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

adopting as a survivor

(5 Posts)
user1484066668 Wed 11-Jan-17 23:08:54

Hi!

So I really, really, really want a kid. But I'm transgender, so adoption is pretty much my only option- I'm fine with that and it's a non issue as I'd rather adopt anyway, this is just background info.

The thing is, I'm a child abuse survivor. Ran away (successfully) almost as soon as I turned 16 after a lifetime of physical and emotional abuse. As a result of this I have PTSD but I have done incredibly well for myself, by the time I was seventeen I had a secure, safe and happy home, an apprenticeship job, a close connection of friends who I now consider my family etc. I think a lot of people would have expected me to fall into alcohol and drugs but I never did, I kind of did the opposite. I'm incredibly transparent about being a survivor because I think there are a lot of us out there without people even realising the effect of their childhood. In short, I do still have PTSD but am living happily (and in a higher up job than an apprenticeship).

Based on this, does anyone know if this would affect my chances of adopting? Just by being a survivor myself? Or is this a positive as I'd have more of an idea of how to help a child if I adopted a kid who went through child abuse too? I'm terrified of being turned down, I want to be a parent so badly and I think it'd break my heart to not be able to have my own kid.

Any input is welcome x

GirlsWhoWearGlasses Thu 12-Jan-17 06:40:55

I think there are few adults who have made it through childhood without their own issues or baggage, to varying degrees. SW will be looking at how you have and are handling those issues, for example, have you had any counselling.

Your experiences could absolutely be a strength, but could also act as triggers in certain situations, so they will be looking at how your PTSD manifests itself and how much self-awareness you've been able to develop.

You don't say if you would be a single adopter, but particularly if so, then your support network - emotional and practical are important, plus showing you can afford to take a year off and potentially go part-time after that, depending on how the needs of your child pan out.

Don't be put off. Best of luck.

user1484066668 Thu 12-Jan-17 09:34:15

Yes I definetely agree with that. Difficult to have a 100% happy childhood anyway- stuff happens! Yes, I was in a homeless project specifically for care leavers and/or abuse survivors and left earlier than we originally thought I would because I did so well.

I am a little worried about it acting as a trigger and can see why it would but I also think that I am/will be soon at a place where I can deal with that effectively anyway, I often do on a daily basis as I still live in the same city as my estranged family and I'm often in areas that I grew up in (I don't know if my relatives live there anymore though) and I manage with that fine, whereas five years ago I really wouldn't have!

I definetely will be adopting as a single parent. I think this is my main worry- not being a single parent as that's out of choice, but I'm worried about the SW thinking I don't have support around me to adopt sad I really don't have any family other than my stepdad (who also has PTSD from being abused by my mum) and my gran and grandad, but my grandparents live in England and Wales, so they won't be counted either. I do have an amazing support network but it's not the 'conventional' support network as they're incredibly close friends rather than what people see as family, but they're MY family and that's how I see it. I don't think a SW would see it like that though, which worries me.

Regarding money I'm pretty sure I'd be fine, I have savings and I'm entitled to the year of stat adoption leave. Money isn't really something I'm worrying about too much.

RatherBeIndoors Thu 12-Jan-17 10:17:01

I think SWs will be very used to a support network made up of secure, consistent people who may or may not be related to you. I have a tiny family, so most of my network is made up of long-standing friends.

During your home-study (series of visits from SW to get to know you in depth) they will talk about childhood experiences, models of parenting, and possible triggers. If you have a good SW you will work together to honestly identify whether things are strengths or weaknesses. For example, I have experience of nursing a particular health condition, but because of grief associated with that, it would not have been a good idea for me to adopt a child with that condition. But it did equip me to parent a child with different health needs, because I am confident in that general field and can kick butts in the health system when needed You really don't want to get into the position of thinking you'll be able to cope something when actually it's a wobbly area - it's far better to be honest with yourself, and give your future child and yourself the very best chance of bonding and having a secure family relationship. No-one can possibly feel able to cope with every single need, and it's totally OK to identify some things that wouldn't be healthy for you.

As a single adopter, have a good old look at the finances - covering adoption leave and having some savings is great, but the reality is that many adopted children cannot cope with childcare, or with full-time school in some cases. So it's a very real possibility that you might only be able to work very part-time for years and years, and you need to know that you could manage like that. In our case, none of that was predicted about this child until after they were placed with me, so it was a real strain when the adoption leave year ended and there was no prospect in sight of returning to work properly.

user1484066668 Thu 12-Jan-17 15:50:30

Oh phew, that's good news about the support network then! My family is literally my stepdad in my city (who is still very much in recovery from PTSD), step&half siblings (in England), one set of grandparents (in England&Wales) and two eighteen year old siblings in my city- neither of which are even nearly adult enough to count as a supportive family member!

I guess I'm probably more likely to have more home-study visits than most people due to my past but I'm prepared for it to take a while and I'm completely expecting it. Yep you're definetely right about being honest with myself, I don't want to f**k this up and make a mistake. I haven't even made the initial phone call yet so I think I'm going to have an evening where I think through everything and write a list of things I can deal with.

I'm part-time anyway, but I work long hours in the two days I do work (I'm a nanny) and so I'm trying to work out how that will fit in with things. I'm not rich but I manage and other benefits etc will fit in well, and I've drawn up budgets already.

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