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adopting after having natural children

(14 Posts)
imgonnaliveforever Sun 24-Jul-11 21:15:58

Has anyone else adopted later children instead of having them naturally? I have 2 DCs (aged 3 and 2) and am thinking about waiting a few years til they're both at school and then adopting younger siblings.

I was wondering if there's anyone else who's chosen adoption rather than actually having their own children naturally. I'm early 30s and no reason to think I couldn't have more children naturally, but I've been thinking about adoption and really like the idea of it. But obviously I would be really upset if I then couldn't adopt and had delayed having children naturally.

Also, does anyone have experience of how natural siblings relate to adoptive ones? And how easy it is to adopt after having birth children?

hester Sun 24-Jul-11 22:23:49

Hi, I have a birth child aged 5 and an adopted child aged 1. (btw I don't use the term 'natural' chid because of what it implies for her sister smile). We adopted for a range of reasons but primarily because we were older (40s) and a lesbian couple so conception not straightforward.

I think it's a bit early for me to comment on how birth siblings and adoptive siblings relate: our two are gorgeous together, but obviously it's very early days and I can't guarantee that this won't cause issues for them as they grow up (they are also different ethnic origins, so will be constantly called on to explain/justify their relationship to others).

IME it is harder to adopt when you already have birth children. You get some credit for being an experienced parent, but social workers will want to be sure that you can manage the differences between the children and also have enough time/attention/resources for your adopted children.

There is no doubt about it: you will find it easier to have birth children than to adopt. But easier doesn't necessarily mean better. I would advise you look into the reality of adoption, and the differences between parenting birth and adopted children - try - and then talk to a couple of adoption agencies. (They also have a forum for adopters with birth children.) Then you and your dh need to think and talk, a lot.

Best of luck with finding the right way forward for your family smile

Aeschylus Sun 28-Aug-11 19:18:08

Hi, we are just starting the process of adoption and have our intial visit on Thursday. We have a 3yo son and have thought long and hard about if this is best for him and I dont think there is an answer! Being an only child my son has lots of focussed attention. He attends nursery but his social skills are not great but he does really love playing with children on a 1:1 basis. I think it will be harder than accepting a young baby but I hope that his secure and loving experiences will help him to adapt well and within the home study we will just be hoinest so that we get a match that suits his needs as well as ours and the child coming into our family.

We don't 'need' to adopt but going full term with a pregnancy was difficult and I had 2 m/c before having my son. When I was pregnant for the third time we were looking into adoption and agreed that if I had another m/c then we would proceed but thankfully I now have my ds. Now we are thinking about having another child and returned to our discussions about helping a child who has not had the best start. We are hoping for a child about 1-2.5yrs and our ds should be at least 4 when (if) we are approved. I'm not sure other people (especially family) will understand this choice as we always get asked if we are having another baby but really it is just an alternative option whih most people never consider unless they have to. I feel quite lucky not to be in that position and that this really is a choice for us.

cory Tue 30-Aug-11 10:01:55

My parents did this with their fourth child, my youngest brother. I think it was a good thing: they had enough experience not to be thrown by some minor behavioural difficulties. Possibly it meant less time and attention for the rest of us, but not necessarily a bad thing. We have all grown up very close and are still close in middle age- and our children are close too.

Can't give any practical advice as this was over 40 years ago and in a different country.

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 01-Sep-11 08:37:01

I was going to post the very same question. DH and I have three boys and are thinking of maybe adopting another child. I'm 40 at Christmas and although I probably could have another naturally I'm not sure I want to because I've had two miscarriages in the past as well the fact that I am getting a bit old. Are we totally bonkers to even contemplate this? Has anyone else had experience such as this? We're right at the beginning of the 'thinking about' stage and haven't really done any research about it yet so feel completely naive about it at the moment.

hester Thu 01-Sep-11 09:42:44

Your age shouldn't be a problem, Becky. What else is bothering you about it? What is attracting you to it? How old are your boys?

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 01-Sep-11 11:39:27

Hi Hester, I'm not sure I want to go through pregnancy again after five times (two only to three months though) and I'm not sure I could deal with another MC, both the others happened at 12 weeks. DH is worried too. I think I'd do it if he were 100% happy. Plus it took me about three years to get pregnant with DS3. He does want another child though. It's a bit complicated.

We have DS1 who is nearly 8, DS2 who is 5 and the lovely DS3 who is nearly 2. I just would love to have another one, greedy perhaps I don't know, and I like the idea of having another child, but not necessarily naturally. I don't know. We are in the early days of thinking about this.

hester Thu 01-Sep-11 13:41:13

A really good place to start is one of the information evenings that local authorities usually put on. You could ring your local authority - or some of the voluntary agencies - and ask them for information. You could also look at the website

The agency will want to know that you have fully resolved your feelings about your pregnancies, and that you are not choosing adoption from a place of hurt and pain. (This is not to say there shouldn't be any hurt and pain - most adopters are coming from infertility, after all, but it should be fairly resolved.) And your youngest son will need to be at least two years older than any adopted child (some prefer 3 or 4 years).

Having three children already will mean you have lots of useful parenting experience. But it will rule you out for lots of potential adoptions because (1) it will mean you have less time, energy and resources for a child who may need a lot of those things, and (2) many children needing adoption do better in families where they are the only child, or the youngest by quite a long way.

But don't let any of this put you off. None of us are the perfect identikit adopter, and these are more issues to work through rather than barriers to progress. Just be aware that adoption is a market, and it's not about you fitting a rigid profile, pass or fail. One agency may want you , another may reject you - it all depends who they have on their books and what kinds of families they think may work with the kinds of children they have coming through the system. One social worker explained to me that at the point a potential adopter makes contact, they already know most of the children they will have available in a year or two. They pick you according to who they think they want at that point; it doesn't necessarily mean they don't think you're good enough to adopt and it certainly doesn't mean another agency won't fall on you with open arms.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 01-Sep-11 18:55:36

Thanks Hester that gives me a lot of food for thought. I think the 'having enough time' issue does concern me a bit, I work freelance so that would be an issue having the three already too. But we'll do some research, have a good hard think about this, there's plenty of time.

dundeeheather Tue 06-Sep-11 20:35:02

I am just about to adopt twins who are 4 years old, I am already a mother and im 49.
My own children are really great about it, and they say i have practiced on them lol.
I am a foster carer and I have already had them for over two years, I feel i am very lucky and being a mum before has

ChunkyMonkeyMother Sun 09-Oct-11 20:08:18

I am so glad I have seen this thread especially Aeschylus we have a 2y/o DS and we are seriously considering adopting in the next 2 years - would you mind if I asked how long the process took? We would love a younger baby or child so that we could bring them up as our own and as DS's younger sibling - I have always wanted to adopt and used to think I would be heading to China to bring a baby back but after the numbers came out last week about the UKs adoption rates I couldn't think of going abroad now.

I'm just finishing an English degree at the moment then intend to work full time for a year or two before we look at expanding our family - I just wonder when to start the ball rolling on the whole process and where the best place to start is - I think I will keep an eye out for local events from the authority but just wondering about the processes?

Bit of a rookie but am really interested in taking this route - Would love to know how your DCs reacted as well?

KristinaM Thu 13-Oct-11 16:22:32

There are many children awaitimg adoption in the uk. Most of these children are school aged, or in sibling groups and have special needs. Many are black or mixed race and need families who reflect this.

There is no" need "at all for families who wish to afopt a white healtthy baby or toddler. There are familes waitimg and apprived, ready to adopt them tomorrow. So if your motivation to afopt is to help a child in need then you shoud think beyond a baby or toddler.

If you wish to adopt from Chiina, it will take about 7 years and you will probably get a toddler , not a baby. Again, the process in quicker for a child with significant specail needs

One of the reasons the adoption figures in the uk are so low is that there is a mismatch between the type of children waiting amd the tupe of children people want. Its NOT that there are no waitimg children.

How easy it is to adopt depens on your family circumstances and whether you want a high demand or lpw demand child. Its a depends on the supply and demand in your area

A large age gap is a general requirement. This is so that you will have enough time to give to the new child. And also because many childrehave been physically or sexually abused so its important to reduce the risk to any existing children in the family


Lilka Thu 13-Oct-11 18:14:39

Usually, there is a minimum age gap of two years at least between the youngest bc and the new ac. Some agencies require a bigger one, 3-4 years gap. Generally, your son will need to be about 4 before you can begin the process, although you could ring agencies to check that

When that time draws nearer, you need to know what kind of parents your local authority or agency want. As Kristina said, there isn't any need for lots of adopters who want healthy under 2's, so some authorities aren't taking any applications from parents who want a child of that age. If you want to adopt a child in real need who is younger than your bc, then you'd need to consider disabilities or other needs (cp, downs, FAS, global developmental delays, possible inheritance of genetic conditions or mental health problems to name but a few of the issues many children have). There are some young babies around but it's a matter of luck IMO getting one since you have to be in the right place at exactly the right time. Could be a looong wait.

And to say a word for older kids in general - honestly an older child is just as much 'your own' as a baby is. Really, I feel no difference in my DD adopted at 10 years old, and my DS adopted at 23 months. They both fit in to the family just perfectly smile

As for China, 7-9 years start to finish is as good an estimate as you'll get, since the situation changes all the time. But it won't be less than 6/7. Special needs China adoptions don't exist in the UK yet. There are other countries, depending on your own ages and desires, although again no babies but toddlers and older children are available

Aeschylus Sat 15-Oct-11 21:50:21

My husband originally wanted to adopt from China but there are other regulations that need to be considered also for example, you have to be within a particular age bracket etc, I was too young (at 27) when we looked into it!

We are still in the process at the moment so I can't comment on how long things take (although things have moved quickly up to this point), or how my ds will react to a new child. We have been on 2 of the 4 training sessions now. One thing we have had to think about is our current family lifestyle and how that might be interpreted by another child coming with their own difficult experiences. For example, my ds loves 'rough and tumble' and this could be very distressing for a child who has been physically abused or in a home with domestic violence, my dh is a stay at home parent which could be difficult if a child has been abused by a male etc. Lots to think about still but I just don't think you can know / predict everything. We have said we would rather wait for the right child as we have our ds's needs to consider too and are possibly less flexible than a family with no children.

It is less likely to get a young child but in honesty, if you are waiting until you finish your degree before you start the process your child will be 4/5 which will allow for a child under 3 to join your family. Again though, it maybe depends on how long you are willing to wait!

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