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Thinking about adoption (scared of courses etc)

(33 Posts)
topcat2014 Sat 21-May-16 09:22:03

I am thinking about adoption (have one child now), but am a bit scared about the 'courses'

I am a conservative voter, and I don't know any non-white people currently, and have always worked in the private sector. I read the Times.

I am a bit scared I would get ripped to pieces for not having the required 'right-on' views.

Should add I don't hold any racist views, it's just I don't want to have to talk about all that area either because I know i would commit some kind of gaffe.

This is putting me off even making the first phone call. I got a bit nervous reading about things on the website.

JustHappy3 Sat 21-May-16 09:41:00

I understand where you're coming from - but you are completely out of date. What matters now is the child and their future happiness. The kind of "social worker rejected me cos I was middle class" story was prob totally wrong in the first place and certainly doesn't apply any more.
That said they will look carefully at what you can offer and if you are prepared to step away from ingrained notions ( like going to university=success, professional job=success ) and look at whether you can cope if your kid doesn't do what your peers' kids do.
We found our social workers were more posh than us! And the courses were brilliant.

Catvsworld Sat 21-May-16 13:47:27

Haha I got Tory to op 😬 And I am black

If your white and you live in a majority white area I am not really sure why you would know any non white people

I not sure what kind of gaffe you would commit I presume you not looking to adopt a non white child so can't see the issue

Cleo1303 Sat 21-May-16 14:16:14

Speak to several agencies/local authorities and go to a couple of their open information evenings. Some agencies will want you to attend one of these before you have a one-to-one meeting with them.

Some SWs will be "right on" and anti MC adopters - though probably not as many like that nowadays - and they will make that quite clear, but others won't be and will be very supportive and lovely. If you don't feel it would work with one agency or LA try another one.

You need to do a lot of research and a lot of reading. Get the Adoption UK and Be My Parent magazines. All the children seem delightful and then you will learn to read through the lines. It's a big step.

When you do your home study be honest with them. If you don't feel you could cope with something tell them. This could be anything from uncertain development issues, or issues about contact with a birth family. They genuinely want to make the right match, not have a failed adoption.

To a certain extent you don't know what you will be getting with an adopted child but you don't know what you are getting with a birth child either. Lots of birth parents expecting to have the "perfect" child don't get that. "You make plans - God laughs."

There are thousands of children needing loving families. Go for it, and good luck.

Italiangreyhound Sat 21-May-16 14:44:50

Topcat please don't be put off, but then again if you are, it's not for you.

You need a level of resilience for yourself in the process and for your child while you are busy parenting them. The courses are fab, they help enlighten you about the lives of the kids and how to respond, how to keep your resilience topped up, how to work with your child to help them etc. All the adopters on every course I have been on, bar about one person, have been white.

My best advice is to just go in there, be yourself, answer the questions you are asked and ask your own questions about adoption and not to worry about what paper you read, whether you are middle class or the colour of your skin.

All best wishes, (PS can I ask how old your child is? It's partly relevant to the process. eg they usually need to be over a certain age but do check for your area).

topcat2014 Sat 21-May-16 15:49:38

Current child is 9.5

RosieandJim89 Sat 21-May-16 16:27:18

I live in an area that is 98% white british. All they want know is would you a raise a child to be inclusive of all race and culture. They would not turn you away because of your class and values if they felt you could parent a adopted child.

topcat2014 Sat 21-May-16 16:31:46

Thanks, I think I have now plucked up the courage to give them a ring on Monday.

Cleo1303 Sat 21-May-16 16:59:10

Good luck. They should be pleased to hear from you!

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Sat 21-May-16 17:21:30

It's not about 'right on' views. It's about being able to understand and empathise with birth family situations which are often complex and involve issues which may be quite far removed from the everyday experience of many of us.

Tbh if you're coming at it this afraid of discussing the lives of people who are different to you because you know you can't do it with sensitivity then adoption is probably not for you.

Cleo1303 Sat 21-May-16 18:13:30

Topcat did not say she would not be able to discuss issues without sensitivity and she certainly doesn't need a comment like "adoption is probably not for you".

If that is the case then Topcat will discover that for herself as she progresses through the system.

There are enough children out there badly needing families so surely it is better to encourage people to explore adoption rather than make a sharp comment like that before they have even begun. That is not very sensitive.

Don't worry, Topcat. There are a lot of people just like you who have become successful adoptive parents.

Italiangreyhound Sat 21-May-16 18:37:08

Topcat my dd was 9 when ds came. I just wondered if you child might be quite young.

Italiangreyhound Sat 21-May-16 18:52:05

Cleo it's not my job to defend MypocketsarelikeNarnia but I guess I want to because I think sometimes it is right for us to give some straight talking here, which is what I would see Narnia doing, not making sharp comments.*Just IMHO of course.*

Generally, if anyone is seriously put off putting themselves forward for adoption because of one or two comments on an adoption forum, then I would say that that is maybe the right thing.

I hope topcat will not be put off but I can honestly say that comments on here, which could be called a bit 'strident', made me think about things and made me evaluate if I was ready to go for adoption yet. Clearly as an adopter, I did go for it eventually! But I think people have actually said some quite 'strident' (that word again, must get myself a Thesaurus!) things here which actually helped me to evaluate things.

Hopefully Topcat can also know that we, as anonymous bods on the internet, we cannot know their full story so our comments or 'advice' need to be weighed in that light.

There are a lot of children who need homes and, of course, it is important to find the best home so the more people available as adopters the best chance of the right match for the child. But I know that some adopters have waited quite a while to be matched so I am always cautious about making it sound too easy.

It is very much do-able, I think, but not easy.

Cleo1303 Sat 21-May-16 19:06:01

ItalianGreyhound, Please be assured I am all in favour of straight talking!

However it's plain that Topcat is hesitant about taking the first step and making that first call and I think it's a little early in the process to suggest that adoption might not be for her.

I agree with you. It's do-able but not easy. I think for a lot of people just hearing about the children who are available for adoption is quite a shock. I just think it's better to encourage people to make that first telephone call and let them find out further down the line if they think it is right.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Sat 21-May-16 19:18:07

I'm just not sure what 'right on' means here. I suspect it means 'not a white middle class times reader'.

If she's asking the question presumably she wants an honest opinion? Not just people saying 'go for it hun'?

And I think there are probably more adopters waiting atm than easy to place children. Certainly it would seem so.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Sat 21-May-16 19:41:16

IGH smile

I like 'robust'. Does what strident does but isn't as gendered (you'd never call a man 'strident' smile)

And if that isn't a 'right on' comment I'm losing my touch grin

Cleo1303 Sat 21-May-16 19:48:39

"Go for it" was encouragement to make the first phone call. Do you really think that is so wrong? Why?

I expect there are still some social workers who try to put off middle-class adopters. A friend of mine experienced that as recently as three years ago, but it will depend on where topcat lives and the social workers, won't it? That is why I said that if she didn't feel the first agency/LA was right she should explore other options.

I agree. I'm sure that there are more adopters waiting atm than easy to place children. However, that doesn't mean that anyone who is thinking of picking up that phone to make the first phone call should be discouraged to do so at such an early stage. Do you think they should? It sounds like you do.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Sat 21-May-16 20:32:22

I don't think it's wrong. And my 'go for it hun' comment wasn't at you, it was at that kind of knee jerk internet advice you really don't see much on MN.

But as my first post says I think s/he should have a good think about where s/he's coming from and whether it's the right path or not. S/he's more likely to get a good reception if s/he does.

There are lots of things that you can do to learn about/work with families in different circumstances to your own as preparation for this kind of thing. Tbh the op doesn't read like they're considering any of that but who knows, it's a very short post.

Cleo1303 Sat 21-May-16 20:48:38

I'm glad you understand it wasn't kneejerk advice!

I really think the first step is to call the agency/agencies and get some information about the process and some profiles of the children.

My first meeting with an agency was quite an eye-opener for me.

Italiangreyhound Sat 21-May-16 21:04:42

Narnia I would never think of strident or any adjective being 'gendered'! Not a big gender fan!

Robust makes me think of wine! But I did think I needed a Thesaurus so I'll take robust and tuck it in my back pocket!

Italiangreyhound Sat 21-May-16 21:19:43

Cleo did you get profiles when you first enquired? That's interesting, we didn't see a profile for ages.

I think it's good to encourage everyone to enquire. My only advice to Topcat would be to to just listen and learn, ask questions etc. Not to feel the need to tell all about herself/himself right at the start. We can all think of reasons we might be good or bad parents/potential adopters but learning what adoption services are looking for first can really help us to think things through. I used to be a bit of a blurter and in some ways learning how to not be was helpful for me!

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Sat 21-May-16 21:35:29


Not that I think the title applies to you of course. smile

Cleo1303 Sat 21-May-16 22:05:13

ItalianGreyhound: Yes, but not of named children. They were anonymous examples of children who were looking for parents at the time through the agency.

By the time I started my home study I had learned enough not to blurt everything out. And as for the permission to speak to my ex-husband I shot that one down in flames. Why would you allow anyone who could be guaranteed NOT to have your best interests at heart to put their two cents' worth in when it comes to adoption?

woody2976 Sat 21-May-16 22:11:59

why would social workers try to put off middle class adopters? confused im unsure as to where this view has come from.

worth noting that there are more adopters than children in some parts of the country at the moment.

Cleo1303 Sat 21-May-16 22:53:11

I think it depends on the social workers and maybe they are right to point out right from the beginning that the potential children may be coming from a completely different background situation to the potential adopters. If there is to be direct contact with some of the birth family that could possibly be difficult.

I think there are more adopters than children in some parts of the country at the moment, but you can apply to anywhere in the country if you hear of a child you might wish to adopt. An adopter I know in London was adamant she wanted to adopt two children from the North-West and she succeeded in doing so.

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