Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
adoption - where to start?(9 Posts)
The amount and complexity of information out there is perplexing, and I've heard great things about mumsnet. I wonder if people can give me somewhere to start?
I'm 40 and my wife is 50. We don't have kids. We're comfortably off and have somewhat flexible work (though one of us is always hectic and overworked), and we live in a too-small city centre house...
We would really like to adopt, but understand it could be complex in multiple ways. Naturally, we would like to adopt a child as young as possible, which we understand is also less likely and harder. We would be very happy with adopting a child of any background or race.
Clearly we are very naive about this, and don't know where to start... what advice can you offer?
Hello Uncleben, I'd start by contacting the adoption team at your local authority, and asking whether they are holding an information evening that you could go along to. That would give you an insight into what the adoption situation is in your area. You could do that with several local LAs, actually, to find the place that feels best to you.
You may have already picked up that there's been a big slowdown in adoption, with the courts being reluctant to grant adoption orders until all members of a child's birth family have been traced and ruled out. As a result, very few children are being placed for adoption, and there are many more adopters approved than there are children who need homes. Many LAs are restricting the number and type of applications from prospective adopters at the moment, which is another reason to check with several LAs.
Lots more to find out, of course, but that's probably the best first step. Good luck!
uncleben I can only echo OneMoreForExtra and say I agree with everything they have said.
I wonder also if you would like to articulate here what your thoughts are on adoption? I can be nosy and ask and you can choose not to reply, or can reply or pm me?
I wonder if you are newly together or newly married or if you have been together ages and the desire to adopt together is new?
Your home may be lovely but do you have enough space for one or two children to join you, and would the child/ren have their own room?
If you are successful in adopting your life will change to some degree and one of you for the first year or so will need to be the stay at home parent. That will be expected. I took about 11 months of work and my son was in school full time before I went back to work (part-time). We already had a birth daughter (9 when ds came, now 11 and ds has been with us just over 18 months). life has changed for us going from 1-2 children so life will change a lot from 0-1 or 0-2.
It is good you are open to background and ethnicity/heritage.
I know almost all adopters might at some stage say they would like a child as young as possible but I wonder what you mean by this, do you mean baby, toddler, pre schooler, primary aged?
We adopted a three year old boy at age 49.
I think it is also good to be realistic. If you adopted a slightly older child you may have more chance of adopting sooner rather than later or possibly it may be the difference between adopting or not, as there are few babies available for adoption.
Please do speak to your local authority and or voluntary agencies but remember local authorities/county counsels are the only people who actually have children for adoption, voluntary agencies offer their services to authorities that have children to place.
Another place to look is www.first4adoption.org.uk/about-us/
Also can I ask whether you have any faith (e.g. Christian) because there are some specific charities/agencies which were founded by Christians and may be of interest, some would seek to place harder to place children (as I think all voluntary agencies would). A place to start and learn more might be but it is a Christian organisation like
...and there are many others.
Lastly, can I ask if you have considered fostering? Long or short term? Just curious.
And very lastly, and no need to reply but have you already had or considered fertility treatment if you would like parent a child then treatment with donor eggs may be an option fr you but it is expensive and definitely not for everyone. Just being nosy, ignore if you like.
Thanks all - sorry mumsnet didn't email me when there were messages, so I thought nobody had replied!
I didn't know about the slowdown - that could make things harder
We have been together for some years and regret not having children. We have talked about adoption for a few years and feel we really need to go for it. We absolutely don't have space and need to move house - regardless of whether we adopt or not - so we will have to move out of town to somewhere cheaper. Very prepared to put in both the time and effort needed. By as young as possible I mean, ideally, a baby.
We are Christian but not involved in a church and I would find it odd to go to a specifically Christian adoption agency (why do they exist?) or, indeed, to an agency rather than the local authority - since, as you say, only councils have children to place, aren't the voluntary agencies just additional cost and confusion in the system?
We aren't interested in fostering as we would like to be a family long-term.
I had no idea that fertility treatment could be available at the age of 50 - is it??
I think fertility treatment at 50 would have to be self-funded.
We are actually adopting with an local authority in a deprived area which unusually has alot of babies to place but I was turned down by around 5/6 agencies before I found them. Many have a ban on the 0-5 age category at the moment but we have a 3 yr old birth son and so are only eligible for a child under 1. You can apply to any agency within a 35 mile radius of your home so it is worth going online and making contact with some.
If you are prepared to adopt siblings - then some LAs may be keener to take you on - that way you may get a younger child. Although younger doesn't necessarily mean better or less problems!
Don't worry about your age - DH and I are the same age and we adopted DS 2 years ago.
If you are serious about moving - move sooner rather than later as SWs will want to assess the house you will bring child(ren) to.
There has been a slow down in placement orders because LAs are now exhausting all avenues for placing child with birth family (even if distant).
Our Local Authority is now big on concurrent placements, where prospective parents are approved as foster carers and adopters at the same time. If you agree to this scheme, you would foster the child/chlidren to start with, while the court processes go ahead to decide permanent placement. The advantage is that you could have the child/children earlier in their journey and you might have more chance of being matched. So there is no foster carer "in the meantime" - it's the prospective adoptive parents from the beginning. The downside is that you take the risk that your child/children might eventually be placed back with the birth parents or other members of their family. Our LA say they won't place a child on a concurrent placement unless the social workers believe there is at least an 80% chance that the child will be placed for adoption. Just thought it might be a route you'd want to consider.
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