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AIB very unrealistic to even hope we could adopt?

(24 Posts)
DinosaurTrain Thu 08-Jan-15 12:13:38

I know in the UK it's not an easy process, that I would need a spare bedroom and also my DS to be quite a bit older.

These things are possible.

But I cannot change that:

I had severe antenatal depression and for a few months (though quickly removed after birth) DS was on a CPP plan

And DH is bipolar. Last episode was 2009 (when he was diagnosed) and he is stable on meds and religiously takes them.

And we seperated for a while under the pressure of my antenatal depression

Is it a fantasy Id be better off just letting go of now?

Nonnimouse Thu 08-Jan-15 16:02:36

Hello... I don't have answers to your questions, but I didn't want to ignore you. Hopefully someone else will have more insight.

DinosaurTrain Thu 08-Jan-15 16:25:00

Thanks Nonnimouse!

Italiangreyhound Thu 08-Jan-15 16:27:52

Welcome and I am very sorry to hear about past difficulties * DinosaurTrain* (great name by the way).

I am afraid I don't know the answers to all your questions, but you will be able to find out from your local area/county council or a local voluntary adoption agency.

Can I ask how old your birth son is?

What has made you decide you want to adopt, is it related to the antenatal depression?

Do you have a spare room at the moment, which could become the child's room?

All best wishes.

DinosaurTrain Thu 08-Jan-15 16:38:09


I did contact the council and an agency and that's where I was told my son needed to be older (2) and I needed another room as kids not allowed to share etc

but it's a bit chicken before the egg - as I would definitely move to a bigger place if adoption was an option, however where we are is brilliant and stupid to give up if we cant anyhow - good location, adequate size, etc. We would have to move out of the area to afford somewhere bigger, and if we cant adopt then we are next to a brilliant school etc already.

They weren't really ready to discuss anything further although suggested I go to some open days and said its always on individual merit. Which I can understand but if it's a pie in the sky dream then there's no point me jumping through hoops really "just to see"

I think adoption has definitely become more attractive due to the antenatal depression, I am scared I would have it again if I have another birth child.

But I also think as a mixed race family, who would be happy to adopt a sibling group that we might be able to provide a home for children who otherwise would be in numerous foster homes. (I've heard that mixed sibling groups take longer to place??) and also having been in the care system myself for a while - realise how much better belonging somewhere feels...iyswim.

64x32x24 Thu 08-Jan-15 17:02:16

Hi DinosaurTrain,

I suppose the problem is, before they really properly assess you, then any kind of 'no x y and z are not problems and a b and c is great' reassurances would be a bit pointless anyway. As soon as you did properly apply to be assessed, they could change their minds - for a variety of reasons - and decide not to assess you after all. Or they could start assessing you and then quickly realise that any 'issues' were greater than they had thought, and therefore they wouldn't recommend you for approval.

And even if you got to talk to someone in-depth about your personal circumstances and background, and they said yes you would be a perfect candidate, as soon as your child is older - then in a couple of years the adoption landscape might have completely changed (again) and you wouldn't be 'in demand' anymore. Or the opposite - though they may tell you now that they wouldn't assess you due to x, in a couple of years they may fast-track you to approval...

One option is to call First4Adoption, they have an advice line that is good for giving general advice on how certain issues may be approached and if it is indeed a wild dream, or if it is realistic.

Without knowing details a forum like this one cannot possible say, but:

- People who have had depression, or are even still on ADs, can adopt, in the right circumstances.
- Bipolar people who control it well, can adopt.
- I don't know about the effects of the CPP - they would definitely want to know about it - one of the first questions asked is if you have ever had anything to do with SS already.
- You having separated under the stress of the antenatal depression would be something any SW would want to explore in depth. Adoption can be very stressful (and post-adoption depression is common) - how would you deal with it this time? What is different this time round? Do you have safe-guards in place to avoid it coming to the same outcome? Is your support network stronger now? You can't just say 'I won't get depression' or 'I don't think it will be very stressful' - you have to explain to them what plans and support you have in place to get through the probable stress and the possible depression, without having a separation again. I would think that if you can get that across convincingly, you could be approved.

We were in a similar situation regarding bedroom - didn't want to move if adoption wasn't going to work out anyway. In the end we did a loft conversion and the month after the 'spare bedroom' was there, I called an adoption agency ;) Maybe extending would be an option for you?

DinosaurTrain Thu 08-Jan-15 17:46:52

Can't extend annoyingly, we would def need to move, and likely to another city so even if our council approved its possible another wouldn't

I don't know how they would feel about the depression as mine was entirely before birth and lifted virtually as I gave birth. I react very badly to hormone changes I think. But I have suffered depression at other times and taken medication so can't say it would only happen if I had another pregnancy... All be it that it was quite a few years ago otherwise and Iv done counselling etc. I do have a good track record in that iv always asked for help and other than the pregnancy things have never been severe.

It seems so upsetting though I do understand a kid being adopted will have gone through enough trauma that they need a stable forever family but mad that they go through countless foster homes in the meantime while anyone who can reproduce can have as many kids as they like with nobody checking how suitable they are to breed! sorry needed a rant

I think perhaps we just need to add to our family through a pregnancy for now if we want more kids for sure, and see where we are further down the line?

DinosaurTrain Thu 08-Jan-15 17:48:36

Sorry didn't address the bit about the seperation - would that we did counselling etc hold any merit for what we would do if we were strained by adopting as a couple?

Italiangreyhound Thu 08-Jan-15 23:28:39

I am sure if you had had counselling that would help.

How long ago did you separate, how long for and when did you get back together? You do not need to tell me, I am just asking. How long ago will be a factor and for how long etc. And also if you have resolved the issues, and counselling can usually help.

I think it is good to decide if you want to go down the pregnancy or adoption route and gear yourself towards that. If you do have a new baby would you still need to move?

Just as an aside a friend of mine had really, really bad post natal depression. She didn't know her mum had had it and she had a predisposition to it. She had a traumatic birth and tried to breast feed and her new baby had some early issues, the lack of sleep etc and all the other stuff combined to make things very difficult for her.

My frend had another child a few years later, she opted for an elective C-section, bottle fed and so shared that with hubby (I am a great breast feeding advocate but it was not right for her) and the doctors who helped her in her pregnancy knew what might happen so prepared for it.

I am not saying this is always the case or advocating for C-sections etc. But for my friend her second pregnancy was very different. It is not always the case so I think you really do need to find out your own motives for wanting to adopt etc and make your own choice to pursue whatever is right for you and your family.

All best wishes.

Jameme Fri 09-Jan-15 00:48:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DinosaurTrain Fri 09-Jan-15 01:00:10

Thanks just to make it clear - I didn't have post natal depression.

I had very bad depression during pregnancy (antenatal) Which lifted virtually the day I gave birth...

I always wanted to adopt (due to my own experience of being a LAC through many homes) but obviously given what happened in pregnancy - I'm nervous of pregnancy for expanding our family, but it's not that I think it's an easy option at all.

The seperation happened when DS was 6months and we've now done counselling and about to move back in together, I know we wouldn't be approved now... Already been told they want youngest birth DC to be about 7/8 at least usually, so we have 6 more years to be stable, plus a home with extra bedroom etc to sort.

But it might sway me from attempting another pregnancy if there was still a possibility we could adopt... Iyswim.

myfallingstar Fri 09-Jan-15 13:30:25

Add message | Report | Message poster Jameme Fri 09-Jan-15 00:48:30
Do you know that post adoption depression is a thing? I would hate for you to decide that adoption is the way to avoid pnd only to run into pad... I don't know much about it (or pnd) but it's probably worth a google/read. Adoption is in no way a panacea or an easy way to get a child.

There's probably a way round the house situation (such as agreeing with your agency that if you successfully get to x point, you'll move so they can complete the assessment.) We moved to a 'family home' after the initial meeting with a SW had a positive outcome. With your situation, I'd suggest that putting the CPP issue to rest first would be the time. I have no idea how much of a problem the CPP would be but iirc the only thing that would absolutely rule you out is a conviction for harming a child. Obviously, it's something they'd want to talk to you about...*sorry I don't agree with this I think also having a child removed for whatever reason and I wouldn't say that having a child on a co would rule you out however I would say even if you managed to get approved you would be hard pressed to find a sw that would place a child because if anything happend if the adoption broke down even if the child had a accident they would be for it sw are very risk adverse and I am sorry but I can't see you getting a child placed*

I would imagin any LA would want to talk to the sw Invloved with your child and ask their view weather they fet you could cope

Good luck, whatever you decide.

Italiangreyhound Fri 09-Jan-15 16:34:48

Sorry Dinosaurtrain I may have muddied the waters by talking about my friend who had post natal depression and I was trying to show that managed well it was different second time around but I must have either miss-read your post or thought it was still relevant (probably the former).

If you and your husband have not yet moved back in together I think your priority will be making the relationship work before considering another child either by adoption or birth. I know all about forward planning, I was planning my second before my first was born. But as my second took almost 10 years to arrive, it was lucky I was able to focus on the situation at hand, eventually. I don't mean that nastily, I mean I know how it feels to look where you want to be, and focus on the future but I think you need to focus on the present.

Can I ask how old you are, roughly?

I had a birth child at 39 and adopted at 49, so unless you are much older there really is time for things, hopefully. I would not recommend waiting too long to try for a birth child but it would be good to get things back into a good pattern before you start planning number 2.

I always wanted to adopt as well, well from age 26 or something, so I understand the drive to do so. If you wanted to talk about things with a social worker you could chose a voluntary agency or county council a way away from you.

I was told dd had to be five before we started, but actually nowadays agencies seem to take families with much younger kids so don't know you would need to wait until your son is 7 or 8.

Good luck.

DinosaurTrain Fri 09-Jan-15 18:39:56


Sadly I'm running out of time if we do it through birth, I'm only 30 but at very high risk of ovarian and uterine cancer (currently having some treatment to see if they can sort the cells out) and really should have a hysterectomy in the next few years... Of course I haven't agreed to it yet as unsure if I do want to carry another child - which will also I think increase the risk of it developing (can't remember it all tbh my heads a bit fuzzy trying to get around it... I will have another scan in a month and perhaps know more) I also need treatment to help me conceive if I do decide to, and it took quite a lot of attempts last time before it happened so that's why I'm in a bit of a rush to make a decision.

Also to be clear - my child was never removed from me. He was on a CPP plan and had a social worker for 6 months (3 during pregnancy and 3 afterwards) the plan was removed at the first conference after his birth, and they closed the case altogether about a month after the conference...

DinosaurTrain Fri 09-Jan-15 18:43:55

Sorry for drip feeding! blush

Italiangreyhound Fri 09-Jan-15 22:55:40

DinosaurTrain I am so sorry to hear of your potential cancer issue.

How old is your little boy now?

DinosaurTrain Fri 09-Jan-15 22:58:26

Thanks Italiangreyhound he is 2 now

Italiangreyhound Fri 09-Jan-15 23:00:47

DinosaurTrain I really think you have a lot going on and I am not going to advise you anything because there is really so much to consider. All I can say is what I might do in your shoes!

I was desperate for a child and then desperate for another child, but I do think you must seriously consider the health implications if as you say ... and really should have a hysterectomy in the next few years... Of course I haven't agreed to it yet as unsure if I do want to carry another child - which will also I think increase the risk of it developing...

Personally I would be looking into these ideas if there was a real chance that fertility treatment or a pregnancy could make a significant different to your health. You did not use the word 'significant', I did because I am aware when you are looking to have a baby you are willing to take some risks. I took a drug that had a minuscule chance of increasing the risk of cancer, really minuscule. I did not get pregnant with this (it was after the birth of our birth daughter) and it is a curious question to know how many times I might have done that, or been allowed to do that!

"In some studies, researchers have found that using the fertility drug clomiphene citrate (Clomid®) for longer than one year may increase the risk for developing ovarian tumors. The risk seemed to be highest in women who did not get pregnant while on this drug."

But then if I read the whole thing I see obesity poses a risk too, and I am not tiny!

So if I were you, I would be doing a number of things:
prioritising your marriage/relationship and getting it all back on track,
looking into the medical implications of pregnancy or IVF for your medical condition, - of course it is natural that you say ... can't remember it all tbh my heads a bit fuzzy trying to get around it.. but I would want to go back to the doctors and get a lot of information to help you make your decisions.

As far as adoption goes, I just do not know what you would or would not be able to do.

I will have a think and get back to you in a minute but not to give advice, just to talk generally, I am not an expert in all this.

Huge Hugs.

Italiangreyhound Fri 09-Jan-15 23:01:27

Can I ask how long you have lived apart from your DH then?

Italiangreyhound Fri 09-Jan-15 23:08:31

DinosaurTrain, as I say I am not going to give you advice. In your shoes I think I would be exploring either adoption or possibly (if your funds allow for it) seeing if a surrogate might be able to carry a baby for you. I know that surrogacy is a very personal topic and it is not something my husband and I considered, but with medical complications at least you would avoid these.

As far as I know surrogacy offers the potential to have a baby with your DNA if you use your own eggs - although I would also see whether the fertility treatment would increase the risks of cancer for you (as you would almost likely still need drugs if using your own eggs).

As far as I now there is the option to use donor eggs or the surrogate's own eggs and for your husband to be the biological father or there is the option to use donor embryos and neither of you would be biologically related to the child but a surrogate could carry the baby.

This is a massive mental shift I know, but of course the fact a child conceived in this way would not be biologically related to you or your husband would be very much like the 'genetic' side of adoption.

Hope no one reading this is at all offended. I must emphasise my son is not at all genetically related to me and I love him to bits, so I am not in any way making any value judgements. My journey to adoption included treatment with donor eggs, and so I went along this journey myself.

DinosaurTrain Sat 10-Jan-15 00:22:47

Thanks! I suppose I just assume we could never afford surrogacy, I know fertility treatment gets expensive too just not sure we would manage with unexpected costs that could quickly mount with a surrogate

We have lived apart for 18 months or so now I think and now counselling is ending are feeling ready to move back in together... But of course there's so much to consider right now my head is spinning... If adoption isn't a likely possibility then I guess my biggest question to answer for myself is how much do I want another child and what risks are we willing to take to acheive it?

I'm going to ask for a referral to a counsellor to discuss all this, there must be someone like with IVF you can have counselling, I get passed from pillar to post because they're all dealing with a different piece of the puzzle lol

Italiangreyhound Sat 10-Jan-15 00:29:24

Good luck Dinosaurtrain.

DinosaurTrain Sat 10-Jan-15 14:41:16

Thanks for all your advice and support! ((A very unmumsnetty hug of appreciation)) thanks

Italiangreyhound Sat 10-Jan-15 17:17:46


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