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

Working full time and shift work

(18 Posts)
EverdeRose Sat 24-Sep-16 23:15:44

Me and my partner are considering adoption, we both work full time, he has a regular 9-5 work pattern while I work nights 3 or 4 a week. he leaves the house at 7.00am and returns at 6pm while I leave at 6pm and return about 8.15am.

In your opinions would this be a hindrance to being approved, in reality we'd be more than happy to open our home to one or two infant school age children, we'd work it by having my mum cover the hour and bit when neither of us is in at mornings, I would then to do the school drop off before going to bed and do the pick up once I'd woken up. I'd then eat with the children then when OH came in from work he'd do bed time.

I'm willing to be flexible about cutting down some of my hours but couldn't afford to stay at home on OHs salary and I know he wouldn't like the idea of staying at home.

Kr1stina Sun 25-Sep-16 03:01:06

I think that's a lot of change for a child/ children who has been through so much already. Three carers plus school is a bit confusing .

It's very hard to adopt while you both work full time, one or two school aged children will have a lot of needs.

What woudl you do in the school holidays ? And what about meetings with the school, social workers, therapists, hospital, psychologists - your partner would need to take time off for these as they will be in the day .

I think you both might need to consider adjusting your working hours, your partner has the right to ask for flexible working, lots of parents do this , an employer has to consider a request.

What do you mean why you say he wouldn't like the idea of staying at home? how does he see adoption working for him ?

You say in reality we'd be more than happy to open our home to one or two infant school age children , which sounds more like fostering TBH. Is that what you mean , rather than adoption?

In adoption, the children become your children , in every way . You wouldn't be opening your home to them, it woudl be their home too.

There's a need for more foster carers, if you feel that's what you want . Although one of you woudl probably have to give up work , but you get fees and expenses when a child is with you and some agencies pay a retainer too.

Italiangreyhound Sun 25-Sep-16 04:25:08

EverdeRose I think Kristina has said everything I would have said.

Your phrase about opening your home really doesn't sound like adopting at all. Adoption is becoming a parent, so you need to be a lot more re of what you will be trying to do.

If you do genuinely wish to be parents to an adopted child/ren then I think work would need to change. Some children have one parent who stays at home and some may have a parent who works full time and another who works part-time. That is what we have, I work part-time during school hours. Holidays are a bit of a nightmare but my dh can take time off and I have excellent in-laws who come and look after the kids (they love granddad and grandma).

Having children (by any means) is expensive. If you wish to do this, could you save up so that you can work less? Can you do your job during regular office hours when the kids are at school?

Italiangreyhound Sun 25-Sep-16 04:26:46

A lot more aware, I meant to say....

EverdeRose Sun 25-Sep-16 06:22:21

Thank you for all your advice,

It's very early stages for us deciding how we'll start our family and we're carefully considering all our choices, we do mean to adopt not foster. The LA website has very little information on it which is why I thought I'd ask the experts on here what they think.

To clear things up,
The type of job OH does couldn't be done flexibly as there is no option of working from home and the building he works in closes as he leaves.
As much as he wants to be a hands on dad, quitting work to look after them full time is not something that he or myself would want him to do, if someone took up that role we both agree it would be me. If money wasn't an issue I'd not hesitate about it.

I'm the main earner so being a SAHM would be very difficult as we would lose over three quarters of our monthly income. I'd be prepared to cut down my hours by as much as half and do 1 or 2 shifts a week.
However if I changed to working day shifts would mean that we'd need more support not less.

I think no matter which way we make our family I'd probably end up reducing my hours down.

Thank you for all your advice, it's really been helpful

Thefishewife Sun 25-Sep-16 11:36:49

If you can't contemplate giving up work adoption may not be for you

It's just like haveing a birth child they may be able to tolerate child care they may not

You would be required to take at least a year off

My daughters would really struggle being in childcare from they off however she has tolerated the 15 hours she gets free but I do know she will really struggle with school

Kr1stina Sun 25-Sep-16 12:10:35

Just to clarify - one of you woudl need to take a year off at least , it doesn't matter which one .

And you are saying that your partner isn't willing to do it and you woudl like to but can't afford to. That's a bit of a dilemma.

And of course your partner could reduce his hours ! are you seriously saying that there is not a single part time employee in his company and the job is impossible to do part time ? I struggle to see what kind of job is done 9-5 in a building but has to be done in exactly these hours. It's not like he's on a oil rig in the North Sea .

Sorry for being so blunt, but I keep reading on MN about men's jobs that can't be flexible or part time until a woman does them and suddely everything's different .

Your DP could cut his hours / be a SAHP and you could afford it but he doesn't want to .

And you can cut your hours and you want to but you can't afford to.

Is that right ?

Of course your partner is entitled not to want to make any changes to his working life if you have a family, but that in combination with other factors does limit your options.

Honestly , I don't see how you have the time at this stage in your lives to parent two troubled children. It's a a HUGE amount of work, much much more so that bringing up two biological children .

But adoption is not for everyone and there are many other ways of becoming a family . One of them may be more right for you as a couple .

Or maybe the time is not right for you now, and at some point in the future you may be be more flexible in terms of money / career options. Lots of people save for years to be able to afford to adopt, while others change career or relocate to where houses are cheaper.

I should say that every adoption agency has its rules about which families they are prepared to assess. And every social worker has their own idea about what family will best need the needs of the child they are placing . There's no one size fits all. But I think you are very unlikely to find an agency willing to assess you for a school aged sibling group when you both work full time and neither of you is able or willing to change this.

The only exception might be a very hard to place sibling group . They might be willing to place them ( because they are desperate ) but your odds of making it work with your current set up are very slim .

I'm sorry to be so blunt and I'm sure it's not what you wanted to hear . But I'd hate for you to not explore other options that might be better suited to you and only discover this a year down the line .

greenandblackssurvivalkit Sun 25-Sep-16 13:46:43

As a single adopter, life would be much much harder without me working, and I would be deeply unhappy, as my job is crucial to my sense of self. It is nearly full time, and involves some shifts. SWs pushed a little on this, but were happy.

They were happy because the kids come first. If I had to reduce my hours, or change the job, I would find a way to do it. I'm also lucky that while what I do can be high stress, and hard work, the pay is good, and I'm good at what I do. This means I can afford a childcare solution that best fits the child, and can use money to make life easier. SWs want flexibility. It will affect which children you can be matched with.

I am also concerned by the "opening your home" comment. That's not adoption. Adoption is handing over your home to at least one tiny dictator, and allowing it to end up looking like something vomited toy shop all over it. It's about your current home having a hole that only a child can fill, and without that child, your home will always be lacking.

Italiangreyhound Sun 25-Sep-16 15:47:25

Lots of good comments here. Can I ask why you wish to adopt. Is a birth child put of the question?

tldr Sun 25-Sep-16 16:52:31

Did you know either one of you would be entitled to a year's adoption leave? Similar to mat leave - Google for details, it's changed since I did it.

Sounds to me like you could probably make it work, especially if there was scope for you work shorter shifts so you wouldn't need your mum in the morning or if you could mostly work the nights where your oh isn't working days.

But 2 is hard, and 2 school aged would be incredibly hard. You're not parenting two kids you've had forever, you're trying to parent two strangers who are quite possibly very resistant to being parented. Look for threads here about siblings, there's loads around.

Italiangreyhound Sun 25-Sep-16 17:06:12

Everderose can I ask, if your schedule was so busy and your Dh too, where and when would any time with the children be found, or with each other? Just weekends?

The children will probably test and challenge you. Will your partnership with your other half survive this if you do not get any time together away from the kids? I'm not talking bout the first year, I am meaning long term. It sounds like as you come in, tour other half goes pit, or vice versa!

I do think, if you want to adopt, you will need to 're-think this whole working pattern. both for the children's benefit and for your own.

Please do be aware that currently there can be long waits for a child to be matched with you.

It may not sound fair but you will be 'competing' with other adopters who have a more regular set up.

It is not that different is wrong or bad. it is that different can present challenges and for children who have already faced major challenges this may be too much.

tldr Sun 25-Sep-16 18:03:12

Op has said she works 3 or 4 nights. That means there's 3 or 4 nights she doesn't.

Italiangreyhound Sun 25-Sep-16 19:23:16

Good point tldr but I did say the weekend as free time, which is usually thought of as three nights, Fri to Sun. Plus it sounds like they are very long nights, not just like having n evening job but very demanding. I just think kids do put a heavy strain on a marriage and a couple needs some time to themselves (again, I don't mean straight away when kids first arrive). But you are tldr it is not five nights in a row.

Italiangreyhound Sun 25-Sep-16 19:24:36

You care right, tldr,
you are tdlr!

tldr Sun 25-Sep-16 19:33:13

I am tldr grin

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Sun 25-Sep-16 20:08:12

No I am tldr.

RatherBeIndoors Sun 25-Sep-16 20:22:13

No, I am tldr

RatherBeIndoors Sun 25-Sep-16 20:39:32

Sorry, less flippant response to OP now:

As you say, things are early for you now, and so that's exactly the right time to be asking all these questions and sounding things out. You're asking on an anonymous forum crossing your fingers we know what we're talking about because you already know these are potentially big issues that you need to have thought about before the stage of conversations with SWs.

So, have people adopted when their working pattern includes shifts? Yes.
Have people adopted who (longer term) intended to include a close family member as a regular childcarer? Yes.

But the key point is the very real need for an open mind about what you'd do if Plan A becomes impossible. Because there is a good chance that any child may need much more time from you than you imagine, may not be able to cope at all with being separated from you (and I'm including school age children in that), and may have a deep need for routine and consistency from you because anything else is too scary for them.

Let me tell you what my Plan A was, and then what actually happened:

Plan A - take 12m adoption leave, then return to work doing 1 long day in the office and 4 short ones from home. For the office day, use family member for school drop off and an hour after school.

Reality: take 12m adoption leave. Take another 6m adoption leave. Spend 6m working 3 short mornings from home while LO was in pre-school. Look forward to real school starting, then realise LO couldn't handle it at all and remained part-time for 2 terms. Have to tell boss getting into the office still unlikely and beg to keep job. Second year of school finally achieve full school hours, manage to get into office for agreed one day per week, but have to do school runs myself as LO can only cope if it's me doing it, so working hours shrunk still.

The only reason we are still afloat financially more or less is that I saved hard for years before adopting, and that when we had huge school issues then the LA adoption support team arranged help for us. I'm a single adopter so mine is the only income. Scary times, but it was what LO needed, which was a lot of time and a lot of investment from me in building their security. Your child may settle quickly, may be able to cope with childcare from a relative, may enjoy school. But they might not, and you need to be thinking about how you'd handle that. You don't need to know exactly, but you need to know it's something you might face.

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