Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
Cautious hello(17 Posts)
Myself and my husband have a brilliant 4 year old daughter who was conceived after much heartache and medical treatment. Earlier this year we had IVF which was unsuccessful and we aren't sure if we want to go through more treatment. We both feel very sure however that our family isn't "done". Adoption is always something I have thought we might pursue but it feels very daunting to take the next step. We are aware they would want to place a child younger than our birthchild but have no real clue how long this would take. We would be interested in looking abroad as well as in this country. We are in the West Midlands. Any thoughts and advice welcome.
If you register your interest with an LA or agency, they will invariably send round a social worker to chat through the process with you and answer any questions. This is before you even apply so you can get all the information you need.
We are 5 months into our adoption, we have a 22 month old AC and an 8 year old BC. They told us we needed at least 2 years age gap and the bigger the better. From the first call to the day AC came home it was 15 months, I think in the grand scheme that's quite quick. We had a hard start, its an intense ride and still hard work but I feel so lucky to have had a child by birth and one by adoption. For all the bad times there is a huge amount of joy.
I felt daunted through the whole experience and panicked endlessly about popping our little perfect bubble of three. BUT it was an itch we had to scratch and the further we got into the process the more it became right.
We are also in the WM we went with a Voluntary agency who were amazing. Brilliant support, consistency and ongoing post adoption input. The risk you have with a VA is often a longer wait for a match.
I can PM our agencies details if you want me too. Happy to answer any other questions.
I would say make the call, have the chat and you will start to get an idea of its right for you. Believe me they do everything to put you.off.
Hi beanhunter we adopted just over 2 years ago, we already had a 9 year old who was 7 when started the process. It took us about 20 months from start to brining him to live with us. That is quick. Waits can be longer. I'd say check out a few agencies and authorities by phone , read up, go to an open evening and see if it feels right.
We also have "one of each" (I think it's far more common now than in the past). It was just under a year for us, but we were matched v fast.
Welcome bean hunter
You don't need to be cautious, we are a very friendly bunch here . I too have a mixed family of bio, step and adopted kids , as others have said it's very common.
I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties in conceiving y DD. One thing I'd suggest, if you have not done so far, is to go for some some couselling befroe you decide to close the door on assisted conception .
Adoption is a very different way of making a family and it can Often be filled with heartache too . You need to give yourselves space and time to grieve the end of one stage on your journey, so you can move onto the next, if that's right for you.
Yes kirstina I think that's wise. We never used our counselling sessions with the if so will be using them to decide if we have more treatment or start looking at adoption.
I agree with Kr1stina. You have to deal with the emotion of not being able to conceive (again obviously in your case) before you move on.
At my initial adoption group session there was a woman who was very tearful about not being able to conceive and it was clearly not the right time for her to adopt.
If you are thinking of adopting from abroad there is information about countries and their requirements on the Department of Education website, but I personally found the US State Department website much more helpful when it came to country information - who is eligible to adopt, country requirements, costs, etc.
You'll need to do the same home study as for domestic adoptions, although it will be geared towards ICA, and go through panel, and when you have passed that you move on to the next stage. LAs differ in how much they charge for the home study. £5000 was the last figure I heard quoted but that was some time ago.
Hi beanhunter and welcome. I also have a birth child, who was 4 when we adopted our second child. Always happy to answer questions. I also agree with Kr1stina that you shouldn't rush yourself through mourning the loss of your dream of another biological child. This is an essential part of preparing for adoption. Best of luck.
Our process has also been quick. A year from first enquiry to approval panel. Then the waiting - which was hard as there was no end in sight. Then 9 months later a phone call and within 2 months little one home with us (that was extremely fast). So just under 2 years.
We have a birth child (aged 7) and the waiting was hard for them. But their relationship is very rewarding. I had to think long and hard about the effect of an adopted child - we limited our age range to try to mitigate physical or psychological attacks. It's easy to understand why an adopted child might lash out and as an adult you can take it but you have to be sure about your child and how you will handle it. It didn't put us off but it did make us really think.
I second getting the counselling - the adoption process will really turn a searchlight on your hopes, fears and dreams and your relationship. You will come out stronger but it's emotional. It helps if you're already used to talking honestly about yourself.
Sorry forgot to add - oh my gosh the last few months have been wonderful
Thank you all. I agree about the mourning over not conceiving. Actually I feel quite at peace about it. I didn't expect to conceived naturally at all and then the IVF was so awful that I'm not sure I'm prepared to do it again physically and emotionally. I almost didn't go for it in the first place and adoption is something that's been on my heart and mind for a long time. The impact on a marriage does scare me as the impact of fertility treatment has already seriously put that through the ringer.
I've talked to our little girl about adoption and about having a little brother or sister who "doesn't have a home" rather than is "grown in mummy's tummy" and she is remarkably unphased about it. The reality of course may be different.
I say adopting from abroad because of the difficulties that can be seen from this country with how often children are shuttled to and from birth family. Ideally I would prefer a child under 2 - how realistic is that? I'd prefer this country though as I know there are so many children in need of stable homes.
In the nicest possible way you may need to take some time out to repair and strengthen your relationship. You will need to be a formidable team when you take on an adopted child.
And also the "being shuttled" thing is a positive for the child - it keeps them in touch with their roots (i presume you are meaning with siblings not birth parents). If you're uncomfortable with the connection to people outside your family then you do have to do some thinking about whether this is the right path for you. I know it took me some time to get my head around it at first.
Again- in the nicest way - you need to look at even if you adopt a very little baby from abroad you will still have to parent in a different way - it won't be like having a birth child you didn't give birth to. This is what you also have to grieve
I will admit I couldn't cope with the shuttling which is why I adopted from abroad. Some children come from quite large families - siblings with other adopters, foster parents or in children's homes. There is also the issue of other family members in some cases. I did a lot of research and decided I did not have the temperament to deal with it. I think things have changed a bit but 14 years ago there really was a lot of pressure on adoptive parents to have quite a bit of contact, even if this meant children getting quite distressed over the meetings. As I say, I think it's changed for the better since then.
I have friends who say it feels different to having a birth child and others who say they felt the same within minutes, albeit you don't have a newborn. I collected DD when she was eight months old and we just got on with it. I always treated her in exactly the same way as I would have if she had been my birth child but of course I didn't have anything to compare the situation with as far as feelings were concerned. I thought she was lovely though and having looked at many photos on websites during the time when I was going through the whole process when I saw DD's photos I just thought, "That's the baby!" She looks like us (my family) which may have something to do with it. I was just getting all my papers to the notary when she appeared so it seemed like perfect timing.
DD would like to meet her BM in a few years' time and if possible I will arrange that for her.
Happy - I agree and that's why I posted here for advice. It's something we are in the stage of thinking about as we need time to readjust. I know it won't be the same as having a birth child. But I also know that different doesn't mean bad.
In terms of the shuttling I mean the children I have seen through work repeatedly returned to dysfunctional families for attempts to keep them together and the harm that that causes too.
Do I gather from try earlier post that if we want to adopt from abroad we have to pay for the hone study etc?
Hi beanhunter, Yes, if you want to adopt from abroad you have to pay for the home study and all other costs - notary, overseas agency, etc. The total for me in 2004, including travel to DD's country, was just under £25,000 - £10,000 more than had been suggested when I started the whole process. Country costs vary so you need to check each one individually.
If you are going to adopt a child from the local authority/other UK agency it's free, but I can understand why they charge for ICA. If you adopt in the UK you are giving a home to a UK child and relieving them of the cost of paying for the upkeep of that child. If you adopt from abroad they will provide the service but you have to pay for it.
Beanhunter we consdiered adopting from abroad but it was expensive and also in some countries there can be additional uncertainties.
Also, for us, the wait for adopting from China was so long that I would have gone out of age range by the time we got to the top of the list!
In the end, when we were ready, adopting domestically just made sense.
There are, I think, some different issues in relation to adopting from abroad. So you may wish to talk to some organisations that specialise in that, while also talking to some local authorities (in big cities, country council adoption services or voluntary agencies.
If you would like a younger child you may wish to go with country council adoption services rather than one of the voluntary agencies. However, I have heard people adopt quite young children from voluntary agencies too. Voluntary agencies find adopters for harder to place children.
Not all UK children are returned to birth parents mutliple times, nor do they all have any extensive contact with birth families. If their siblings are with the birt family there may be no contact beyond letter box. But if their siblings are also adopted there may be contact. My ds has no birth siblings (to date).
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