Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
Criteria for adoption(4 Posts)
hi everyone, I'm not thinking of adopting any time soon but I have always liked the idea of giving a disadvantaged child a home. I would quite like to adopt a disabled child as I've heard they are less likely to be adopted.
anyway I am currently pregnant and were not very settled atm so now is not the time but I came across this board and it got me thinking what is the criteria so we could work towards meeting that in the future. I'm not sure I want another biological after this one as im finding pregnancy tough (sounds silly) and I may change my mind in a few years but I think I'd rather adopt than have a second.
so Yeh what should I aim for?
Practically you need -
An age gap of at least 2 years but preferably a bit more between your youngest birth child and the new adoptive child. This means your BC realistically needs to be at least 3 before you begin the process, but many agencies may say 4/5 years old (so you can be approved for a child aged 0-2)
A spare bedroom for the new child
The ability to take time off work - 6-12 months, agencies prefer 12 but can be flexible, but aim for 6 months minimum (it's possible to return to work earlier but it's not considered ideal)
In terms of your age, as long as you are both under about 48-50 there shouldn't be an issue with most agencies, some will let even older people adopt (for instance in my LA a 55 year old could adopt a school aged child)
Most past convictions are not barriers and are looked at as part of the assessment
Many adoptive parents have health issues, past histories of depression etc. Having health issues is not a barrier, but again on a case by case basis unless it's a very serious issue
A support network around you
Adopting is very different to having a birth child. Obviously you need to really want another child, but you also need to be sure (at the time) that you are done with birth children (if you want another BC then I seriously recommend you have your BC first, then adopt if you still want to)
Comfortable with the extra issues that adopting brings, from things like birth family to contact to the emotional needs many adoptive children do have
Realistic about things about disability - there is a real need for parents to adopt children who have disabilities but obviously social sercives need to feel sure you know what you're choosing to do and able to manage
Back to the practical, you don't need to own a home, but yes you do need to be settled in a home and not moving around a lot
You don't need to be wealthy, as long as you are managing financially (no massive debts etc) and can provide for another child, that's fine
One main criteria is that you are doing it for the right reasons. The approval and matching process is hard enough but parenting a grieving and neglected, possibly abused, child is so much harder than even the toughest pregnancy.
Add to that a disability and you have to be prepared for your life to change and possibly not for the better.
You must also consider the impact this will have on your birth child(ren). It has the potential to be hugely disruptive for them and may become quite a negative situation for your family.
I know this comes across rather doom and gloom but understanding the potential reality of your decision is a really key part of you deciding whether it is right thing for you.
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