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House too small?

(18 Posts)
mummytoo Fri 02-Jan-15 08:04:58

Hi,

looking for honest thoughts on this. We have already had an initial chat with SS about this and they were natuarally quite vague....

we would like to adopt a third child, we hvae 2 birth children aged 2 and 5, and a not massive but fairly small-average sized 3 bed house. The kids each have their own room, but we've mooted with them to share (the older is girl and younger boy) and this seems ok with them....

before we even apply is our house size going to be a deal breaker. We do want to extend in the future, and have looked into this, but at the moment it in a bit of an extra financial commitment we don't want to go into... but definitely down the line in a few years....

we are now thinking, do we wait to apply and then do extension stuff when kids older (if successful).... or do we apply later this year and hope the house size isn't a definite no from the off..... (before they look at everything else!).

We are quite keen on foster to adopt.... so it might be a baby, but if we were successful and it was an older child, we would be looking at starting later in year/next year anyway as my littlest is only 2.

We aren't spring chickens so don't want to wait years until we have the perfect house before starting this process. also assuming that at some point SS won't think my older child should be sharing with the younger...

maybe this isn't the thing i should be worrying about?!? S S were positive about us having our own kids already, which was my first concern.

thanks

5ChildrenAndIt Fri 02-Jan-15 08:08:14

I have no experience to add - but it would be interesting for someone to look into how the rising cost of housing has impacted on the pool of potential adopters. who can afford a 'family' sized house these days? We started our family in a relatives spare room - moved into a 1 bed when DC2 was born!

Nonnimouse Fri 02-Jan-15 09:36:47

I have adopted with 2 opposite sex birth children sharing a room... I think having a plan B in place for if/when they don't want to share any more will be important reassurance to SS. Like, get a rough estimate and draw some rough plans on the potential extension. To be fair, mine were already sharing and had always shared (they still share now, ages 9.5 and almost 8.) in your position I would move them together now, because SS may worry about how they will adjust to sharing, and whether they will resent a new sibling for taking "their" bedroom. I would move them together now, give it a few months, and approach SS then, with a room already "free" for the adopted child.

Kristingle Fri 02-Jan-15 11:49:54

What Nonimouse said

Any adopted child needs their own bedroom. SS don't care if your other children are sharing

If you are thinking of fostering to adopt, you need to think about how your children will cope if the child has to go back. Also how it might affect your boding with the child if you know there is legally insecurity .

Given that your youngest is 2 , have you asked how long you will have to wait before they will assess you ?

Some agencies will not place a child under 2 with a family who already have had two babies . You need to check with yours.

If you are going for a child who is in high demand eg a healthy white baby or toddler, you need to be aware that you will be competing against other families who are child less and can give the new child all their attention . Many workers will be reluctant to place with a couple with two other young children .

Do you mind if I ask why you don't just have another bio child ?

Kristingle Fri 02-Jan-15 12:01:45

You would also need to think about how you could do contact with the birth family ( often several times a week ) with your other children around and how they woudl deal with it .

Remember that even if the baby can't be returned to the birth parents, it often goes to other family members .

Sorry, these are all points about fostering to adopt rather than about your house. But I thought I woudo mention them anyone, as you said you were interested in this .

Velvet1973 Fri 02-Jan-15 14:34:18

In regards to foster to adopt also, not many agencies actually do that many and of those that do my understanding is they would be extremely unlikely to consider you if you already have children. Because of the uncertainty with foster to adopt they would be very concerned about the effects on your existing children if the child were to return to the birth family.
Kristingle also pointed out about the contact with birth family, we have done a f2a placement but only after the placement order has been issued which is highly unusual. The contact arrangements for our lo is 3 times a week for 2 hours which can really affect your schedule particularly with other children who may be at school etc.
Regards to the house though as long as your adopted child has their own room it wouldn't be an issue.

mummytoo Fri 02-Jan-15 15:25:30

thanks for your helpful comments, especially about Foster to adopt.

To be honest we weren't specifically looking at Foster to adopt, but when we phoned up and had a chat with SW, she suggested it. We expected to be given an older child if successful, and we called to ask what age gap to the little one would need to be before even applying...we were thinking maybe 3 or 4 years minimum.... they suggested applying at the end of this year. Our feelings on setting out on this were that we were probably not the most ideal candidates for adoption... but the SW sort of changed my mind by saying that people with parenting skills are often what they are looking for....

in answer to your question about why not just have another of our own... well we are a gay couple... we had one child each through assisted conception, which was luckily for us relatively straightforward (I say relatively as these things are not completely plain sailing, and it seems as often luck is more involved then anything)... although i could go through it again (DP a bit too old now) neither of us wants to as we feel we could give a good home to a child that doens't have one... we enjoy being parents and maybe (incorrectly) think we aren't doing too bad a job with the ones we have been fortunate to give birth too.

in all honesty it probably would be easier to try assisted conception again... but we didn't want to do that. it's not just a financial thing but for us something we want to do differently.... i don't think we are alone in that view... it's hard to explain though without sounding terribly moral. there must be lots of reasons for wanting to adopt, other than not being able to have your own birth children... i did expect them to prefer people without any kids though.

the effect of all this on our existing kids is what we expect them to consider first and foremost and rightly so.... my question may have seemed a bit simplistic but was really just one of many we have...

so although this post started off about rooms... i think it is answering some of the other ones too!

Velvet1973 Fri 02-Jan-15 15:48:39

Sounds like a pretty good place to be coming at adoption through to be honest. Agencies are always looking for all types of adopters, those with or without children as many children may be better suited to people that are already parents. I'm sure you'll have many other questions arise as you go through things and this forum and fertility friends adoption forum are good sources of support and advice. Good luck.

Kristingle Fri 02-Jan-15 18:14:21

To be blunt - there are people queueing up to adopt healthy straightforward white babies and toddlers, you would not be giving a home to an " unwanted child " .

However They are desperate for adopters who can take children wilth moderate special needs and sibling groups ( obviously you don't have room ).do you feel able to parent a child with special needs ?

Your sexuality shouldn't be a problem, there are other lesbian adopters here, both singles and couples .

If you were my friends I would advise you to go for assisted conception again. All children available for adoption have various degrees of special needs and it's harder with two older children TBH

mummytoo Fri 02-Jan-15 20:41:55

Kristingle I appreciate your honesty but I am puzzled as the comments on most of these posts dont bear that out. Maybe we should have opened our home to a sibling group but the reality is that like most people we wanted to try for our own kids first. I am fully aware that there are a lot more children waiting for a home who have additional needs.

excitedmamma Fri 02-Jan-15 21:04:11

don't know about other people on here... but my daughter is 'my own'

mummytoo Fri 02-Jan-15 21:20:18

Apologies I meant own bio kids.I didnt mean to offend...both my kids are my own but only one is biological. The op was implying we should just stick to bio kids I think.

Lilka Fri 02-Jan-15 21:52:59

I've usually found social workers slightly more unpredictable (in a frustrating way wink ). Some of them definitely prefer childless couples, but then you get quite a few who swing the other way for whatever reason, and think older siblings are fantastic. Or I've seen them want to replicate the environment in the FC's house (either several older siblings or childless couple) if they think the child seems to like it and doing well with it.

I think it's true to say there are less children available now than there was a couple of years ago, it depends on area of course, but there are generally fewer children and more approved adopters waiting. Therefore you might have to be prepared for quite a long wait to find a match. Depending on your matching criteria, you may be one of a big pool of adopters for only a few children (on the other hand, if you or your DP are from certain ethnic backgrounds and living in the right areas, you might be one of a small pool of adopters for an awful lot of children)

I can't speak for Kristina (or Kristingle? Or Kris? What is this name change malarkey? Spare a thought for the confused old posters among us! wink ), but I do understand where she's coming from.

From my perspective, I don't discourage people from adopting and if i had my time again I would adopt all over again, but I also think people should go in eyes open to how different it is from going the birth child route (even if that birth child doesn't share your genes). Adoption might be exactly the right route for you. It is though a difficult and stressful route. Having birth children is usually easier. Parenting a child who has been through trauma is most often different from parenting birth children and often much more stressful. Nearly all children you could adopt have additional needs and it can be very challenging parenting with other children of quite a close age at home. If you research what that can be like and what adoption entails now, and you still think it's the right route forward for you, then that's fine.

I'm not trying to put you off, it might be the right way forwards for you. I would, like Kristina, advise friends of mine to fully explore the assisted conception options and decide it's definitely not right for them before discounting it. And then explore their thoughts about adoption and their expectations of what it will be like carefully.

Best of luck to you in whatever you decide to do smile

mummytoo Fri 02-Jan-15 22:00:09

Thanks. All really helpful

kmarie100 Fri 02-Jan-15 22:05:33

Hmm, not sure I fully agree Kristingle, there maybe a queue but adoption is for the child's needs not the adopters. Mummytoo may be the right parent for a child waiting. Good luck mummytoo.

Italiangreyhound Sat 03-Jan-15 00:26:37

mummytoo welcome.

One of my kids was born via IUI and the other is adopted. I wish you all the very best in your journey. smile

mummytoo I agree that sometimes social workers do send mixed messages about value of parenting experience. For us the fact we had a birth dd and had experience of parenting was definitely something that went 'in our favour' when we were chosen for our son.

I am a bit confused about the age of child you would like to adopt and when you said We expected to be given an older child if successful, and we called to ask what age gap to the little one would need to be before even applying...we were thinking maybe 3 or 4 years minimum.... they suggested applying at the end of this year.

Do you mean you expected to wait and they said end of year? Or did you mean older than your current children? You need to keep in normal chronological order. So birth children do not 'lose their place'. That is if you have a younger child of 2 and new child would need to be younger (by at least 2 years) than your youngest child. If you applied at the end of this year and by then your younger child was three and a bit you could adopt a baby or perhaps a toddler. Quite a lot of people also want to adopt babies and toddlers but also, I know a lot of people who have adopted older children too, so of course people are needed to adopt all age ranges.

I would echo any advice here that says to find out all the facts about adoption and if this is best for you, as a family.

I would also soul search quite a lot about whether you are ready not to have another bio child (bio for you or your partner) and make sure you are over that stage of life. It's not just about DNA etc is also whether a child has had a tough start to life, perhaps exposure to drugs or alcohol (or both) etc etc.

I did a whole lot of soul searching I ended up having thousands of pounds worth of failed treatment in a bid to have number two, but then I had fertility issues and your need of treatment is not for the same reason so may be easier for you.

Finally, I was done with treatment and ready to adopt and it has been brilliant, really I could not imagine it having gone better! However, I think I lucky, our son has adjusted very well. The hardest part for me has been the reaction of my birth dd who has felt very jealous and has found it hard.

If you decide on adoption I would definitely consider investing in an extension or converting a room, maybe divide the biggest bedroom or whatever you can do. A simple room conversion may be reversible. My friend did this for her kids. They had bunk bed type things with storage under the beds and very compact and bijou but good for little kids if old enough for top bunk! When the kids left home she had the room divider removed.

If adoption ends up not being your chosen option you could have a room you could use for a child born of assisted conception.

Adopting then sorting the house out sounds fine but what if you do end up with no money to do it. Will your current kids end up resenting the fact your new child gets their own room and your current kids share? They might. My birth dd is very jealous of her new sibling and although she loves him it would be hard for him to be perceived to have a lot more than her. As the first born she has the bigger bedroom!

Also my kids had to share at their grandparents this week and our 4 year old ds was still awake when my hubby went to bed at about 11! Sharing is something we can do on hols and family weekends away but long term would not work for my kids. Your kids may be different.

Just some things to think about.

All the best.

PS I am nearly 50, and we adopted last year (2014) so I am wondering roughly how old you non-spring chickens are!

WeLoveLego Sat 03-Jan-15 23:01:38

Hi mummytoo, Just to return to your question about house size- we have an average three bed and two bio children who were aged 2 and 4 years when we were approved to adopt. As everyone is saying, LAs differ in their views but ours were satisfied with our two BC sharing a room, and our future proofing plan being that we would extend, move, or in harsh economic times whereby that might not be so possible, we said we would move our bedroom to a downstairs room leaving three bedrooms for the three children.
Also to pick up on the age gaps point, again LAs differ. In our case, the right match ruled out, as in our situation the age gap between BC2 and AC ( who has been with us for eight months) is just 20 months.
I've heard a lot of advise in adoption circles saying that bigger age gaps work better, and I assume there's research that's been done on this too, but so far the tight age gaps between the kids are working well (they're all born less than 4 years apart). Yes it is exhausting, and only time will tell exactly how this dynamic will work I guess, but so far so good. in my humble opinion, if you feel an adopted child is part of your future you might be able to proceed sooner rather than later ( if you want to). We started our training when bc2 was just under2. We were matched with Dc 3 just a month after approval. Our LA were positive about our experience as parents, and about us having young children, but like everyone is saying here, LAs differ.
It sounds from your Op that you've already found an agency keen to take you, great. We were turned down by five agencies initially- it was in fact our young age as parents that put one agency off! - or so they said, we're very early 30s and we have no fertility issues so I suspect they didn't deem us 'committed', despite our assurances that we were.
I wish you every success with your journey ahead!
Ps. Just for the record, DC1 and 2 now think they'd like triple bunks in their room so that Dc3 can move in with them. They think Dc3 is lonely at night without them!!

mummytoo Sun 04-Jan-15 10:04:58

Thanks for your lovely msg. Weve decided to take another look at our reno plans for house...and then go back to agency in a few months.

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