Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
I'd love to adopt...(14 Posts)
Hi, I'm new to Mumsnet, but anyway here goes!
I am separated with 2 beautiful DC (boys aged 8 & 9). Although I am going through a divorce, the thing is I feel soooo broody! Before my marriage failed I had wanted more children and was interested in adoption. I have always dreamed of having a daughter. Now I'm on my own, no new man (don't really want one atm) and can't stop thinking how nice it would be if I could adopt a baby girl. I have a spare bedroom, enough money, & I don't have to go out to work.
But I am nervous about going through the assessment procedure, even though I know it's all for good reason, I'm just worried that maybe I won't be approved (I'm a single parent & I bet my ex will give me a rubbish reference). I'm also wondering if I will really be able to juggle looking after a baby / toddler whilst taking proper care of my 2 older DS. All on my own. (I do not have any family support.)
I'd love to hear from other mums how they manage to look after a baby and older children all by themselves.
You might want to post on Lone Parents for advice on how people cope with multiple children by themselves.
As for adoption, I strongly urge you to get your divorce well behind you before you even consider this. No adoption agency will touch you while you are undergoing such a major life event. Not least because your existing children are experiencing upheaval and it wouldn't be fair to them.
If you have doubts about your ability to cope with a third child, please work this through very carefully. Adoption agencies are always keen to assess whether you have adequate support networks because adopted children often require more attention than a birth child.
And be aware that it is very difficult to adopt a baby. Not impossible: I adopted a 10 month old baby girl but she was one of only 70 children under the age of 1 adopted that year.
Sorry to sound so negative. I'm not saying adoption is not for you, just that this doesn't sound like the ideal time to embark on it. But you could certainly get started with doing research - try looking at the resources on the adoptionuk.com website.
As Devora says, you need to be settled before embarking on adoption. I suspect you would need to be ~2 years at least from your seperation before an agency would consider you. You would need to show you have well established yourself in your new life, have a good support network (it does not need to be family, but you need to show you have people around you to support you, have emotionally dealt with the divorce etc.
It is not too early to donresearch on adoption and here, adoptionUK and other sites are good pointers.
Being single is not a barrier to adoption, nor is being a single with children. I am single and have adopted 3 times. You may find that as a single mother, you may not be able to adopt a very young child without special needs...simply because when the youngest children become availble (aged about 5/6 months at the very minimum) many parents would like to adopt them and social workers have a lot of people to pick from. They will usually pick a partnered/married couple, not a single parent, unless there is a special consideration like ethnicity. However a single parent could if they waited (IMHO) expect to adopt a child aged from 12 months up, and would be very likely to find a child aged 2 or over.
Many people who come to adoption have ex's who may be on the scene. A 'rubbish reference' is not necessarily a barrier to adoption, because SW's are used to ex's being nasty for the sake of it. They are looking for serious problems - ie. if he says you were a violent woman who hit him, they would be worried, if he accused you of abusing the children etc. Even then, many social workers are quite good at spotting vindictive liars from people telling the truth. They will need to talk to him though, as he would be a recent partner and the father of your children.
As Devora says, you also need to think about how you would cope carefully. Not needing to work is a good thing. It is possible to cope with older children and younger ones. When I adopted my third child (23 months old) I had an 11 year old at home (who I had adopted about 3 years previously). It was very difficult, because my new child was going through so much having been taken from his much loved mummy and daddy (foster carers but what small child knows that?), and was grieving hard for them. My middle child had/s emotional and behavioural problems and struggled with having a new child in the house. I had never dealt with nappies, toddler sleeping, anything vaguely toddler like in my life. I did everything backwards, I was parenting an adult (DD1) before I ever parented a little one. It was a struggle. i got through one day at a time, and do not regret it. But you need to be as sure as you can be going into adoption, because you have to make such a committment to your new child before ever bringing them home.
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It is very weird- do people really think that they can sell people things that way? They would have to be the last kitchen salesmen on earth before I gave them a ring.
From considerable experience Baby's placed for adoption, are placed with a very wide gender.,Married Couples, single parents, same gender patnerships, out last 8 placed were placed as above.
More todo with the matching prosses, rather that discrimating gender groups.
Hiya, thanks for your helpful replies. Yes, although I have been separated 2.5yrs I am aware the SWs may want my divorce to be completed before they will approve me. (I am mid-thirties & although I'm really keen to go ahead with this I'm not in a rush.)
TBH I am not quite ready to apply just yet as I still haven't got straight in my own mind which age of child to go for! Part of me would definitely love to have a baby, but other times I think maybe a 2-4yr old might be better considering I do have older kids. Argh, wish I could make my mind up!
Lilka, how do you find it raising 3 kids on your own? Do you have family support? I'm just thinking that some of the stuff I do with my boys, like bike riding & long country walks with our dogs, might be kind of hard with a tiny tot.
Nice name I was approved to adopt as a lone parent and I had my own child. The process was relatively straight forward but SW really grilled my support network. This was my mum, my sister and 2 best friends.
My sister expressed concern to SW but mainly that was financial and SW weren't put off by that.
They are used to bitter ex partners giving rubbish references, it's quite common.
I found the Adoption UK website helpful, although the forums are quite hard to read as there are some parents on there having a terrible time.
I decided not to adopt in the end just asI got to Panel stage.
I think you have had some excellent replies snowrose but I am a bit concerned as to whether you are "taking in" the fact that it is far from easy to adopt a baby or young child, for reasons already stated in the replies - not impossible but difficult. As someone else has said, the vast majority of adoptors want a baby or young child and the sw who has the responsibility will have a large choice of married couples who they will probably choose over a single parent.
You say you wish you could "make your mind up" but if you do go ahead you will need to discuss this matter in depth with the LA social worker, so that you have an idea of what their need is in terms of prospective adoptors. Most LAs need adoptors for sibling groups, older children (middle years age) and children with disabilities. If you decide you want to adopt say a child under 5, they may well not take up your aplication, if they already have enough approved adoptors already awaiting a child or children in this age range.
I don't mean to be unkind, but I think you are a little blinkered at present and are maybe overthinking things in terms of how you would care for 3 children instead of 2, and also people are quite rightly advising you that one of the big issues in adoption is the support that you have around you, and you seem to be saying that you don't have any support, so this would be a problem.
Also I wonder if you are aware of the emotional difficulties that all children awaiting adoption will have, to a greater or lesser extent, and how you will cope with this. Linka has talked of the child grieving for the "mummy and daddy" - foster carers but of course to a young child they would have no concept of fostercare. Almost every child removed from birthparents will have suffered abuse or neglect and this will have an adverse effect on them, as the formative years are the most important in terms of child development. Many adoptors think "love is enough" but I'm afraid it isn't. Some of these children are in turmoil and that will be expressed in all kinds of behavioural problems. Have you thought about that and how you would cope with it, and the effect on your 2 boys if a child was screaming or clinging to you the whole time and unable to settle at night-time. I think these things are far more important considerations than what you would do with a child when you went on a bike ride with your sons!
Sorry to sound so negative, but I can't help thinking you are wearing "rose -tinted" specs at the moment, but as others have said, do all the research you can and this may lead you to decide whether or not you could provide a caring home for a child.
TBH I am not quite ready to apply just yet as I still haven't got straight in my own mind which age of child to go for
That's something you figure out during the homestudy, and not something that should stop you from applying. Many adoptive parents have uncertainties going in, about the number, gender and age of children, and especially about what they can handle in terms if the childs background and needs. One of the reasons for the homestudy is to give you time to reflect on this and get information and come to a decision about what kind of child to be approved for. And even after that, not many but some people change their minds and adopt a child who is not what they were approved for! (you don't have to be re-approved, since approval is a guideline).
Lilka, how do you find it raising 3 kids on your own? Do you have family support
Hard! Worth it, I always wanted a larger family. If my DD2 had less needs I might have had 4 children by now, since 4 or 5 was always my ideal.
I would say though that there is a massive age gap between my eldest and youngest (19 years), so I've never had 3 at home. My eldest was 21 and living with her now husband before my youngest arrived home. I have 2 at home now, 17 year old DD2 and 8 year old DS. Parenting them is hard, because my DD2 does have special needs and needs a lot of hands on and quite intensive parenting, way beyond what a normal 17 year old would need. Money is tight and I need outside support. My mum supports me, so do my siblings to an extent, and I have a very close friend who can look after them occasionally to give me respite or if an emergency comes up. I would find it extremely hard without support, it means a lot to have ocassional respite and also people I can talk frankly with who understand my family.
When DS moved in, yes, some of the things I did with DD2 had to change a bit because of the new toddler in the house. There had to be a new routine, and some new things to do together. I did need to find the time to give DD2 one to one attention every day. I did make sure we had things we could still do together, just us. It was a big shift, I just had to take it one day at a time.
If you were to adopt a little one, things would change a lot. With say a 4 year old, they could learn to ride a little bike, come on walks. The homestudy is a good time to think about how your life would change if you adopted a 1 year old, or a 3 year old and working out what you would actually prefer.
Yeah, I'm probably overthinking things, I do have a tendency to do that sometimes! I guess it's just cause I feel broody, I guess I should try to overcome that. I've always looked after my DC with very little support and managed fine that way but maybe that's not what the social workers are looking for. I know that adopted kids can be demanding and I do have experience with vulnerable children / behavioural problems / special needs etc. I just love the idea of helping one of those kids build a new life for themselves, giving them a loving home & a good start. Sigh...
It's ok to feel broody . But I dont think you are over thinking things, I think you are worrying too much about minor issues ( a 4yo vs a 2yo) and not thinking at all about the major issues that nananina has mentioned .
many adopted children don't want " a new life ". They want their own family and their old life back, however poor society may have judged that to be. And they can work very hard to recreate that life in your home, disrupting things for everyone. As other posters have suggested, please do some research about the Kinds of children available for adoption and the issues they face.
You also need to think seriously about your support network. I think it's unlikely that a single parent with two children already , no experience of SN kids and no support would be seen as an ideal placement . Nina is right, you are very unlikely to get a NT pre schooler, unless you are black or mixed heritage. Also girls are much more in demand than boys.
If you feel that your ex would be hostile to your adoption, how do you think your children would cope with this ? I think a rubbish reference from someone you lived with years ago and haven't seen since is very different from a hostile ex who still sees his children regularly and may pressurise them not to agree to the adoption .
If what you really want is another baby, why don't you let the dust settle on your divorce and wait a couple of years until your life is more stable, then look into Donor insemmination?
Not wanting to burst your bubble but I agree with others. I think you may be wearing rose tinted glasses where adoption is concerned.
You will not be handed a tiny new born baby with no issues.
If it is a baby you really want, I agree with Kristina, donor insemination maybe an option.
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