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Adopting baby with BC

(10 Posts)
lunalove Sat 09-Apr-16 20:02:11

My DH and I have one BC a daughter who is just three. We can't have more kids and Ive always wanted to adopt anyway. Our LA sent us an information pack and they say they need at least one year between our BC and the AC, so we're looking at 0-2 age group, by the time we get approved. They say they have babies who have uncertain future due to in utero exposure to drugs etc and also they do concurrent planning. I guess I just want some advice on what things I need to think about and consider. I'm a SAHM and I studied psychology so I know a fair bit about attachment and therapeutic parenting and I've read about fasd and know it's obviously going to be very different to parenting our BC. Does anyone have any advice?

MrsH1989 Sat 09-Apr-16 22:48:02

I could have written your post from the age of my birth son to the subject of degree grin We are almost at the end of assessment and have a birth child age 3. What sort of advice are you looking for?

lunalove Sat 09-Apr-16 23:11:39

I don't know really. I suppose which is the best avenue to take. I worry about concurrent planning in case it doesn't work out it would be devastating for our daughter and so confusing. But with adopting babies I keep reading posts where people say you don't know what you're getting in terms of a diagnosis so it can end up being harder than adopting an older child where the needs are known. I guess I think since I won't have to go back to work, we have a good support network and we live near good SEN schools and mainstream ones that seem promising, we could handle that. But that might be incredibly naive. I also wonder if it's the best thing for my daughter which is something I wouldn't even consider with having another BC...

researchbookworm Sun 10-Apr-16 00:22:26

We adopted a 9 month old when our BC was 4 (applied when BC was 2.5, approved when BC was 3). There can be a long wait for the 0-2 age range due to the legal process that has to happen for a placement order to be made. On the plus side, the longer it takes the greater age range you can consider 😜
We ruled out concurrent planning as we felt it would be way too confusing for our BC if the courts felt that the baby shouldn't be adopted after all. It's a risky way of doing it and only you know if you can handle that emotional roller coaster.
In terms of fasd etc you can choose to rule out things like that when considering the sort of child you feel you could cope with. That said, loads of adopters who thought they had avoided specific additional needs later found that their AC had them anyway, and with the best will in the world, SWs don't always have enough info to know. I think with adoption you have to accept a level of risk as you will never have the full picture when deciding on whether to go forward with a match. A lot of the assessment process is designed to help you narrow down the issues/areas that you feel able to cope with. If fasd (as an example) was an absolute no no for you, then you could state this, it's just that the more restrictions you have, the longer it is likely to take to find a match.
We were quite restrictive as we were worried about the impact of a lot of things on our BC. We waited nearly a year for a match (and saw barely any profiles in that time) but when the right one came along it was perfect and we had no worries in proceeding. We are 7 months in now and things are going really well. Based on our experience I would totally recommend adopting. It's easy to be scared of this future unknown child and their possibly damaging impact on your existing BC, but when you learn about a real child and finally get to take them home it's such a privilege and joy (and really stressful/knackering too)!

MrsH1989 Sun 10-Apr-16 09:51:44

We were advised against concurrent planning as our son attaches to others so quickly that it would be cruel if we had to return the baby. As bookworm said, you can specify you do not want a child with fasd but it may take longer- also remember it is a spectrum disorder and the symptoms of many children will be mild.

meandyouplustwo Sun 10-Apr-16 12:27:02

Want to echo bookworm and mrsh
We were approved when our bc was 5 and matched when she was 6 nearly 7 . it was a long wait for us and our bc

we were approved for 0-4 and with no obv disabilities (this was a decision made by our assessor and i agreed as working with disabilities i know the strain it can put on families and affects on siblings , no offence meant for those who do parent a child with disabilities - just my experience).

One of our challenges was managing the uncertainty and time for our bc while waiting.
we explained this rather clumsily as the social workers were "shopping" for the right child for us and sometimes you go to the shop they dont have what you want you have to wait and they may not ever be able to get what you want but they (SW) were continuing to shop for us.

I would say prepare your bc well , we have an excellent support network around us and our dd had lots of friends willing to support with continuing after school activities and play dates so she didn't lose anything when our baby came to us.

we talked openly about why children didn't stay with their birth families and what a social worker was , and why they ask so many questions ......... she did get frustrated with this and asked us if she was giving the wrong answers ?

my own family questioned my sanity when we talked about our plans to have another child through adoption , they were worried about the effects it would have on our bc.
Well she has learnt to share ( which she said she didn't think would be so hard) but they are always side by side , our adopted daughter loves her big sister and our bc sneaks into her little sisters room at night to look at her because she is so adorable, when we talk about going on a family day out our bc always says "with s" because she wants her with us ........ we are definitely a family.

and yes when they come to you it is exhausting , and stays that way ! any second child in any family doesn't just slot in. they bring their own wants and needs , but i wouldn't change it.

What i would say is start the process as soon as you can, I went into it with a "lets see " attitude , my partner was less hesitant than me. But as the process got going I came fully on board and by the time we were approved couldnt wait , but then had too ! until matched. Our darling second daughter came to us at 11 months and has been with us 15 months now and is adored by us all.

best of luck

lunalove Sun 10-Apr-16 13:33:25

Thanks everyone! It's good to hear so many positive stories. I'm really excited about it. I think we will wait until either the end of the year or early next year for a couple of practical reasons. Does anyone have any reccomendations in regards to issues in babies: health, fasd, and learning difficulties etc? I am open to everything right now, I don't really have a criteria, but I'd like to know more about what effect that would have on us as a family and how practical it would be to consider them. Also did anyone consider siblings? We have plenty of room in our house, and I have always wanted a big family. Don't know if it's best to do it one at a time though.

Clockworklemon Sun 10-Apr-16 14:15:26

Just bear in mind it's still a fairly lengthy process and you may be waiting years once approved until you are matched with a LO.
So far, one year in our 6 year old BC and almost 2 year old AD have bonded beautifully and absolutely adore each other. I think it's been an amazing positive to have a BC when adopting.
I know that it's early days and who knows what the future holds, but right now it seems right and a good age gap.

Good luck.

researchbookworm Mon 11-Apr-16 12:51:12

Search mumsnet for threads on good adoption books. There are loads of recommendations. Given the age range you can consider I'd recommend looking at books in the impact of stress/drugs/alcohol in utero. It's possible that you could adopt a child where there has been direct abuse, but with the timescales involved it's much more likely to be a child who was removed at birth. Often this happens because an older sibling was directly abused/neglected, and as a result SS intervene in subsequent pregnancies.
Hope that helps...

PicaK Mon 11-Apr-16 14:20:35

Well our process has gone really fast - a year from first enquiry to panel approval and then a year to bringing little one home with us. So deliberating about waiting a few months is neither here nor there really.
I was a sahm too. Check out your partner's hr policy - how is it worded? Can they get a lot of paid adoption leave? (DH would have to have been adopter 1 on all the paperwork for us to swing it - not a prob in the end as 2 week's paternity leave suited us but something to look at and be aware of)
Adopted kids need a lot of support - so your desire for a large family comes a long way behind their need for your time and energy. So your birth DC is a drawback as you can only focus on 1 child really - but your sahm status is a plus point. Plus 2 could gang up on your birth dc.
The bigger the age gap the easier it is.
I wouldn't do concurrent with a birth dc. As more than 1 social worker said to us - there has been no research done on the effects of fostering on birth dc.
Good luck with it all.

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