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Don't want to displace DD as eldest child, what are our chances?

(6 Posts)
Skang Sat 24-Nov-12 18:11:23


We are considering adoption (have sent off an initial enquiry) but don't want to didplace our DD as eldest child. She is currently 13 months. What are the chances we will actually be considered as adopters on this basis? We aren't totally sure how we feel about special needs, my husband is less keen than me on that score. We aren't fussed re ethnicity although I know they prefer to place children in similar backgrounds. Obviously it takes an age for all the checks etc.. is it worth starting now? Or should we wait a few years?


Lilka Sat 24-Nov-12 18:55:13

Hi Skang

At her age, I don't think any agency would consider you right now. The earliest I've known people be considered is with a child aged 3, and mostly your child needs to be at least 4/5 before beginning the adoption process. This is because there needs to be an age gap of at least 2 years between your youngest DC and the new adopted child, and they do not like displacing birth order either so the new child needs to be younger

I think if you enquired when she was about 4/5, she would be about 5/6 when you were approved and you could then consider a child aged 0-3 or 0-4, which is quite a standard age range to consider. The approval process should take about 7 months-year with a good authority/agency which IMHO isn't a great deal of time

There is plenty of time in the process, and indeed a key part of it is, to consider which kind of child your family is right for, special needs, gender, age included. Special needs is a vast subject, and it depends what you consider to be a special need. You can definitely say you don't feel able to accept a child with a known physical/mental disability such as Downs or moderate LD or autism etc. But many waiting children have needs such as mild developmental delays, attachment issues, exposed to drugs in utero, family history of certain mental illnesses. Nearly all young children have some don't know what will happen and how tney will develop in the future based on their troubled backgrounds. You will have to consider those common needs quite closely during the process. In most places except some major cities, the vast majority of waiting children are white british.

Hope that is helpful

Skang Sat 24-Nov-12 19:16:23

Thank you very much, that is really helpful!

Devora Sat 24-Nov-12 21:53:10

Hi Skang, I applied to adopt when my dd was 2. We were accepted immediately but 'slow-tracked' (i.e. asked to wait before starting prep course) with the intention that we would be approved when dd turned 4. Which is what happened. We were matched when she was coming up to 5.

As Lilka says, they like at least 2 years between the children and they like the adopted child to be the youngest. We were approved for a child aged 0-2, and brought dd2 home when she was 10 months.

It's probably fair to warn you that we are a mixed white UK/black Caribbean couple, so quite in demand in adoption terms (there are a lot of mixed race white/Caribbean children in the system). Having said which, the ethnic matching requirements have loosened up since then.

Adoption is not an easy road and especially so with a birth child in the family. There are lots of children in the system who will not be suitable for you because they will need more attention than you will be able to give. But it has been great for us so far - over two years on, our girls really love each other and we are a very happy family.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 25-Nov-12 08:13:01

Slang, we first enquired about adoption when our (birth) DS was under a year old, and ended up waiting (mostly for the reasons Lilka sets out) until he was five before proceeding. Short version: we thought we wanted a small gap - ie to adopt a child aged about four- but DD is 4.5 years younger and we have found the big gap works really really well for us, particularly in ensuring that DS doesn't feel put out.

Agencies won't usually let you adopt a child who is older than any children already in the family, so no need to worry on that score. But it sounds as it's worth starting enquiries and thinking about what adoption might mean for your family, but delaying the start of the formal process for a couple of years.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 25-Nov-12 08:14:00

Skang (you'd have thought I'd have got the hang of auto correct by now...)

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