Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

I'm a bit scared

(12 Posts)
RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Mon 23-May-16 14:31:02

I've wanted to adopt for most of my adult life. We have 1 DD of nearly 8 and it seems like now is a good time to begin in earnest.

But I am worried that every bit of reading says how intrustive and upsetting the approval process can be. I don't know what that means so I don't know how I can prepare.

I don't know what to tell DD, in her mind it will be a wonderful way to have a sibling which she desperately wants. Do I bring her down to earth with hard cold facts, does she need to know that now or can I wait until further down the line. Or will that make SWs think we're not serious and are living in a dreamworld. I'm really not but I'm a positive person and every time I think of adopting I think of making a difference to a child's life and how very enriching it will be for us and our adopted child. But I don't know how to get that over without sounding all airy-fairy and that I'm not aware of the reality of the lives that are lived before adoption.

Will the SW rip us to shreds, will DD be traumatised? Is it done to prove your worth, if you can get through that then you will be able to cope with everything. God, what does intrusive even mean?

BigBlueBookcase Mon 23-May-16 15:08:20

Hi Rebecca, I'm not an adopter, but a recently approved foster carer. I imagine the assessment process is similar. Just wanted to say that I think how you find the process probably depends on what kind of person you are. I honestly really enjoyed it, but I'd pretty much tell anyone anything about me and my opinion on anything and everything if they were prepared to listen. grin It is very detailed, about every aspect of your life...about your childhood, upbringing, your parenting style, finances, health, lifestyle, past relationships, etc. etc. etc. I guess a shy or introverted person might find the process difficult and intrusive. Also I'm lucky to have had a fairly trouble-free life and so no subjects were difficult for me to talk about...again I would imagine if someone had experienced difficulties in their life (a tough break-up, abuse, etc?) then parts of the assessment process could potentially be quite challenging as you'll have to talk about these things with the SW.

My son was only 2 when I started the assessment, so the SW just asked that he stayed with us for one of our meetings so that she could meet him and see me interact with him. With an older child, the SW will want to talk to them, but I don't know how involved they actually are with the whole process...I'm sure someone else on here will let you know that.

Have you been along to an information evening yet? There'll be SWs and adopters there you can talk to about it. Could put your mind at ease a little bit.

Catvsworld Mon 23-May-16 15:15:02

I think it really depends on how open yu are private people can find the assment very difficult
However they do tend latch on to things to test you so for example if your a vegan they will want to really test how you would cope with cooking meat , eggs ect the want to see how rigid your belief systems are
Also they are very good with the children they just want to find out how they feel And get a feeling about why they know about adoption and what it involves because you may be ready but they have to be sure your child is ready to

I made it clear to my son this will not be a playmate because the reailty is just like so,e birth siblings they may not get on and you have to manage expectations

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Mon 23-May-16 15:39:07

That doesn't sound too terrifying - thank you! I can happily bore the pants off of someone with the minutiae of my life!!

Catvsworld Mon 23-May-16 16:26:33

Just a warning if your single they may want to know about past relationships and may ask that you don't start a relationship post placement for at least 1 or 2 years
They also will want to speak to your child's father however I didn't know were mine was had net seen him in 10 years so it couldn't be done

tybalt22 Mon 23-May-16 17:41:56

Our assessment was not intrusive at all everything we discussed was relevant and lead by our own exploration of the questions. That said we are really open people and we wanted our SW to see this so that a matched child would suit us and that outlook. Other than meeting time eating into work, which were still later on than during day. I think you should have an initial meeting with an agency and get a feel of how they assess. Agencies all so think with variance. Be also mindful that the number of adopters/prospective is far outnumbering children waiting so you may find that your not as enthusiastically welcomed as you may previously been. Remember you can meet with more than one agency and I'd recommend that until you feel it's right.

undersoap Mon 23-May-16 18:04:11

Ahh OP, don't be scared! My OH and I actually really enjoyed the process. It helped alot that we'd done alot of talking, thinking and reflecting beforehand and had thought about about 95% of the questions that came up beforehand, so I never really felt on the back foot IYKWIM. I can imagine that if you'd not done as much reading or thinking that the process might feel intrusive or unnecessary, but we felt the whole time that our SW was just trying to prepare us for potential situations we might face and with that in mind was doing a good thing. So I would say read as much as you possibly can (from official sources as well as adoption forums) and take on board the advice and insights people give you along the way. It's a life-long journey I think!
I'd echo too what PP have said about the climate not being the same as it was previously. In our experience LAs/VAs are being much more picky about who they take on and are looking specifically for adopters who will take harder to place children (sibling groups, older children, children with health needs etc) so think about whether what you've got to offer matches up with that. The adoption climate might change again in the future, but that's where it is right now.
Good luck!

tldr Mon 23-May-16 18:53:51

Yes, I had no issue with the process, will also talk about me til the cows come home. DH struggled at first but warned to it eventually.

I can see why less open people might find it tough, but from your few posts I already know that's not you.

Don't tell DD yet, wait til you've had an initial chat/meeting with SS. They'll be fine with that.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Tue 24-May-16 10:15:39

Cheers guys - sorry with one more question though. I've read on here in a few threads that there are now too many families and too few children needing adoption. But that seems contrary to what is said on the agency/LA websites and in the general media.

I understood the Govt is making the process easier so that more children could go straight into families rather than fostering.

My DD is 8 and I've been told we will be recommended a child younger than her as that is standard practice but combined with the fact I only have one spare bedroom will that make us an unattractive prospect?

Sorry for so many questions!

tldr Tue 24-May-16 13:31:52

There are less children than there used to be, but there are not no children.

And at some point the pendulum will likely swing the other way politically and there will be more children again.

But that's the kind of conversation you can have during the early meetings with agencies - they'll have an idea of what children they have needing placed (in terms of age/siblings/ethnicity/special needs etc).

Your DD is already quite old so that shouldn't be too much of a limiting factor but foster to adopt type situations are quite risky (there always a chance the courts may decide the child shouldn't be adopted) so I'm not sure I'd be prepared to go down that route with an existing child in the picture. But again, that's a conversation you can have with SS, if FtA is something they offer/you're interested in.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Tue 24-May-16 13:57:33

cheers tldr!

Cleo1303 Tue 24-May-16 14:50:52

Hi Rebecca, Do as much research as you can. Sign up for Adoption UK and BAAF and get their magazines. That will give you an idea about the children who are waiting for adoption.

Go to an information meeting and you'll be given a lot of facts about the process and can ask questions.

You don't have to go with your LA; they vary a lot so if you don't feel at ease with the first one you call try some others. There are independent agencies as well as the LAs.

As you have a DD already you need to think about how it could work for her if you were to adopt a child who had siblings with other adopters or still in care and who wanted some contact with your adopted child. Sadly there are not many adopters who will take on a family of four siblings so often these families are likely to be separated and sometimes - not always - the SWs will ideally hope for contact between the children.

All sorts of questions will come up as you speak to the SWs.

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