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Can you adopt if you have a history of MH issues?

(3 Posts)
crazykittensmile Mon 26-Aug-13 13:43:58

Although I am in no way ready to start the process now I am fairly sure that in the future I would like to adopt.

When I was 16 I was referred to CAHMs as I was self-harming and depressed with an eating disorder. I was taken to my GP and received counselling for around a year. I had one session with a psychologist who suggested anti-depressants but I refused them. I received treatment in A&E three times after cutting myself badly, the last time when I was 20. All of this would, presumably, be on my medical records.

So, I'm just wondering, can you still be considered for adoption if you have a history of MH issues in adolescence, or is this likely to be a big black mark against your name?

How about in adulthood? If I were to need professional help for my MH again, required medication or was to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder would that automatically rule me out of being able to adopt?

Thanks in advance to anybody who can offer any advice about this.

Lilka Mon 26-Aug-13 15:13:54

Its not an automatic barrier, no. Many adoptive parents will have had struggled with MH issues, especially depression, but also with things like eating disorders, anxiety or ptsd

Actually I'm sure I remember a poster on AdoptionUK who had been sectioned as a teenager i think who later went on to adopt.

So MH issues in themselves, unless very serious, wont rule you out. If you were currently undergoing treatment then it would be harder but if it was something 'mild' again it is not necessarily a barrier

However having said that, you need the right agency. Some are more open minded than others. Some would certainly consider you, but others might refuse to take you on. You need to contact all the agencies that you could potentially adopt through (when the time comes) and talk to them about it. Im reasonably sure you will find some of them are far more comfortable than others.

Also when you do the adoption homestudy, you need to be comfortable with and prepared to talk about your MH issues in depth. They will want a lot of information and maybe an additional medical report/assessment on your current MH depending on the agency. The fact you have had counselling is good - in adoption, its always a plus if you can demonstrate that you are willing and able to seek help when you are having problems, because many adoptive parents will need to seek support post adoption from various services. They will want to be completely reassured you are currently stable, have worked through most or all of the issues and can cope with a child who may also have issues of their own which might be very full on

It might not be easy for you but I know people who prove that it is possible with the right agency/sw and the right attitude (a willingness to be open and honest and go through it all) so the very best of luck to you smile

Devora Mon 26-Aug-13 18:23:19

No time to write more now, but just to say that I have a more extensive history of MH treatment than yours, and it was no barrier to adoption.

Good luck smile

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