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Adopting as a single parent

(14 Posts)
Theincidental Fri 20-Sep-13 22:01:05

I'm a single parent of a 3 yr old, mid thirties in housing assoc property.

I know I won't have another child naturally due to medical grounds and no partner. My own family live hundreds of miles away.

I want to adopt so that I can complete my family.

My Ds has no contact with his father and never has.

I work and have a reliable income and no major health issues.

I'm just looking for some advice from experienced adopters as to whether it would be plausible for me to be considered as suitable to adopt.

As far as I can see, from the baaf website, my biggest stumbling block would be that I don't have a spare room.

Would anyone like to give me some info/support into how my enquiry might be perceived?

Devora Fri 20-Sep-13 23:40:01

Hi OP. Adoption agencies vary in what they are looking for, so be sure to talk to all those within an hour's travel time when you are ready to make enquiries.

As you say, the lack of spare room is a significant obstacle. I only know one adopter who has been approved without a spare room (me - but I still moved before we were matched). Usually it seems to be an essential, and for very good reasons I think. Is there any possibility of you moving somewhere with an extra room? Or could you partition your current home?

Being a single parent is not an obstacle to adoption provided you have a good support network (they will ask you to name names).

Will you be able to take a year off work? They usually insist on this (though I also know of someone who went back to FT work six months after adopting).

Having a young birth child will be seen as an issue, but not an insurmountable one (I was approved to adopt when my dd was 3, but I wasn't a single parent). But they will want the adopted child to be at least 2 years younger than your ds - maybe 3 or 4 - and they will want to be sure that you have the time to meet both children's needs (and be aware that a newly adopted child will have more than their share of needs).

Adoption is a market and you need to shop around until you find an agency that wants you. So consider every adoption agency within an hour's travel time (VA as well as LA). Best of luck.

Lilka Sat 21-Sep-13 00:53:15

Completely agree with what Devora said

I'm a single adopter - I have 3; one adult, one teen and one 8 year old. Being single is fine, and being a working single mum is also fine, providing you can take a year off work on adoption leave (preferably, some agencies will be fine with 6 months). As Devora said, you need to have a support network.

Most adopted children really need their own room, so agencies usually require it. Devora is the only adopter I've ever come across who was approved without a spare room. If you can't create a spare room, I think you will need to move.

Some agencies might want your son to be at least 4/5 before they will approve you, to ensure a big age gap (at least 2, but many agencies prefer bigger gaps). However some agencies will be okay with you starting while he is 3, this is wherey you might need to ring around. Which IMHO it's a good idea to do anyway. If you have more than 1 agency option, investigate all of them before choosing.

oldnewmummy Sat 21-Sep-13 01:47:08

Just out of curiosity, do they still insist you take a year off work if the child is school-aged? What if you just worked school hours?

Lilka Sat 21-Sep-13 02:45:19

Yes you still need to take the year off work if you adopt a school aged child. School aged children frequently need the parent there all the time they aren't in school in the first year or so. The time off work and time with the child is often vital for the child.

If your job was only within school hours (completely within them, no chance of needing an after school club or childminder even for half an hour) then social services might not insist on the full time off but would still want a few months off (6 months maybe) and I think that's the right policy. The first weeks and months of placement are exhausting and stressful. Adding work on top would probably not be helpful for the majority of parents. And it's still more stable for the child to have someone at home all the time, someone not worried about work who can completely focus on them

For me, the time off work has been even more important for my older children than for my 'baby'. Even though my work was nearly all in school hours, I actually had to give it up altogether for years.

Theincidental Sat 21-Sep-13 08:10:31

Thanks so much for the information.

The lack a spare room really does look like a problem. The difficulty is that if I moved to private housing, my finances would be screwed and the security of accommodation in private rental would probably be an issue too.

I could separate one room as my two bed is the same size as the other three beds, but I don't know what a housing assoc would make of that either.

I didn't realise the age of my Ds would be a problem too. I thought that given the time the process takes, he'd be at school by the time I got through which would demonstrate that I had enough time to give to a new younger child in the family.

Goes without saying that I would definitely take as much adoption leave as necessary.

It's little heartbreaking... All I want is my Ds to have a sibling to grow up with

ediblewoman Sat 21-Sep-13 08:49:37

In our LA becoming an adoptive parent allows you to go on the transfer list for a bigger property so it might be worth talking to your Housing Assoc?

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 21-Sep-13 09:04:14

Bear in mind that LA are under pressure to get adoptive patents approved more quickly than in the past, so they will be less amenable to starting the process until your DS is older. Our DS was five before we were able to start, and a spare room was an absolute must as well.

Theincidental Sat 21-Sep-13 09:12:46

Edible woman,

That's very positive! Might be the best idea yet. I'll talk to my HA as well.

I'd like to move location back to my parent's area, so it may be that I need to figure that out as well.

Italiangreyhound Sat 21-Sep-13 18:55:55

If you are in a housing association property and you wish to move could you move to a three bed home on the understanding you were adopting? Is it worth asking? Regarding particioning a room, as far as I know that is not a permanent feature is it, so the housing association may be fine with it, if you ask. I mean you are not knocking down a wall!

Good luck.

Newtoddlermum Mon 23-Sep-13 14:06:27

Just wanted to add that I am a single adopter and my local authority did not ever suggest that I HAD to take a year off after my daughter was placed with me (she was two) although we did discuss what adoption leave I would take. My employer offers a good maternity package so I was at home with her for 7 months and then returned to work 4 days a week and she went to nursery. The agency were fine with it.

I would agree that identifying a support network was a hugely important part of the application process - SW placed great emphasis on that.

Theincidental Tue 24-Sep-13 22:34:42

Thank you newtoddlermum

I have good local friend network including some who have also adopted. But if I were to move closer to my family it would be much stronger.

I think I'm going to start calling this week to see what the next steps are.

Meita Wed 25-Sep-13 09:59:23

Theincidental, just regarding your DS' age. Our DS is also 3. We have been in touch with a number of VAs and LAs and about half of them said we'd have to wait until he was 4 1/2 or 5 and well settled at school. The other half said that a few years ago that would have been their stance as well, but nowadays they have so many very young children to place that they will take you on with a 3yo without hesitation, despite the shorter approval process. One LA said that in the past 4 months, over half of the children placed by their consortium where under 1 at time of placement.

Just to say, if the first people you get in touch with won't consider you due to your DS' age, then do try others, if you feel that now is the right time for you to get things started.

Also, some have told us they would want at least 3 years age gap between our BC and any AC, whereas others have said 18 months as a minimum. It is definitely worth considering the pros and cons of various age gaps, but if one SW tells you that a short age gap is a guarantee for problems, another will tell you differently.

Theincidental Wed 25-Sep-13 22:37:38


I'm on the border of three counties and where I eventually want to live is a two county border too. I guess I'll just start a ring round on Friday.

It's bizarre, but I am so nervous of even asking - terrified of being knocked back at the first stage I suppose.

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