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When is the right time for #2

(12 Posts)
Starfishbanana101 Wed 25-Jan-17 19:27:26

For those who have adopted a second child, how did you know when it was the right time? What sort of things did you consider? What age gap did you have between DC?

We aren't ready yet as LO is so young, just coming 2 yrs old and placed as a tiny baby. However, it's a question we often get asked and it has made me think more about it, we'd love two children but not at the expense of what is right for LO. We were originally thinking at least another 18 months/2 years but how do you know? LO is doing really well, seems settled and is happy and healthy and just plain gorgeous, we are so in love and I guess that is the other side of it, we don't want to take away from the special relationship we have.

We are prepared for whatever the future brings and under no illusions that there are going to be some tough times but I also think that LO would thrive with a sibling.

Grateful for any thoughts really!

Gobbledeygook Thu 26-Jan-17 20:50:37

That is the $64 million question !
Our situation was very similar to yours - and I knew I wanted more kids within 6 months of AC1 coming home. AC1 was almost 4 when AC2 came to us and AC2 was just over 1 year old. Most LA's will insist that there be at the very least a 2 year age gap, some that your first AC has been with you for at least 2 years.
2 things that we discovered for you to consider (other than the agonising worry that you could totally upset the apple cart by bringing another child into the family) : 1) prospective adopters who already have children (bc or ac) are definitely not a priority to be matched in this current adoption climate and 2) it could be easier for your AC1 if you wait until she/he is at school - when they have been used to bring the centre of attention it is really tough on them to have to share you with a needy interloper - once they are at school they have their 'own life' to some extent and their understanding is greater and they are more empathetic.

Starfishbanana101 Thu 26-Jan-17 21:03:24

Thanks for your reply!

School age is what we were originally thinking, I think I've just become broody lately as other friends are having their second but obviously it's a bit different for those having birth children. We thought that 4/5 yrs age gap would be ideal for the reasons you mention. LO is absolutely fantastic at the moment, funny and caring and just so much fun that getting into the process of adopting again is just going to take away from our time together.

Interesting point about not being a priority if you already have a child. Did you do a 'fast track' process for AC2? I'd sort of thought that second time adopters might be looked on more favourably as you have already been through the reality of adopting.

donquixotedelamancha Thu 26-Jan-17 21:11:21

If BP's are still having kids, then fate might nudge you sooner than you expect.

Less than two year gap between our two (similar gap between adoptions). My thoughts would be:

Two little ones at once is hard. Really bloody hard. Depending on whether your child has any additional needs it could be easier when no longer a toddler.

DD1 loved having DD2. A little jealousy is to be expected but I was surprised how instantly she took to having a sibling and I think it's been really good for her. Despite the strain, I wouldn't change a thing.

DD2 gets less attention than DD1 got when she first arrived, unfortunately it's inevitable. I don't think thats a big deal (we are lucky that DP has had a lot of time off), but is worth thinking about.

donquixotedelamancha Thu 26-Jan-17 21:27:35

"Did you do a 'fast track' process for AC2? I'd sort of thought that second time adopters might be looked on more favourably as you have already been through the reality of adopting."

You will be fast tracked for approval. We got the meetings/forms done in a month and at approval panel in under 3 months, but most of our info was the same and we were in a rush. I'd still expect it to be quicker than first time, even with a big gap.

I'm not convinced that having already adopted puts you to the back of the que. Understanding/experience of adoption is a big plus in matching (or was for us both times). If will, of course, restrict the kids you will consider that fit your family, which inevitably may prolong matching.

Gobbledeygook Thu 26-Jan-17 21:46:49

Yes of course as Donquixote says, if the BM of AC1 has more children that are to be adopted everything I said is irrelevant: firstly the LA would ignore their own rules and place AC2 with you even if there was only 9 months between them ! Secondly they would prioritise you as family and an ideal match.

I also thought we would be looked upon more favourably as tried and tested adopters, but the reality seems to be that (unless AC2 is a biological sibling, or unless your family is of a very particular make-up that suits a very particular child) the SW often prefer the children to have all the attention they can get and be a single child.

The assessment process for our second adoption was indeed fast-tracked and painless, but the time between approval and matching was long. I personally know 3 other would-be 2nd time adopters whose LA's refused to even assess them ....

Hels20 Thu 26-Jan-17 22:14:55

Such a difficult question. We adopted a second time at the end of last year - 4 year age gap and boy had it been tough.

Our formerly, seemingly happy and bright child has regressed at school (he was near the top, now near the bottom) and we have had major behavioural issues - such that I am having to do play therapy, parenting courses etc as emergencies (which takes me away from DS2).

The only saving grace is that DS1 is at school (but the therapy and my course has to be done during school hours).

I don't know how it is all going to end up in the end - DS2 refuses to sleep (I have not had any sleep for 4 months and of course, I can't just go away for a couple of nights and catch up on sleep), DS1 is back to sleeping in our bed at least 2 or 3 nights a week (when before he was very settled) and I seriously wonder if I have done the right thing. At the moment, as much as I love DS2, I am really struggling.

I agree with the comments above that already having an adopted child doesn't necessarily put you at the back of the queue as it was seen as a strength that we knew about adoption and had (successfully...!) parented an adopted child. But there are less children than when we adopted first time round and I definitely felt pressure to take DS2 by social workers who kept on saying "you will be unlikely to get another white child of an appropriate age..." whereas I felt no pressure with ds1.

We were less than a year from starting approval to child coming home to us - so it doesn't always take ages

It's a hard decision. We totally underestimated the impact on ds1

Starfishbanana101 Fri 27-Jan-17 12:54:41

Thanks all. Such a lot to think about! I sometimes wonder whether a slightly smaller gap in age might help sometimes as they are more likely to get along/play etc and we have friends with two at home and although it's hard, it's manageable and we have a super support network, better than I could ever have imagined when SWs used to tell us it would probably all change and people would drop away after a while, we've been so lucky that it just hasn't happened.

That said, LO gets jealous of other children if they sit on my lap or have a cuddle. Not aggressive, just automatically also wants to be with me so I can see that sharing permenantly would be a stressful thing.

Starfishbanana101 Fri 27-Jan-17 12:56:02

How old is youngest Hels? I guess regression is to be expected in a life changing scenario like a sibling coming along. Sounds like you're doing amazingly well though and tackling it straight away. Is the play therapy helping?

Hels20 Fri 27-Jan-17 13:19:11

DS2 is nearly 2.

I don't think I would be coping if DS1 was not at school. I think it massively helps to have one at school.

I think they play reasonably nicely together - even with a 4 yr age gap.

Starfishbanana101 Thu 30-Mar-17 22:22:44

Hels how are you doing? Has sleep improved and things settled any/at all?

Hels20 Thu 06-Apr-17 06:34:35

Hi Starfish - thing are definitely better because finally DS is sleeping - usually only wakes up once a night which I can cope with. I wasn't coping before because I got about 2 hours sleep (no joke) and couldn't function and I am afraid I had to leave him to cry for a couple of minutes every now and then because my body just wouldn't get up. I was on my knees (and Ds1 was usually in our bed).

DS1 is still unsettled and his aggression has escalated and he deliberately hurts DS2 all the time (usually I am there to swoop in). I have to be vigilant all the time. But the force of the aggression has reduced and I see snippets of love and caring. Play therapy and parenting course for me has helped. DS1 is up most nights so I usually have to snuggle with him or I go to his bed whilst he sleeps with DH.its constant musical beds in our house.

So it is better, quite a bit better, but I expect to the outside world it would still seem hard.

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