Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
Things that would stop you being able to adopt(15 Posts)
Just in the early stages of thinking about it!
I am guessing any kind of criminal record would prevent it? What about work patterns, weight, ex-relationships, family relationships...?
I read somewhere that the social workers will investigate your past, how deep do they go?
Also do social workers look for a certain age and financial standing?
I know I could Google, just looking for some personal insight if it's available
It's not so much investigating your past... it's more assessing your ability to parent an adopted child, and the way you parent is largely affected by how you yourself were patented.
Even if you were parented horrendously, as long as you can see that and learn from it, that's what they need to see.
None of it's a test really. I worried terribly because we'd had rows with both sides of the family. But because we were open and could talk about it and show an understanding of how things had come about on both sides it was fine.
If you have an area of your life that you don't want to talk about or are ashamed of then you could go to counselling now and do proper groundwork. We'd processed a lot with the ivf counsellor - so chatting to the social worker was not an issue.
There's a good chance the child you adopt may also feel shame or be unable to handle difficult emotions. You need to be able to cope with your stuff if you're going to support them effectively.
Age isn't important so much as the type of parenting you can offer. You need to be in control of your finances - show you know your monthly/annual budget and are living within it atm and would be able to do so if you take a year off work.
The main things that concern me really are the following
a) I was in a bad abusive (emotional, financial, eventually physical) relationship aged twenty two for two years, he was an alcoholic who turned violent at the end and one time I hit him back. We haven't even spoken for six years but I don't know if they'd want to talk to all our ex-partners including him?
b) neither of us have young children in our families or have ever really been around babies. We both have worked with children, love kids, fully DBS checked etc but no experience below school age
c) we have good jobs and I own our home (mortgaged) but we'd need to cut hours if I did adopt so would have less money
I don't know if any of those would be a big problem?
A) not a problem at all, as long as you can show you've learned from the experience. My assessment didn't involve contacting any Exes at all - I think it's less likely if you've not had kids together.
B) that doesn't rule you out at all. Lots of adopters are in the same position. It is, however, a good idea to try to build up this experience through babysitting, volunteering etc. That's mainly so you'll be looked on more favourably at matching.
C) not a problem. You don't have to be rich, just able to show that you can support a child.
A) As Rain says; won't be a big problem. Most try to contact anyone you lived with, but that doesn't mean they'll believe everything he says. Be very honest about it. Talk about what you learned. Turn it into a positive.
B) and C) What Rain says :-)
None of the other stuff you mention (criminal record etc) are hard barriers. Its about whether they think you are being honest and realistic; and whether you have the capacity to a good parent, even when things are rough.
In matching, its really about marketing you, so you want to emphasise your strengths and show you can address weaknesses. The advice about getting lots of childcare practice is important. Do some reading up on addition needs (e.g. FASD, attachment) as well.
a) Could be a positive. You understand what it is to be abused, and to heal. They will want to see what you've learned about yourself, and that you could keep a child safe in the future, so no further abusive relationships etc. I know they usually contact exes, but I specifically requested my ex was not contacted, as he was abusive. I had documented evidence of this, and false allegations, which were checked. As he had already lied to authority figures, there was no point in seeking his opinion on us adopting. I also provided references that covered before and after the abusive relationship. I once hit my ex. I didn't volunteer that information, and while my referees knew that, I don't think they volunteered that either. If there is a police record, then I would confess that early on. Remember that adoptive kids may act out, including being violent to you, and you need to be sure you'll never hit them back.
b) Are you wanting to adopt pre-school age? If so, then try and get some experience volunteering at a toddler group. However, most new parents don't get 'experience' with babies before they get them. I think getting experience with 'challenging' children at groups etc when older is more valuable, as it shows you have an awareness of what is coming.
c) Our financial assessment was cursory. Actually, our finances arereally struggling with adoption leave! The big thing is debt management. We have no debts, excpet mortgage, so I suppose this means we're strong enough, as we could borrow if needed. Children are expensive, but most people manage mat leave etc. It's the long term cut in hours if the children cannot manage childcare that are the issue.
Nothing will bar you from adopting, really, it's all about how you handle that, and whether you can talk a good game, in my experience.
This is all very reassuring. Thank you for sharing your experiences, especially london
There's no police record with my ex for either of us, we don't have kids and we didn't ever formally live together (he stayed in my rented flat for a few months at one point but I was the only person on the contract). I really wouldn't want them to contact him because after so long I have no idea what he'd say.... I don't even have any contact details for him but I could find them (mutual friends).
He's not a bad person at his core, but he is a mentally ill functioning alcoholic who takes and takes and really wore me down and I fear he'd paint a negative image of me as revenge for finally ending things
Are exes normally contacted? I could provide details of exes before the abusive one but as I was very young I don't really think they'd be able to provide anything relevant?
Do you have to give references?
Yes you have to give references including work.
I know you don't have a police record, i just thought I'd mention that certain offences are not a complete barrier, only offences against children. Also other violence would be a serious problem.
So if you were charged with breach of the peace when you were 18 and on a student demo and you are now 40 - probably not a problem.
Breach of the peace for screaming abuse outside your exs door last year - a problem.
Shop lifting as a teen and no further offences of dishonestly - not a problem.
So each applicant is considered on their own merits .
Other things you need to have are a spare room. And it's quite hard to get matched ( although not approved ) if you both want to continue working FT and not take any family leave.
How many references and what kind? Just curious
It depends on your agency, I think. I gave three, one school friend, one uni friend, and my sister. They said one could be family. They like at least one referee to know you well as a couple if you're a couple. My work reference was just to confirm I did work there, my hours, and my salary, I think.
I never saw any of my references.
They need to meet with your personal referees , but not work.
I gave details of my ex and our relationship which wed already covered in life story, we had no kids together, and sw decided it wouldn't be of any benefit to contact him. They cot act dh ex as they have a grown child together. They do realise that ex's don't always express a willingness to be helpful!
Hope all goes well for you.
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