mon 01-Nov-10 19:33:21

generally no. but you can always ask

usually they are keen to focus resources on families who are in a position to proceed now. a lot can change in the next 4 years which could mean that you would have to start an assessment all over again.

eg you coudl meet a new partner, have a baby, change career plans or move to the other end of the country to find work.

However i think your estimate of 5 years is a little pessimistic. i guess about 6 months to find an agency to assess you, do prep courses etc and 12-18 montsh to get approved.

then you could be a year or two to get a placement, as most placing SWs favour 2 parent familes. plus they have to match carefully with the needs of your older child.

it depends to soem extent on your enthicity and teh type of child you are able to parent

ginodacampoismydh Mon 01-Nov-10 20:07:59

oh ok just have heared it can take that lenghth of time. I understand that being a single parent may be a minor problem but I also know it can be considered.

i am white british. at the moment i feel i would have had some understanding and possible experience to adopt most children although obviously would have to consider any life long care comitment along with the needs and any risk to my own dd. Is there anything that can be recomended that i can do in the mean time to learn about the proccess and comitment.

KristinaM Mon 01-Nov-10 22:00:08

oh yes, being single wont preclude you and neither will living in rented accommodation

you need to think realistically what resources you have for caring for a troubled and disturbed child. you will need fleixibilty in your job as you will need to take time off for meetings, contacts, medical appointments and therapy. you cant always arrange these in your days off

and good childcare and family support to look after your DD during these, or other events that the adopted child cant/wont go to.many troubled children cant cope with normal family events, such as birthdays , parties, weddings, brownie displays, school concerts etc so you will need back up for these too

how will you cope with on call / shiftwork?

do you already have a spare bedroom and if not, you will need to move before you get a child placed?

do you have good medical / CAMS/ psychological services near you? special needs schools?

these are just a few things to think about

i'm sure others will come along soon with lots of good ideas

its not easy to go back to education as a lone parent, you must be very determined. this will stand you in good stead for adopting smile

ginodacampoismydh Mon 01-Nov-10 22:11:10

thank you kristna, all good things to consider. most of wich you say would be attainable for me as have good family and friends.

already having a child i will be considering my working pattern anyway. this greater chioce once qualified, along with better financial indipendance, stability and challenge etc is why I decided to study. That aspect I am very much enjoying and hope to even more next year when full time at uni, will not be easy to juggle im sure.

can you recomend any books reading on the subject of adoption?

NanaNina Sun 07-Nov-10 20:49:09

Hi ginod - Kristina has raised very valid issues. Just to add a few things - I think that doing your 4 yr degree course and beginning your first job in social work (especially in childrens services - including child protection) and with a young child already will be an awful lot to handle initially.

I started my sw training at age 36 years with 3 children aged 6, 8 and 12 and a supportive partner. In those days it was a 2 year course (CQSW) so not such a long training period. However I found the course enjoyable but hard work and the placements very taxing sometimes, as I was completely new to social work. It was only a small course for mature students (14 of us) but there was only myself and one other woman who had not had any previous social services experience. The others had been working as unqualified social workers and probation officers.

Once starting my first job in social services I have to say I was quite stresed with the "newness" of it all and the responsibilities thrust upon me and that was going back to 1980 when things were very very different in social work, eg protected caseloads, experienced workers who had the time and committment to help new workers and time for shadowing experienced workers etc., all most helpful as an induction process, and experienced managers who were always available to help and advise.

I am really not trying to put you off but social work now is in something of a state of crisis becauseof very significant vacancies and very high caseloads etc. That is why it is important that people like you are wanting a career in social services. I have to say I was totally fulfilled in my job and worked for the same agency for 23 years, initially as a social worker and later as a team manager and consider myself very fortunate to have had a job I enjoyed so much.

Coming back to add adoption into the mix I honestly think is a step too far. I don't think it would be fair to you, your own child or the adopted child. Your own child will have to get used to a mummy who is working very hard and is more stressed (maybe) than usual and you yourself need to assimilate all the new responsibilities that go with a new, exciting but demanding job.

I think you should maybe get the course and the first job under your belt for a coupleof years and see how you feel then.

In the meantime if you go on to Adoption UK site or British Agencies for Fostering & Adoption (BAAF) there is a wealth of information.

Hope you don't think I am speaking out of turn, just trying to sound a note of caution!

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