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Frustrations!

(15 Posts)
EatSleepRunRepeat Tue 22-Nov-16 15:47:04

Not posted for a while, or LO moved in in June 15, and life has been utterly perfect ever since. She's an absolute cracker and is the star of our family who all adore her.

We've never really had any of the dumb ass questions friends and relatives seem to think it's OK to ask you when you have adopted... Until this weekend.

We made the effort to travel half way across the country to a christening, it meant we'd get the chance to see a lot of family we don't often get chance to catch up with (except through Fakebook etc.). And cue the very inappropriate comments and questions from one devoutly religious, holier than thou, Aunt and another cousin who wanted to pass on her experience of adoption from knowing a couple who apparently had their adopted children removed from their care after joining what can only be described as a cult. Thankfully we left before too much alcohol had been consumed as we sense it was only going to get worse and more and more uncomfortable, not only for us, but for LOs grandparents who were as shocked and offended as we were. It quite easily could have ended up as a full on stand up row. It will be a long time until we bother to make the effort again, we don't need that crap, out LO certainly doesn't need that either.

It was always our intention to adopt again, we were thinking probably 2017/18, but were contacted a couple of months ago by SW, long story short, there is a half sibling.
Apart from the obvious addition of our DD, very little has changed in the intervening time, so the assessment has been reasonably light touch. Apart from the medical assessment, they're insisting on another, full medical from our GP.
Which last time was just short of £200 for a five minute chat with our GP, which will result in medical forms which will be identical to the forms they already have from just a couple of years ago... confused
Anyone else been in this situation? At the moment, we feel like we should just refuse, SS won't pay and shelling out nearly £200 a few weeks before Christmas is something we could really do without.

flapjackfairy Tue 22-Nov-16 16:30:08

If they have approached you surely they should fork out for medical costs. I would send an email and cc the director to ask for a rethink on the issue .

crispandcheesesanwichplease Tue 22-Nov-16 18:27:22

Local authority should pay for the medical. They've got a bloody cheek! Do you know who the sibling's Independent Reviewing Officer is? If so I'd try to tell them. If not I'd follow flapjacks advice.

Maximummonkey Thu 24-Nov-16 13:51:18

We had to pay for our medical four times. If you can't afford 200 quid for medical, can you really afford another child?

catsnickedallmypens Thu 24-Nov-16 14:39:27

That's not the point Max, historically the local authority paid all financial expenses adopters incurred pre-placement, including medicals and legal costs. They should be offering incentives to support adopters and prioritise getting children into permanent placements, not haggling over money to try and save a few quid thereby delaying getting children's lives in order.

Keeping a child 'looked-after' costs the local authority thousands and thousands of pounds per year so it's also in their interests to get children moved on as quickly as possible.

Italiangreyhound Thu 24-Nov-16 16:42:45

EatSleepRunRepeat I am sorry you had such an unpleasant experience at your family event. Well done for getting out of there.

catsnickedallmypens I believe that what is done by local authorities is not always standard, and some adopters have to pay for medicals. We did. I think it is a very small payment compared to the thousands we handed over for unsuccessful fertility treatment.

I think the policy is the policy, and if it is adopters have to pay for medicals, which is the only thing we have had to pay for, then I think that is how it should be.

The only difference here is the fact that this new child is related by blood to the OP's existing child so social services may have a strong desire to place the child with the OP, which may mean they could offer to pay.

A new sibling related by blood to your existing child is quite significant, to me, and obviously if you were hoping to adopt again then this seems like a great opportunity. However, I am with Maximummonkey that the new child will cost a lot more than a medical so I think not feeling able to pay for the medical is not a great start.

I understand you were thinking of adopting in 2017/18, so maybe this has come a little earlier than you had imagined. If money really is an issue could you ask if there are any adoption allowances you could access?

Good luck and I hope all works out for you.

Maximummonkey Fri 25-Nov-16 16:03:23

I know it is not exactly the point, but I don't think I would refuse because I didn't want to pay the medical.
Things have changed a lot over the years, but we have always had to pay for the medical in our authority (we adopted our first almost twenty years ago)

ficklesticklebricks Fri 25-Nov-16 19:37:15

I don't think it's fair to say "If you can't afford a medical you can't afford a child". This situation has far more in common with an unplanned pregnancy, where people are more understanding about cash flow.

The money paid is also 'dead money'- it doesn't benefit you to have the medical done, or the child, directly. It ticks a box for SS. Foster carers often get their medicals paid for, and so if this is FtA at first, then that is an argument for SS paying.

Getting adopters to fund any part of the process leaves a bad taste with me, given how long we are effectively unpaid foster carers, before the AO comes through. Not all of us see adoption as compared to IVF, and I don't like the social engineering behind only those with the most spare cash being able to extend their family. It is likely to be in this child's interests to be placed with its sibling, and finances should not be a consideration in that, anymore than if you were unexpectedly pregnant, you wouldn't have to find £200 for a medical.

Italiangreyhound Sat 26-Nov-16 11:00:42

fickle, as an adopter too, I would have been very happy not to have to pay for our medical. But the fact we did have to do that is, to me, just par for the course.

We paid thousands and thousands for IUI and IVF with donor eggs and with my own crappy eggs. So I can't resent the tiny amount it cost to get a medical.

I also cannot see how it is dead money? Home study costs thousands but just not to domestic adopters. It is to find out if we are suitable to patent a looked after child. Presumably we all think we are so presumably we all think the home study is a bit of a waste of time? But it is all part of the process.We already had a birth child who was happy and well, some ha e adopted multiple times but still need a home study and medical, I pressume?

I really think someone who would struggle to find a couple of hundred quid would struggle to pay for the needs of a new child. It is either that or they can afford it but resent it. If the OP really would struggle I do wonder if an Adoption 'grant/payment' whatever it is called, would help. That was a genuine suggestion.

I never considered myself a foster carer, paid or unpaid, for the six months our son was with us before the adoption order came through. Perhaps the very fact I was not paid (although as I was on adoption leave I was receiving payments from my work) helped to make me feel I was mummy from day one. It is that day (the day he moved in and came to love with us) rather than the adoption order day (the date of which I have forgotten!) Which we celebrate annually.

Italiangreyhound Sat 26-Nov-16 11:17:35

The point about the IVF is that it is utterly not comparable to having a child through adoption (in terms of cost, unless one adopts from overseaa). But as our daughter was born through IUI and our son joined us by adopttion, and I love them equally, how is it not comparable? Also it is money one should pay to have that IVF process verses the cost of a medical, both things one pays for if that is required.

I'd have liked three kids but we can only really afford two. Is that fair? Should the state pay for me to be able to afford another child? One's finances always dictate things like how many kids you can have, the size of your house or holidays. Why should it be different for adopters?

I can see for social services it may we be better for the child to be placed with a sibling or half sibling. Whether it is better for the OP or the child, only time would tell. But in the OP's shoes I'd be weighing up whether as a family we can accept this new child or not. There are lots of things to consider. I don't think the cost of the medical fee should be an issue but if the OP says something to social services maybe they would pay it.

Our adopted son's birth mum is still relatively young. If she were to have another child and the child were removed I am quite sure we could not afford to take in the new child. It would have nothing to do with the cost of the medical and everything to do with the cost of raising a child. Plus although I am not too old to do it, it would feel like a huge 'task'! I'm actually quite fearful of this happening because I would want out son to know a birth sibling well but I have no idea how it would pan out!

OP I do hope it works out for you, please do let us know what you decide. flowers

ficklesticklebricks Sat 26-Nov-16 16:33:34

Adopters save society so much compared to foster care.

Legally, we are unpaid foster carers until the AO, utterly at the behest of social workers and others whenever they deign to turn up and drink our tea. Legally, the child can be taken relatively easily.

Children can be costly. They can also not be, particularly if you already have one or two.

There's no financial assessment to get pregnant, and all health needs are met by the NHS. Adopters are offering to save society thousands, yet are expected to stump up 200 pounds for something that does not benefit them or the child directly. Either assessment as an adopter is funded, or it isn't. Not funding bits and pieces here and there, the medical, the AO, makes me feel unappreciated, given how much money we save society.

But I had the option of a nice (or not!) free shag to have my child, so I'm not comparing with IVF costs. I think comparing with IVF costs is unhelpful. As is the myth that adoptive parents have to be more grateful, and financially better off, than parents whose children came from their own gametes via sexual intercourse.

Money does not make you a good parent. Not having a spare 200 pound just before Christmas doesn't make you a bad parent.

I think that saying adopters must have spare cash, as a society, is the start of saying only rich people should have children. I wonder, Italian whether you think this? "People should only have children they can afford" is a disturbing sentiment, I find, when you start digging, and leads to scary places.

Being with a sibling is important. More important than being rich.

conserveisposhforjam Sat 26-Nov-16 21:41:26

I'm with ficklesticklebricks - the LA should pay!

Moominmammaatsea Sat 26-Nov-16 22:08:09

Hi Eatsleep, before you get hung up on the financial side of things, why not think through the pros and cons for your child of adopting her half-sibling now, versus the advantages and disadvantages of refusing and then sticking to your original timetable and then following through on the adoption of an unrelated child?

Italiangreyhound Sat 26-Nov-16 23:48:39

fifdlesticks no, I am not saying only rich people should have children! Where ever did you get that idea?

Nor am I saying adopters should have more money than other parents, where did you get that idea from?

There are no checks before families have babies that they can afford to care for them but generally I think most of us do expect to support our own children so usually before planning a baby people would consider this. Fertility treatment and adoption have the fact in common that they are usually very planned!

The interesting thing here is that there I'd a potential adoption here but the op has not planned it, so that does have something in common with an unplanned pregnancy, taken a bit by surprise.

It is often best for siblings to be together, yes, but not always, and certainly not always with children who have come through the care system and not necessarily lived together before.

I certainly do not expect gratitude that adopting our son has saved the tax payer money!

I think we had best agree to differ. You clearly think the system should pay for medicals. I would be very happy for this but it is not the case in our area and I don't resent paying at all. My area has paid for lots of therapeutic help available to us as a family, and training available to me and my dh, for free.

I agree with moomin that the OP should consider the pros and cons.

Italiangreyhound Sat 26-Nov-16 23:56:28

Ps there is no way to measure how grateful anyone is for their kids.

And I am sure we paid for the triple test when I was pregnant, plus I bought special pregnacare vitamins not on the NHS.

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