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Adopting a Hindu baby in the UK?

(19 Posts)
Jasmine12 Sat 18-Oct-14 08:36:19

Hello all,
We are a british couple with indian origin. We have a 6yr old DD (birth child). We both work, are financially stable. We've been considering adoption for a good few years and we are now convinced our DC2is somewhere and we need to find her/him!

We'd like to adopt a baby, under 6 months old - preferably hindu vegetarian.

Are we in an impossible situation with our preferences? Can I please ask the kind members of this forum to share your experiences especially if you adopted a Hindu baby from the UK?

We are yet to begin the formal process, but I'd be heartbroken if we go much further into it only to realize our preferences make it impossible.

Copper13 Sat 18-Oct-14 08:52:35

Hi Jasmine, welcome :-) It's great that you are considering adoption...but, I have to say, I think you would be very very unlikely or at least have a very long wait for such a specific child to come through. Firstly, although babies under 6 months are "available" and indeed adopters here on the boards have been matched with them, it is still not as common to be placed with a baby under 18 months old. The average age is still, I believe around 2 years.

If you sign up to magazines such as "children who wait" you will see that there are occasionally children of Indian background but it is rare and they tend to be older (5+) sometimes the details about the child mention that the birth parents desire them to be brought up in a family of "Christian/Catholic faith" I can't recall seeing any with a request for a Hindu upbringing but that may just be because I wasn't looking for it if yousee what I mean?

Have you been to any adoption information evenings in your area? Local authority or voluntary agencies? They would be best placed to tell you whether what you are looking for is possible or not. These evenings are also very useful for explaining the types of trauma adopted babies/children go through and how this is likely to affect them and you as a family as time goes on. It's tough listening but really does give you the chance to think honestly about if you want to carry on this journey.

Good luck, x

Kewcumber Sat 18-Oct-14 08:54:48

There are certainly babies of indian origin available for adoption, though I don;t know how many are specifically Hindu. In my experience you don't always know the religion of the father and at 6 months I would assume all babies are vegetarian aren't they (pretty much) - whether they continue to be would depend on the foster carers and whether the child's social workers insists that they are raised strictly in the faith of their birth mother.

If you're looking for such a young baby then you probably need to consider concurrent planning/foster to adopt where you foster the baby prior to be eligible to adopt them. However there are risks with this approach.

I don;t have a lot of direct experience of this but there are others who do who will come along at some point.

Also you can ring your local (or any other) social services adoption team and ask them what you.

It is also possible to adopt from India if you have family links but it isn;t easy.

Barbadosgirl Sat 18-Oct-14 08:58:42

Hi Jasmine

In relation to the ethnicity, when I was family finding I saw profiles of lots of children of Asian or Indian origin but they tended to be Bangladeshi or other Islamic backgrounds. I would suggest you check with LAs with fairly high Indian/Hindu populations to see if they tend to have children of that background placed into care (at under six months they would be pre-weaned so de facto vegetarians anyway?!)

As for the age, I don't want to use the word hopeless but that it pretty much where you would be. It is rare indeed for children to be made available for adoption at such a young age and even if they are, the process of matching does not happen over night. So, for example, our son's placement order was granted at three months old. In his case, his four eldest siblings had been removed from bm, her circumstances had not changed, bf was unknown and none of the family put themselves forward for an assessment. It was as close to a no brainer as you can get in these situations. He did not move in with us until he was 8 1/2 months old. It took his sws three months to family find, including taking his profile to exchange events and contacting the adopters of the other siblings and then another two months to get to intros due holidays and the availability of panel dates. Bear in mind these were committed and hard working sws who wanted to get everything done for him as quickly as poss.

A recent case has made the situation with getting placement orders worse.

You may get a rare case where a baby is relinquished by bm at birth and then available for adoption at a very young age but that is extremely, extremely rare. You could look into foster to adopt if you think your family could handle the uncertainty.

I would advise doing some reading around the types of children available for adoption and the realities of parenting an adoptive child to see if it is really for you but my feel is, yes, your matching criteria may be too limiting.

Good luck!

Hakluyt Sat 18-Oct-14 09:01:23

Am I very ignorant? Isn't any baby under 6 moths potentially vegetarian and Hundu? In the same way that they are potentially meat eating and Roman Catholic?

SophieBarringtonWard Sat 18-Oct-14 09:04:28

Ditto Hakluyt - can you not raise any child as a vegetarian Hindu?

Jasmine12 Sat 18-Oct-14 09:15:29

Thanks for your replies everyone.

Let me clarify - we don't believe children (babies) have a religion/diet preference. But birth parents do. I stated it as a preference since we are hindu and that is obviously not a positive factor in matching us with babies from other religions.

We are happy with any baby - but we can only raise our children as hindu vegetarians.

2yr olds are adorable, but I am worried about abuse/neglect that could have done harm by then. Can I undo the damage with lots of love?

gamerchick Sat 18-Oct-14 09:31:55

I would think most 2 yr old are pretty pliable.

I think OP that maybe you need to set up a meeting with the relevant bodies to find out the nitty gritty. I wish you luck in finding the perfect child. So many little ones are in the need of homes.

Upsydaisymustdie Sat 18-Oct-14 11:03:58

I believe it is relatively rare for birth parents to express a fixed preference for the religion in which their child is brought up - it does happen sometimes, but not often. So your desire to raise an adopted child in your religion need not necessarily be a barrier, but would be part of the discussions during your assessment.

In terms of "undoing" damage with only love - the short answer is no. But the long answer is much more positive, in that there will be training and preparation as part of your application process, to help you parent the child in the best way to give them every chance of fulfilling their potential. The "lots of love" part is vital, because that's where your energy to keep supporting the child will come from. There is no getting around the fact that it's not simple, in fact can be extremely challenging, but it is do-able. And I think parents who adopted babies (under 1 year) would say that even when children are placed very young, it doesn't mean there will be no issues. In fact it can mean very much "flying blind" as with a baby you don't yet know what will come out emotionally as they develop.

You don't need to have all the answers yet about the age and type of child who could be adopted into your family - that's very much part of the assessment process - so I echo the previous suggestions of talking to local agencies and asking more of your questions.

FannyFifer Sat 18-Oct-14 11:09:53

I don't know if I'm perhaps missing something here but surely you would just bring baby up to be whatever religion you choose.

I would doubt very much that you would find a child that would match your specific criteria.

Lilka Sat 18-Oct-14 14:38:11

Hi and welcome

I have to say, I think your preferences are almost impossible (I would say impossible, but stranger things have happened!). Adopting a baby aged under 6 months is very rare. Occasionally babies of that age might be available but the matching process takes a couple of months anyway. Crucially though, social services simply won't take on/assess anybody with so small an age range. They are not going to consider a parent as an adopter unless they are fully comfortable with an age range of 0-12 months at the very least, but actually the majority of agencies wil be needing a 0-24 month age range preference.

In my experience, there aren't that many children available from other religious backgrounds than no religion, Christian and Muslim. There are a few, but add in country origins and age, and it's unlikely you are going to match all of those. So it depends on whether you and childrens social workers will be flexible. Some childrens social workers are flexible in my experience - some will be happy with an Indian child of Sikh or Muslim birth parents being adopted by Indian Hindu parents, or will be fine on the ethnicity front with considering Bangladesh or Myanmar to be the same as India. Birth parent preferences are not set in stone, they only extend as far as the social work team is willing to accommodate them. If they think they have 0 chance of meeting those preferences, they might ignore them, or be flexible in certain areas. So if you are a bit flexible with your babies ethnicity or religious background, you may find some social workers are too (some aren't though). I will caution that you are likely to have a long wait to find a match.

Vegetarianism is nearly always fine in my experience, it only becomes a potential issue if you want to adopt an older child, and even then the right attitude and intentions can resolve that

Put simply, love is not a 'cure'. You can't love or nurture away trauma (being moved from bp's to fister carers to adopters is traumatic itself). It's happened, the effect on the childs developing brain has happened. You have to wait and see what effect it will have on your child. The thing is, this effects babies as much as toddlers. Add in the complex genetic inheritance (may e a propensity to develop autism, or learning disabilties, or a mental health condition) many children have and the effects of a lot of stress, alcohol and drugs in pregnancy where applicable, and there's a lot more than just trauma going on. Basically, adoption is a leap into the unknown. My DS was 23 months when I adopted him. He is a joy to parent, and he also has been affected by his early life, it has affected quite a few things about him, so I have to parent a bit differently sometimes/a lot of the time in the early years. Stability and nurture in the long term can and do make a difference, and sometimes a bog difference, but basically, you can't cuddle away trauma in a child any more than you can cuddle away traumatic experiences in a teen or adult. That applies for babies too. You have no idea how a young baby will develop as they grow.

Reading around adoption issues is a good idea, as is thinking about your own preferences. You have to expand your age range, that's not optional IMHO. The rest might be doable, with some flexibility.

fasparent Sat 18-Oct-14 14:50:19

We have looked after baby's and children of all faiths for many years, as FC's we are aware of most cultural requirements, all food we source appropriate, and are cooked separate, sweets, chocolate etc. the same follow guides off the net etc. result's in handy tips and enjoyable at the amount of learning we acquire , no matter which faith they are too pursue.

silverlinings79 Sat 18-Oct-14 14:58:32

Hi smile
We've recently been matched and therefore have recently looked at a number of profiles. I have not seen any that require you to raise a child with a certain diet, unless due to a health condition, so this I wouldnt even raise as an issue. The religion aspect...well I have seen some where they request the child be raised as christian but very rarely. However, while we are white and of no religion (and looking for white children -hence unlikely to see hindu as a preference) we have a large number of friends who are British with Indian parents or grandparents and for every one of them, religion plays an important part in their lives to a certain degree due to its importance in how they've been raised, that many white British people these days do not have, so I would expect that if children are given up or removed from families who are of Indian heritage, they may be more likely to stipulate under what religion a child is raised. And yes, I know there will be a lot of people thinking shock well that's a generalisation! But based on my experiences with the people in my life that is a presumption I would make, but I may very well be wrong. Does this make it harder for you? Well that all depends on how many children there are vs how many adoptive parents like yourselves there are waiting. I have been onto adoption link -A website where approved adopters can search for children. There are currently no 'hindu' or children of 'Indian' ethnicity on there. However, don't let that dishearten you! Social workers aren't going to waste their time putting profiles on there for children who are easy to match. You really need to speak to some local authorities to see how many are waiting. You will need to look at where you live. If you live in a predominantly white area then that local authority is probably not worth signing up with, you need to search where the population has a higher percentage of parents who will be of Indian origin.
As for the younger than 6 months thing. We have been told repeatedly through our training that the chances of adopting a child under 1 is very very small! That's not to say it doesn't happen,because I know someone who it has happened to with a baby only weeks old. But you may be waiting a very long time, as long as you are prepared for the wait. Although, bear in mind that some local authorities might turn you down because it costs a lot to train you up and they may not take you on if your age range is so small. Again you would need to speak to them to find this out.
With regards the 'no issues' thing, it is going to take more than 'lots of love and cuddles' and I use that phrase because I've heard more than one social worker say that. You are expected in nearly all adoptions to talk to your child about their birth parents, in most you will be writing to the birth parents atleast once a year and they will write back. The emotions that child will go through due to having a set of birth parents aswell as you and the situation around why they are not with them will need more.
My advice would be do reading first about adoption and attachment etc. to see if you feel you will be able to deal with possible issues your future child may have and also how they may impact on your bc. If you're happy with that seek out local authorities to see if the child you're looking for is out there.
That was massively long and I'm no expert, but hope it helps a little bit. Others will offer some superb advice on here, as I've found stuff really useful smile Good luck! smile

Thefishewife Sat 18-Oct-14 19:47:03

Hi op majority of Asian children are of Pakistani background or will be mixed Asian and white

You say you can only bring up a child who is Hindu and veggie this will defiantly be a issue and I can tell you sw will press you about a child wanting to eat meat or not want to be a Hindu

Also 7 years of being a foster carer I never heard of a baby under 6 months being adopted placed yes but adopted no

And you would be matched by ethic origin rather than religion

Kewcumber Sat 18-Oct-14 22:01:41

to be fair to OP fishewife I doubt she understands the difference between placed and adopted at this early stage of thinking about things

fasparent Sat 18-Oct-14 23:07:38

Have a full house 6 children some are vegetarian presents no problem's, past children have been of different faiths and cultures, has never ever been a problem of any kind, with these issues in our 38 year's , at times we visit the mosque or temple for advice when we know a child is too be placed for Adoption in a different culture even do training, and at time's accompanied with a social worker on these courses and other's.
Most will travel the extra mile for cultural Adoptive placement in our experience.
Think you will be good parents , go for it , met many folk's with your concerns over the years. Would not worry.

dreamcometrue Sun 19-Oct-14 18:26:39

Hi op, I don't have much info on most of your questions but woukd say this, the la we are with, and another la I know are now not taking on people who want a child under 2 as they have such a long waiting list. Our lo was 20 months when he cameto us . He is an absolute joy.i think you have to go into things without preconceived ideas.
Wishing you lots of luck.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sun 19-Oct-14 20:35:52

2yr olds are adorable, but I am worried about abuse/neglect that could have done harm by then harm can be done a lot earlier than 2 years old. Harm can be caused in utero. The younger the child the lower the chances of it being irreparable but nothing is guaranteed.
Can I undo the damage with lots of love? not really. You can help and make things better for the child but you can undo harm entirely.

jehan1234 Fri 20-Nov-15 13:32:30

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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