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

Can you give me your advice?please!

(12 Posts)
Katyrah Sun 03-Jul-11 10:11:27

So, I'm infertile, I've known this since I was 16 and diagnosed with PCOS but since then I've had a major operation removing my large intestine and have been told by my surgeon that getting, staying and having a healthy baby outcome is going to be on the miracle level.

So me and DP are talking about adoption, we've read about it and got the basic details but are struggling to get advice from people with real experience and would appreciate some help!

I am 22, he is 27. We live in our own 3 bed semi house with a large garden. Would we be eligible for starters, I know I'm young and we would be looking to start the process in a year or 2 after fully explorin the adoption process and I have qualified as an SEN teacher.

I have some personal questions I would love people to answer, but can understand if people don't want to. Like is it a hard process? Do you feel like you've missed out on the pregnancy/naming/ brand newborn stages? What about having to have contact with their birth parents (I read open adoptions are preferred nowadays), do you worry about your child leaving to live with their birth parents?

I would appreciate your advice and help, thanks

thefirstMrsDeVere Sun 03-Jul-11 10:25:18

Hello Katy,

It sounds as if you would be accepted by most agencies based on what you have told us. The only problem I can see is that you are quite young but someone else might be able to advise you on that.
I did not adopt through infertility but I understand it will be a subject they will want to explore with you pretty thoroughly. I would imagine this would be pretty distressing at times
I found the whole process pretty heavy going. Its very invasive and you are expected to fit in with the agency's schedule. This means taking time off work, going to evening meetings, having someone come to your house on a regular basis.
You will need to go on a prep course.

True Open Adoptions are rare in this country. Contact is encouraged but doesnt always happen. My son doesnt have any contact with his birth mum although we did want this to happen. It just didnt work out.

My son knows where his birth mum is and who she is so there is a possibilty he might run off to live with her when he is a stroppy teenager. This only really struck me after we went through a torrid time with our birth son when he hit his teens.

I have had 4 birth children so I am not able to talk about missing out on the pregnancy bit. I hope some of the lovely adoptive parents will be able to help you.

hifi Sun 03-Jul-11 12:42:44

hi,i personally dont feel i missed out on the pregnancy bit. if you go for concurrent planning you can get a baby a few days old, there is contact with birth parents but few actually turn up forcontact. we changed both our dds names but they were still young. sounds as though you would be considered for young children anyway.
it is a hard process but well worth it in the end,i shudder at the thought of us having our own birth child as i wouldnt have the 2 i have now.
where are you in the uk?

Katyrah Sun 03-Jul-11 12:49:42

Thank you for your replies!
I'm in the Sheffield area.
I've never heard of concurrent planning, thank you I'll do some research on that! All the websites I've seen talk about the difficulty of getting babies and it's more older children.
I also didn't realise if you adopted young children you could change their names!
How long does the process take?

hifi Sun 03-Jul-11 13:14:52

the difficulty is getting perfect white babies. lots of babies are born to mothers who either use drugs or alcohol so many of the babies are born with problems or may develop them later.this is something you have to take into account and wether you could cope .

hifi Sun 03-Jul-11 13:18:23

the process took us about 2.5 years, its best to enquire asap.our second took about 18 months.

Lilka Sun 03-Jul-11 13:19:49

Hi Katy

I can't see there being issue with your husbands age, you are very young, so they might have an issue with that, but then again they might not, so I'd phone and ask

If your area do concurrent planning then yes, you might get a young baby. The risky thing of course is that you're only the foster parent, and you might wind up caring for a baby for 9 months + and then the baby goes home again, which would emotionally be very hard. Although not that many parents manage to get their act together, some still do

I think actually how long it would take to get a younger child, if you did normal adoption, really depends on your area, race, and also what special needs you're happy with. I know a couple round here were placed really quick because they were happy with lots of drug exposure and the first parents having possibly hereditary mental health problems and learning difficulties. They were matched in about 6 weeks after approval, and their little 7 month old moved in shortly after! On the other hand, if you aren't open to mental health problems, or drug exposure, or an open adoption, you might have a very long wait

I personally chose to adopt to older girls, and yes I missed many things. However, they both like/d to be babied and DD2 acts a lot younger than her actual age - she was 8 when she moved in, but emotionally much younger, like a 3 or 4 year old. I also adopted DS as a toddler. I changed his first name because there was a security risk among other reasons. I wouldn't agree with changing a name just because you don't like it, only if there's a risk to the child, or its a truly horrid name (e.g. Vagina or Vodafone!!!)

I also have an open adoption with DD2 and DS mum. I have met up with her several times, she has met with DD2, and we write letters and send photos to each other. I am very happy with this. Having met her, she is a lovely woman, and we get on well. Our open adoption is really helpful to DD2 especially, who loves her mum very much. I don't feel at all threatened by her. Just because DD2 loves her and calls her mum as well, doesn't make me less of her mum either, and I know how much DD loves me. Now, would DD2 move in with her? I don't know, I guess maybe one day she might. I can't really say how I would feel, I guess it depends on the circumstances. On the otehr hand, DD1's adoption became completely closed, and that is best. She was abused horribly, and she needs to be safe and know they can't find her, and she never wants to hear from them again

I think most LA's though, will expect you to have a one off meeting with the first parents, even if you don't keep in touch afterwards. It's nerve wracking, but sooo helpful, because you can tell your child about their parents from a first hand meeting, rather than just second hand information. You might be able to ask questions like 'why did you name her Hannah?' or 'Is there anything you really want Ben to know about you?' etc. Lastly, it makes the first parents human and real, rather than just names on paper

Most open adoptions here only involve letter writing. If you want to do it, it can be really helpful, although not all first parents actually reply to letters, for a variety of reasons. When DD has a question about her mum, I can write it, and then we get a reply, and so she doesnt have a list of un-answered questions eating away at her

The process varies, but first two times, from start to the girls moving in, under 2 years, over one year! The last time, I didn't go through the full process

Katyrah Sun 03-Jul-11 14:58:10

Well when we go into the process I'll be 25, so I don't see how that would be a problem in a few years, but I agree that with my age at the moment I don't think I'd be taken seriously! We just think it's best to start looking into the process, especially as from everyones comments on how long it takes can vary, and we would love to be parents in our mid/late twenties (well I know DP would love to be a dad right now, but that's not going to happen!)

We would definatley be open to adopting children with other difficulties.

Lilka hearing your story of open adoption working so well helps, I just find it hard to get my head around but it's good to hear that it can work and be really beneficial for everyone in the family.

twinmummy24 Sun 03-Jul-11 15:36:30

hey katy
i was 24 when we started the process and a mummy at 26, i was also diagnosed with PCOS in my late teens and had had problems for years so me and DH always knew we would have problems TTC, although i was refered for IVF we decided not to persue it as adoption seemed like the better way forward for us.
from initial contact to approval panel took us about 18months, a couple of set backs along the way because of family berevement and social services cock ups!
although as people have already said the process is very intensive and delves into every aspect of you life, we found it loads of fun, it taught us loads about ourselves, each other and our relationship.
we were approved to adopt in march 2007 and our DD's came home on 26th october the same year they were 11 month old twins so life went from chilled to crazy overnight grin
i think i would be lying to say that there weren't times when i thought about what mine and DH birth child would of looked like etc but my girls are totally mine and i love them so much, can't imagin life without them!
as you go through the process you will need to be able to demonstrate that you have come to terms with your infertility.
we have once yearly letter box contact with birth parents and maternal grandmother and the possibility of furture direct contact with birth siblings as mine are the youngest two of 6
the girls are nearly 5 now and know that they are adopted they ask questions about birth mum which i answer as honestly as i can and they know the lived with foster parents before we became their forever mummy and daddy

hope this helps a bit! feel free to ask anything else you can think of i am always up for chatting about our experience grin

i am geographically quite close to you as well so can give local support!

hester Sun 03-Jul-11 21:42:35

HI Katy

I agree with the others that the only real issue i can see the social workers would have with you right now is that we will want to be sure you have really resolved your feelings about your infertility. Adopting is not the same as having a birth child, and they will want to see that you understand that and are ok with it.

I have a birth child and an adopted child. I absolutely loved being pregnant but it was, for me, an experience in and of itself. I never felt I needed to have a biological link to my child. The fact that I really loved pregnancy and birth doesn't affect my feelings about my daughters now. I love them both to bits.

Many adoptive parents do rename their children, though it is discouraged. We kept my adopted daughter's name, with a little modification. I have to say that I think this is one of those issues that seems like a big deal until you actually have the child, then it doesn't seem so important. I would never, ever choose my daughter's name, but it is her name and I love her, so I am happy to live with that name as part of her. (To be fair, she is not called Destiny-Armani so I have not been fully tested on this one!)

We have indirect contact once a year with the birth parents - ie. we write letters and so do they. I think this is the norm - most adopted children do not meet up with their birth parents, I don't think.

The process was hard but not unduly so and was a walk in the park compared to what we went through to get our birth child.

Finally, you ask whether we fear our children returning to their birth parents. Yes, I think I probably do, or- more likely - I fear future contact with birth siblings, for various reasons.

Very best of luck!

Katyrah Mon 04-Jul-11 06:31:05

Thanks everyone again!

How would we go about proving we have come to terms with our infertility? I mean, for me, I've known since I was a teenager that having a baby would never be an easy journey for me, and have been honest with DP from the beginning. I've had some counselling, which focused on my medical conditions and how they affected me, would this be beneficial to do as a couple do you think? Or would the fact I've had counselling go against me?

I definatley feel reading your stories of contact has made me feel better! I was having images of adopting a child and having the birth parents see the child once a week or something; like a child would do with divorced parents! So thank you for clearing that one up!

Lilka Mon 04-Jul-11 07:31:12

Not at all! It's very rare for an open adoption to involve meeting several times a month, the only times i've heard it happens is in the US where there are a lot of relinquished babies. So a lot of contact can work wonderfully for them. BUT, over here, the children were removed for a good reason, and it can be difficult for the children dealing with contact, so meetings are usually once or twice per year with a first parent. There might be a lot more contact with siblings or grandparents though, but that really depends on the child

I think counselling will be seen as a very good thing! It's viewed as a good thing generally if you've had struggles but sought help with them, because many adoptive parents will need to seek proffessional help with their childrens issues. So SS will know you've got no problems with seeking out help, and you don't bottle it inside

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