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Adopting if you have a birth child with SEN

(9 Posts)
firecracker123 Sun 19-Jul-15 10:15:46

I was wondering if anyone has adopted if you have a birth child with SEN. I have a 9 year old with ADHD and autism and cannot have more children. Me and DH are interested in adoption but I am worried that adoption will involve talking on a child with significant additional needs (having read up a lot on the damage to brain development that can occur even when the child is in the womb in a neglectful/abusive environment) and whether this is fair on either DS or the adopted child. On the other hand, I think DS would relate better to an older child (circa 3 to 5) than he would if we had a baby through surrogacy, which is our other option. Maybe this is an idealistic way of thinking though. I would just like to hear others experience and views on this

StaceyAndTracey Sun 19-Jul-15 18:37:14

Here are some questions SS are going to ask ( and your should ask yourselves )

Any 3/5 yo from the care system will have significant needs, even if they are technically NT. how will you find the time to meet these? Are you both at home full time ?

How will you avoid any adopted Nt child becoming a carer for your older child ?

How well does your son build relationships with others ?

researchbookworm Sun 19-Jul-15 22:13:42

Hi Firecracker,
Something that I've become very aware of recently is that it's one thing to get an agency to assess you in the first place, it's another thing to be chosen by a child's SW once you are approved. Not to be overly negative, once you are at the matching stage you will effectively be in competition with other approved families and sw's are likely to perceive your son's adhd and autism as a risk factor. If there is another family interested that doesn't have those issues then they will probably go with them instead as their duty is to find the best family for the child, not the best child for the family iyswim. This doesn't mean that you couldn't successfully adopt, but you could have a long wait on your hands, and realistically might need to be more open to children with additional needs. I have no personal parental experience of adhd or autism but ironically the fact that you do will make you appealing to sw's as in my experience they very much value any parental experience, even without special needs.
Good luck with your decision :-)

researchbookworm Sun 19-Jul-15 22:16:10

Ps I recently met a couple of approved adopter son a training course who had 2 children with special needs and had been matched with a young baby. I don't know if the baby also had sen though...

IamTheWhoreofBabylon Sun 19-Jul-15 22:16:39

We adopted and have a BC who has ADHD and aspergers
SS saw it as a positive because we had experience of a challenging child and were realistic about potential challenges of an adopted child

IamTheWhoreofBabylon Sun 19-Jul-15 22:18:22

Our DS was 9 at time and we were aiming for an older child, 5 or thereabouts
We actually ended up adopting a 15 month old child

firecracker123 Mon 20-Jul-15 09:18:39

We are very conscious of the additional needs that any child from the care system is likely to have, even if they do not have SEN. Whilst I realise our parenting experience with DS is an advantage in many ways but I also feel it is very important we are realistic about what we can cope with, for the sake of the adopted child, DS and ourselves as a family unit. For that reason we do not want to take on a child with known SEN/disabilities although we do accept that additional needs are likely in any adopted child

We have also considered adopting a baby through foster to adopt. My concern with that approach is that babies in that situation are likely to be in the very worst circumstances and that worries me in terms of what the future holds for that child in terms of affects of alcohol, genetic factors that may have led the parents to be such in such a desperate situation. So I guess the reasoning for an older child was that any SEN would be more likely to be evident by 3 to 5 years old.

It's so hard to know what to do for the best. I feel anxious about making the wrong decision and it impacting on DS as he is on the moderate end of the spectrum and his disabilities are certainly readily apparent to anyone

StaceyAndTracey Mon 20-Jul-15 18:48:37

How would your son cope with a baby coming and then possibly leaving again ? ( if you are doing fostering to adopt )

Would He be able to understand that you might not get to keep the baby ?

firecracker123 Mon 20-Jul-15 19:53:05

Very difficult to say how he would deal with the uncertainty of foster to adopt although he tends to take things at face value so would probably adapt if it was explained to him and not presented as his brother/sister at the outset

I would be interested in knowing what percentage of foster to adopt placements end in adoption. Our LEA has a low number of children needing adoption compared to the national average so I am not sure if there are many opportunities to foster to adopt

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