Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
Anybody who looked into adoption and decided it wasn't for them?(34 Posts)
Hello, I'm just wondering if there's anyone here in the above category?
We were looking into adoption last year but unfortunately had to make the difficult decision not to pursue it. Ultimately, if I can sum it up, it felt we were being asked to give a lot with very, very little being given in return.
Not sure where this leads us with our journey to being a family.
It's hard. Anyone else?
I'm not sure you'll get the answer you're looking for on here. Yes you're asked to give a lot but very little in return? Our son and us becoming a family is certainly not "very little". There's nothing I could want more and no greater gift than that.
or....giving a lot in terms of building up childcare experience, attending courses, being 100% committed in every way of life for an indefinite waiting period and being told it could be hard to find you a match/could take years/may not happen or could go so far and fall through?
I too say what my children give back is immense, so I presume you are referring to either the process itself of getting to that point or, as last poster suggests, post adoption support???
The process is invasive, taxing, emotional, stressful and extremely frustrating but we got the greatest thing in return, our child.
LO is the most precious thing in the world.
It's all worth it in the end
I don't think it's for everyone, but I'm surprised by this post.
Do you mean no guarantee of making it through the process? I can't imagine why you looked into adoption if your goal/reward is not simply to have a child.
noonesharesmycoke like others I am not sure what you mean by with very, very little being given in return. Do you mean no guarantees?
In terms of having a family and not sure where to go next there are a few options.
You could have fertility treatment, more fertility treatment if you have tried this before, you could use a donor for egg or sperm if there are problems with either or a surrogate with your eggs or donor eggs if you would be willing to do that.
You could look into fostering, it is for some people. The benefit is that you are not committing to adoption but you would parent a child, either short or long term. As long as you are honest with social services about concerns or reservations i don't think looking into fostering is a bad idea.
I've had successful fertility treatment with my own eggs and unsuccessful with donor eggs (in my 30s and 40s) and I am happy to talk about it if you wish to PM me.
Thank you for understanding!
Very little being given in return?
I'm confused. You would have a child.
The same way, if you gave birth, you have a child. You have no support. No A4 file telling you what to do etc. You wing it, The same way everyone else does.
What are you expecting?
Certainly, the courses we attended indicated that unlike pregnancy, where you have a child after nine months or thereabouts, we could be waiting years, and that the child we would get would be deeply disturbed, unable to attach to us, require extensive support which would ultimately mean one of us needing to be a stay at home parent (sadly financially we really cannot commit to this) and we would need to be positive and enthusiastic about maintaining contact with the birth family.
It left us with deep seated admiration for those who successfully manage the process, but after many tears, we realised we couldn't. We have little practical support (parents died young) live in an expensive pocket and thus are reliant on two incomes and all in all, concluded we are sadly not equipped, physically or emotionally, to deal with the uncertainty, lack of post adoption support and emotional roller coaster.
Clearly, unless my reading and interpretation is way off, I have offended with my post. I apologise for this. Perhaps my post would have been better placed elsewhere, but it's hard to know where, I think adoption in some ways was the last stop so infertility might well have been more apt. Or the doghouse, as I foresee us having many more pets!
noonesharesmycoke I know a couple who were looking into adoption but did not as they were asked to do things to the house or garden and were, of course, given no assurances that they would be able to adopt at the end of it all. So you are not alone.
Of course social services can never completely assure anyone they will be able to adopt at the end of the process because things can change, and of course the adoption depends on a suitable match and I am sure they would never be able to assure a couple of the right match within any time frame from the adoptive parents.
noonesharesmycoke I think your post was a bit ambiguous and so maybe may be read confusingly!
Also, in adoption here we very occasionally get people come in and say rude things about adopters, so maybe we are a slightly sensitive bunch!
You were told a very bleak picture which might be true but may well not be true. I have no idea where you live but you do not need to adopt in your direct area, you can go to any nearby county agency or to a voluntary agency or in a city to a local authority. The social workers need to just be able to get you and so you might be 30 minutes or maybe even an hour away by car. That is probably a big area so I wonder if you asked more than one agency?
To put our experiences (in the home counties) against what you were told....
we could be waiting years you could, we waited about one year to get to approve from initial meeting and then a further eight months for LO to move in, so under two years.
the child we would get would be deeply disturbed, unable to attach to us, require extensive support which would ultimately mean one of us needing to be a stay at home parent (sadly financially we really cannot commit to this) There are children who are very emotionally damaged and quite a large number of adoption children may be affected by their experiences but some can grow and develop and thrive very well once in a stable home. In fact if you looked at my two kids, my very dyslexic (possibly ASD) birth dd and my adopted son you would not be able to tell which was adopted and if you had to chose would almost certainly say my birth dd as she is much less confident and much less emotionally secure than my son! (Honest *But I do know this is probably very unusual to some degree).
we would need to be positive and enthusiastic about maintaining contact with the birth family this is very confusing and possibly unhelpful! Most people seem to have letter box contact which is once of twice a year to send a letter, sometimes with or without photos of the child. If the child has birth siblings you would almost certainly be asked to make arrangements once or twice or three or so times a year for the child to meet the sibling in a neutral location. This is not usually the case if the sibling is in foster care and is in contact with birth family. So the child you adopt would meet their sibling who would be placed with another adoptive family and you would not be having direct contact with the birth parents in most cases at all. You might be offered the chance to meet the birth parents face to face and many adopters would jump at the chance (as would I) because in the long run it is helpful for the child and the adopters get to learn a lot and the birth parents may well be reassured by the experience. This is not undertaken until all involved are ready for it.
Please feel free to ask me anything you like.
Interestingly, the main person who spoke in a somewhat belligerent tone doesn't appear to be an adopter!
We would love to try but we feel we can't take the risk. A child's life is at stake and if we can't cope, the ramifications are huge,
Still many tears, though.
there are risks too with a birth child
You could have a child with high needs who requires a stay at home parent
All parenting comes with risk
OP, I completely understand what you are saying. Very often, during the adoption journey, I too felt that I was being asked to give everything and warned to expect nothing in return - that I had no right to expect anything out of it for myself.
I don't think the current process is particularly good at preparing or handling prospective adopters.
Thank you for understanding, Devora. Thank you.
PS I work part time and did with dd before ds came along (He is 4 now, came at 3 and she is 10 now). My kids are both at school and I work school hours only. We have a tiny bit of help from dh's parents who live an hour away and come for a day or two in the holidays.
But day to day if I am running late and need my kids collected from school or if I need a babysitter I use the help from friends who I have known for a while. I could not do this with ds at first, he would have been upset and might have even freaked out (in a very quiet way!) if I had not been the one collecting him from pre-school or school. I had almost a year off work and now just over 13 months in he is much more confident and I have about 4 people who he knows well who would be able to help me with him. I still have to be careful not to leave him with others too often and maybe having dd helps me in that as long as his sister is there, he feels at home!
There are very many people who look into adoption and ultimately decide not to, in fact I would say more than get to the end.
I have a theory that social workers do big up the negatives early on to deter people who don't have the absolute determination to do it. I have no idea if that's true but it certainly feels true.
It is possible that you will have a child that has higher needs, or attachment difficulties or who does need more of your time and one of you might need to give up work at least for a while. It's no good pretending that this isn't the case because it can be. If I had to take a guess I'd say about 20% of adopters deal with significant needs, another 40% deal with needed beyond what you would normally expect with an NT birth child. The rest maybe not so.
It's also unrealistic to imagine that the child arrives with issues and thats the end of the story. Some needs won't be at all obvious initially. I have a 9 year old who has been diagnosed with executive processing problems almost certainly as a result of early life trauma. But no children have much in the way of executive processing problems until they are 6+ (my guess) so it really only became apparent in the last 2 years.
I also felt compelled to give up work when he started school to avoid the separation issues we struggled with when he started nursery. And I'm a single parent so it have huge financial ramifications including downsizing.
But I'm not sure what you're asking for - most people on this particular board have either adopted or are in the process so you won't find many people on here who decided against. Most of us have faced the same issues and decided to continue anyway - that doesn't make us admirable just a bit more pig-headed which is just as well because there are times when you do need to be rather pig-headed in order to keep going and to fight for services for your child. I have come to the conclusion that adoption really isn't for everybody.
You might want to try on the infertitlity boards if you either want further advice eg surrogacy, embryo adoption etc or just find people who have reconciled themselves to being childless, though I find adopters are often pretty clued up about infertility options having been through quite a few themselves often.
Noonesharesmycoke thanks for coming back and talking. I know it all takes courage as this is a very emotional thing, for all.
RE We would love to try but we feel we can't take the risk. A child's life is at stake and if we can't cope, the ramifications are huge,
Really, I feel this is your hurdle, you need to trust your own abilities. You can get 'practice' with other people's kids, volunteer at s school or toddler group etc (one lady I heard of started a gardening club at a school in her lunch break! Very inventive). This may give you some clue if you are able to cope. But of course you will never really know until you do it.
But I do understand your fears.
When my dd was a baby I was quite a nervous mum and I am generally pretty laxy too! DD has a cough and doctor told me to sit in a steamy bathroom with the baby and steam a kettle up a lot to make the room steamy. It was a bit dangerous as a wiggly baby and a steaming kettle in the same room are a Recipe for Disaster! I could have told dh I wanted him to do it but I knew I wanted to do it, I was the best person for that job, it was a ground breaking moment for me! I was a mum and I could cope. Likewise with ds I had to fight to hold him back and start him later in school, he is now full time but it took 9 months to get him to this point due to me wanting him to wait. In the beginning I felt the foster carer and social workers knew more about ds and then suddenly I realised I was the expert on ds, no one knew him as well as me, not birth family or foster family or social workers, I was the expert. Again a good moment, but he had been home a while before that time, so prior to that I was kind of going on faith that we would get there!!
Crossed with Kew. And of course Kew is totally right it is not for all and there is no shame in looking into it and saying no. I wanted another child and like Kew says, I too am pretty pig headed.
Posters who have not been through the process need to understand that the prep process is very different from those perky adopter recruitment ads which trill on about how they are looking for normal families with room in their heart and head for a child. Are they heck.
As soon as you get into the process it feels like you're being besieged with waves of information about how very, very, very damaged adopted children are, about how impossible it is to expect anything approaching normal family life with them, about how adopters have no right to put their own needs first, ever, and no right to expect happy family life. Suddenly, it's not enough to be a normal family - you have to be a full-time unpaid therapeutic carer. And don't dare expect any help because YOU'RE the parent.
That's what it felt like to me, anyway. And the way we got treated during the matching process and placement, and the struggle we've had to get support since, has affirmed that general sense of, 'Can you take it, bitch?' that I had from the start of prep.
I was very ambivalent at times, but stuck with it. And now here I am, five years in, fiercely in love with my amazing little girl. I now understand things I couldn't understand then - like yes, this is not what many people would consider 'normal' family life, but it is our normal. Like: there are many problems, and many challenges, but also indescribable joys. Like: many of the problems sound from the outside as though they would rule out happiness, but they don't.
I think social workers mean well when they throw all this negative stuff at prospective adopters. They want us to go in with eyes wide open, not with unrealistic or romanticised expectations. But I don't think it's helpful to just see who you can scare off and assume those that are left are the resilient ones. They may be the unimaginative ones, the pig-headed ones, the ones who daydreamed through the important bits...
This is overlong so I'll stop. But just wanted to reassure the OP that a number of people dropped out during our prep, including one couple who I thought would make fantastic adopters. I hope you don't get bashed on this thread. I do hope you find a good way forward for you.
Yes I think Kew has summed up nicely, I too wonder about ss "testing our metal" so to speak. We had big concerns part way through because of the negative picture painted but we balanced that with forums like this if real adopters who can tell you it's not always a piece of cake but any parenting never is. Yes you'll have issues as does any parent they're just different issues.
To a large extent also it's down to you in what you say you are prepared for, there's no shame in saying you can't deal with x,y or z. I read Sally Donovans book "no matter what" and it scared me to be honest that this could be our reality and yet I also found it strangely reassuring that despite everything that was thrown at them they were a family and the love and happiness that brought was also there and made it all worth it. None of us really know what we can handle and yet when it happens most of us step up to the plate and deal with it. I'm sure you haven't come to this point without those situations and yet you're here still willing to fight for what you want.
There are also exceptions to the stories that social workers portray. We applied March 2014, were approved Sept 2014, linked with a baby boy with no concerns whatsoever in Sept and he was placed just before Xmas. He's now almost 1 and is absolutely where he should be in terms of development and is a perfectly happy healthy baby so it's not always the bleak picture they paint.
I think they like to prepare you for the worst and then anything else is a bonus!
I do also think when you talk about all these things theoretically and without a particular child it's overwhelming. When it's your own child you just get on with life and deal with whatever comes up.
Our prep was not too negative but there were a lot of negative bits and we were required to think about the birth parents and all manner of areas of adoption. And I agree with Devora that those who stay the course are not necessarily the best but they are the ones who got trough the initial course. I think out of about eight couples we had one drop out after the course and at least one not proceed for other reasons and at least one couple waited two years. So a very mixed picture.
Devora I have a little vision of a social worker actually saying to you 'Can you take it, bitch?'
I think for me the image that lasts from that course is the bits where we had to make ourselves vulnerable to the group and the sense of uncertainty in the room! What I found was my count have been very good with post adoption support but I am aware that I am very lucky!
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