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Adopting from Overseas

(8 Posts)
NanaNina Wed 07-Sep-11 14:17:51

Did anyone see the programme last night Adopting Abroad -Saira's Story. Found it totally fascinating and the 2nd part is on Thursday night this week. I can understand why the social workers were worried that Saira had ommitted a fair bit from her past relationships, and even her response when this was queried, wasn't that reassuring as she was talking about how much it would upset her mother, who would not have known what was in the report. When she did tell her mum she watered it down a lot but this is understandable in the circumstances. I think for the social workers it wasn't so much about the fact that she had not given a wholly truthful account about past relationships, but this starts to make them wonder if there is anything else that she has glossed over.

Saira is quiet a fiesty character and gets a bit over excited i think whereas the husband is very quiet and measured - maybe a good job, because 2 Saira's would probably make life difficult!

I was very impressed with the couple who had already adopted 2 children and they were just so matter-of-fact about everything.

I was a bit concerned about Saira's pre-occupation with the fact that a baby may have health problems that don't emerge till later on, but this can be the case with birth children, adopted children in the UK or children adopted from overseas. There are no guarantees in life and no one has a crystal ball and I think Saira needs to come to terms with this, sooner rather than later.

Just wondered what view others had on the programme.

MackerelOfFact Wed 07-Sep-11 16:12:39

I watched this (not realising it was a 2-part series, so now I need to watch on Thursday too). I've never looked into adoption, but when I'd heard people saying how invasive the process was, I thought they literally meant it was invasive having someone in your home observing you. I didn't realise they asked such searching (and to me, seemingly irrelevant) questions about things like your relationship history. I know the social worker guy did explain why it was important to get references from exes as it can highlight abusive tendencies, etc, but I was suprised that her relationship history was deemed such an important issue.

I think she made it worse for herself though, as if she'd just answered honestly in the first place it probably wouldn't have made the final cut anyway; it didn't for her DH. So her mother would still be none the wiser. But it ended up being about a quarter of the programme!

I agree that she seemed preoccupied by the childs health and suprised that wasn't picked up on more in the interviews with the SWs. Once you have the child in your arms, surely you are it's parent and you fight those battles with your child no matter what? She was talking as though she didn't want a 'defective' baby. Hopefully she will soften in the next programme.

auntevil Wed 07-Sep-11 16:59:41

I was more concerned that the areas that the panel were concerned about were whether she would step back from her career if the baby needed it as her husband has his own business etc etc.
How does this person think these things work in RL? Working parents have these decisions all the time, as they do with their son now. There were comments about the level of childcare that he received, yet no comment as to whether they thought he was a happy well balanced and loved little boy.

NanaNina Wed 07-Sep-11 17:47:40

I disagree auntevil - I was amazed that she got through the adoption panel when her own 2 year old was in nursery full time. It is well documented that full time nursery care for children under three is just not the best way - a child under 3 really needs one to one attention, and if it is nursery then very part time, or a childminder in my view is better as it is a more normal situation. The 2 year old child may be fine now, but by 5 children who have been in nursery too early and full time tend to be less resilient, less compliant, more oppositional and not prepared for school. There has been much research done into this area. Tests have also been carried out on nursery children (with parents permission of course) to measure their cortisol levels in the brain (the stress area) and children in nursery nearing the end of the day had very high cortisol levels, compared with children who were cared for at home by a nurturing parent.

Of course it all depends on the type of parenting a child gets at home. If the mother/father/carer is both physically and emotionally available to the child, then a secure attachment pattern will form and this will be a protective factor throughout the life span. However if the opposite is true, then nursery care would be better than being cared for at home.

I agree that parents have to make these choices with their own children, but when considering adopting children, they will need to form good attachments with their parents and the only way this will happen is by good nurturing one to one care. The adopted child is going to be far more vulnerable than the birth child because of his/her start in life (and he/she will be affected by this muich more than many people realise) and will therefore need good nurturing care to help/him restore their trust in adults (though this is not conscious of course).

auntevil Wed 07-Sep-11 18:03:29

I totally agree in principal with what you say nana - can't disagree, i'm a SAHM by choice! I was a bit surprised that they suggested that what would SHE do - as if it were only her choice, and that her husband running his own company was not criticised in the same manner. I thought that sort of attitude had gone out with the arc!
As parents, their choices and the results of their choices should be judged. I think that the disability issue was far more concerning. But then the question should be if their child or children needed more parental attachment, would either of them be content to withdraw from their current level of work.

Kewcumber Wed 07-Sep-11 21:07:40

I just couldn;t bring myself to watch it! Don;t know why - just too close to the bone for me.

However I know a fellow ICA adopers who sent me an email having watched it and their issue was the practicality (unless it was truncated for the programme) was that it seemed like they went to panel then travleled a few weeks later.

IN reality it would be post-panel waiting for decision makers formal approval (which can on its own take a few weeks) THEN sending everything to DCFS along with all the other documents you need for your dossier, DCFS need to issue your certificate of eligibility which normally takes 3months or upwards, THEN everything needs to be notarised THEN the notarisation needs apostilling by the FCO THEN it all needs to be sent off to be translated THEN it is sent to the central organisation (or equivlaent if non-Hague) of the sending country THEN you will be allocated a region/orphanage/child THEN you get visas aranged THEN you travel (if you are lucky and it all goes smoothly).

IM(fairly extensive)E that can take about a year and I've never heard of it taking less than 6 months!

Kewcumber Wed 07-Sep-11 21:17:26

Re the health thing - it doesn;t surprise me at all. Perhasp because the prep course run in Barnet, which is what most ICA adopters do, scares the living daylights out of you so you do tend to obsess for a while about the potential problmes you might be in for.

I have "counselled" countless people approved for ICA about their fears over health (particularly before they even have infomration on a specific child) and point out:

a) don;t borrow trouble. The chances are that the specific risk factors that you stress about now may be totally different to the ones any child might actually present with.

b) decide what you think you can and can;t cope with (and be prepared to change your mind! eg I said the thing I was most afraid of was extreme prematurity due to the total uncertainty at the point you have to make your mind up about the eventual outcome for the child - what did I get? A child born at 26 weeks weighing less than a kilo at birth and massively delayed at 11 months. And I said yes.

c) do your research and try to decide with your head as much as possible. Arrange for a doctor experienced in ICA to review the medical as they will be able to point things out that you hadn;t thought of/considered. The lovely doctor who reviewed DS's medical was in large part responsible for me takig the deciion I did. He gave me a realistic assesment of the risks and I made my mind up on the basis that I could cope with the most likely problem (mild/moderate cerebral palsy)

d) then try to zone out from it and get on with the practical things. BEcause really you aren;t going to know, as Nana points out noone has a crystal ball and if the risks worry you that much then adoption really isn;t for you.

NanaNina Thu 08-Sep-11 13:11:47

Very interesting post Kewcumber (and thought you would be watching!) I think your point about everything seemingly going along seamlessly and quickly was because it was TV. So much of it would have been edited out and of course the programme has to be screened in a specific time. Your explanation of the procedure sounds incredibly complicated, let alone the time factors involved. Your points a) to d) shoud be very helpful to anyone contemplating ICO. Loved your expression "don't borrow trouble"

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