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Thoughts on adopting with birth children?(6 Posts)
Just wanted to say thank you very much to everyone who replied.
We adopted a 2 year old girl when our birth son was 7. It took us ages to get approved, were really grilled hard about whether it was the right thing to do for us all.
To answer your questions:
1. Match came relatively quickly. We were steered by our SW who thought it would be best for our son not to have another boy in the family. Our DD was meant to a "relatively straightforward" child. However this is sadly not the case. She has Attachment Disorder and this has been difficult to live with. So unfortunately SWs don't always know full history of a child, and/or how they are going to develop. It is a gamble.
2. My DD took a long time to settle. But she has been with us 3 years now and is very settled, and of course we can no longer imagine life without her.
3. I took some time (more than a year) for me to love my DD. If really pushed to be truthful on this I would say I love my DS more than her, I hate to admit it. My DD and I tell each other we love each other every day and hopefully she will never know that deep sown I love my BS more. My DD torments my DS hugely but deep down he does love her. I would call it a love/hate relationship.
4. I think the reaction was more negative than positive but we were determined to adopt and wouldn't be persuaded otherwise! My DD demands a huge amount of attention and in hindsight probably would have been better as the only child in a family. I think we were failed by the matching process.
Sorry if this sounds very negative. Just trying to tell it as it is for us. Do I regret adopting? On some very bad days yes I do. But overall I don't.
We are still at the beginning of our adoption journey. I have spoken to our LA and two VAs, and all have been very positive.
All three spent a good deal of time asking me about the BC and why we want to adopt. They told us it will disrupt BC for a time while our family dynamic adjusts and changes. Once they were comfortable that we have thought about these issues honestly, they were very happy to proceed.
My BC are older, my youngest will be 8 before we are ready to adopt. The agencies would like a 3- 4 year age gap. We have 2 boys and they all assumed we would want a girl (I had a huge, well thought rationalisation for this, but the SW just laughed and said of course I want a girl). I can take adoption leave, we have all the material resources we need to adopt.
At this part of the process, having BC have not slowed us down. However, older ds is positive, younger ds can see no good reason at all to add a sister to the family. The ds both have veto power, so as of now, that is our biggest obstacle. The good part of the long, slow process is that we have time to talk to the boys about this and really think it through.
Hi Bakingtins. I have two daughters: a birth child aged 7 and an adopted child aged 3. dd2 came to us at 10 months. I'm a bit tired and off to bed, but will write more tomorrow. In the meantime, to answer your questions:
1. It meant we were far more risk-averse. Quite simply, we need to work and we have another child, so didn't feel able to take on a child with confirmed significant additional needs (while recognising that you can never be certain of the outcome of any young child). We had the benefit (in adoption terms) of being a dual heritage couple, so this wasn't a problem. They do like a good age gap between the adopted child and older children already in the family, so we started the process when dd1 was 2 and were finally matched when she was rising 5. We were approved for a girl aged 0-2.
2. She has settled into our family really well. She is a fantastic little girl.
3. This is the big fear, isn't it: can I love them equally? I don't know if anyone can make any guarantees on this, but IME, frankly, I didn't love them equally for the first year and didn't expect to. Now I love the bones of my adopted child. She is as fully my daughter as if I had conceived her. I love her completely. And my two girls love each other. They do fight, like all siblings, but they are fiercely loyal to each other and when they're apart they miss each other terribly.
4. I don't think it is a great asset to have birth children when you are applying to adopt. They really prefer adopters who have loads of time and energy that won't have to be shared with other children, IME. Having said that, the agency that took us on were unstintingly positive about us and our daughter. Lots of adopters do have birth children, so it's clearly not impossible!
Off to bed now, but I'm very happy to answer questions. Good luck!
Hi. I only have very limited experience of this, but I know of a family who have several birth children, and have gone on to adopt a toddler who has various needs and was considered "hard to place". I understand it was a fantastic match, child settled well, rest of family over the moon. Child thriving in busy family environment.
We have 2 BC age 6 and 3 and are pretty much at the end of the line trying for a 3rd after recurrent miscarriages. We are both from large families and had always planned to have a large family (3 or 4 children) of our own, so we have been exploring other options. We feel we have a lot to offer to a child.
We've been looking into adoption and come across a lot of negativity wrt adopting into families with BC. I've had info packs from a few agencies and an initial chat with a social worker, but we wouldn't be considered anyway until more time has elapsed after our decision to stop TTC, which I completely understand. By the time that has happened and we had been through the process of applying and hopefully being approved it's likely our boys would both be settled at school and we'd be thinking of a younger child.
I'd be very interested to hear from anyone who has adopted or been approved to adopt with BC on the following issues (or any other comments)
1. How did it affect the type of child you were prepared to adopt and given that most children needing adoption have additional needs did that make it difficult to get a match?
2. How has an adopted child fitted into your family?
3. How do you feel about the adopted child compared to your own children? And how do they feel about each other?
4. What was the reaction from agencies when you approached them as a potential adopter with BC?
If anyone can recommend any books to read I'd also appreciate that. We have 6 months or so to let our thoughts stew on this before deciding whether it's appropriate to take it further...
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