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Adoption after birth children?(9 Posts)
Some background- we have two preschool birth DC and are weighing up the idea of adopting. We understand from (very brief conversation with an adoption agency) that we would probably have to wait until our youngest was at least three or four to ensure a) we had enough time for an adoptive child and b) that they were younger than our youngest birth child.
I'm a SAHM but my previous work has been in child protection and SEN.
Can anyone talk to me about adopting after birth children.. what have your experiences been?
Also, the initial conversation with Adoption agency was difficult because they couldn't seem to understand our reasoning. Could you help me understand their incomprehension?! I have been v ill with severe (hospitalising) morning sickness both times and had bad birth complications too. We have always wanted three but another pregnancy seems risky.
Thirdly, would foster to adopt be a good option? We are in two minds. Through my work, I've seen how difficult it can be (with all the love and care in the world) to help children once initial attachment is so broken. So I can see the appeal of 'having' your child earlier in their life. On the other hand, I worry that it could be damaging to my birth children if we had to 'give them back'.
Thank you for all your advice and thoughts.
Primaryteach87 we adopted with a birth child. Our dd is 12 and ds is 6, he joined is at 3.
It's gone very well, I count us as very lucky.
I can't say why social workers would not understand your story. Maybe they do not understand how debilitating your pregnancies were.
The key thing to remember I'd you will not adopt a similar version of your birth children. You will adopt, if you do, a child who has been through the trauma of loss and potentially the experience of drugs or alcohol en vitro, or early experiences of neglect or abuse etc.
As a stay at home mum with work in child protection and SEN you have lots of offer.
However you will only be able to adopt a baby if your youngest is three. You need at least a two year gap between your youngest and the adopted child, some agencies may say three years.
There may be very few babies in the system. Plus you will be in competition with other adopters who don't have any children.
Having children already doesn't rule you out but it may make you less 'appealing'.
The biggest pressure in our adoption of 3 year old ds (almost 3 years ago) was our birth dd (9 at the time).
Foster to adopt, your call, it could work if you tell your children the baby may not be staying, you are fostering, you may not adopt or may not adopt this baby. But hopefully you will!
You may need to make various concessions like facilitating a potential relationship with birth family, (e.g. contact) so the birth family will know you and this could be hard. There is the emotional side of getting attached and maybe losing the baby.
The benefit for you is that having your children already might make the uncertainties of foster-to-adopt less difficult as long as your children can understand the uncertainty.
Plus being a stay at home mum means you won't have the whole adoption leave issue that might be difficult if you had a paid job.
I think if you want a baby and want to avoid that baby having multiple moves then foster to adopt is a good idea possibly.
We turned down foster to adopt as we couldn't risk the effects of having to return the baby on our son. As it happens someone we know had to return a baby last week after caring for her for 6 months from 2 days old. It has been devastating so I wouldn't recommend it.
We had no problems adopting and our son was 3 when we started the process. He turn 4 the week after his sister arrives. So far we have only experienced the struggles we would have expected with a bio child (attention battles/sharing etc) but are mindful of what might occur in the future.
Same here. The potential effects of foster to adopt on our birth dc were too terrible to contemplate and our LA wouldn't allow it anyway.
I was very conscious that having a bc was a hindrance and realised belatedly that these children need as much time and focus as they can possibly be given. It really isn't about you (and me) but about them. We were the 3rd set of parents to be considered for our child. The other 2 turned them down. Obviously i will forever be of the opinion our match was meant to be and these mysterious couples missed the golden jackpot. But it shows how down the family finders' list we were. That said as a sahm and one who'd dealt with SEN did ameliorate our position somewhat.
Ultimately though it's binary - you just wait as long as you wait.
All i would say is you are going to face a childhoid long (and more) set of challenges that you would not have to deal with with a birth dc. Think carefully if it's a good swap for 9 months of hell.
And also - you're going to face a lot more obstructions, struggles, obstacles etc with an adopted child than just being asked to explain your position/thinking on something a second time. Which seemed to annoy you a lot. In the very nicest possible way are you ready for the patience and repetition and constant struggling you may face?
Sorry i sound like i just want to put you off. Our adoption with a birth dc is wonderful.
The thing that strikes me is at the moment it comes across that you'd like to adopt to avoid experiencing another awful pregnancy & birth trauma rather than because you feel that adoption is something you want to do in it's own right.
It's a very fine line distinction but it could have come across that you were wanting a 3rd child without experience difficulties when the truth is that you are swapping one set of risky awfulness for potentially another... It also seems as though you want what everyone else does - a baby/toddle to slot into existing family, along with most other adopters.
I think there are so very many differing experiences out there but perhaps consider accepting that you will need to ultimately decide whether you think your health risks mean you have to stop at having 2 DC. Is adopting just to fulfil your dream/plan of having 3 DC? There are no easy answers but if your youngest is still a baby perhaps focus on grieving for the 3rd DC for now.
Thanks all. Really helpful thoughts. I have always wanted to adopt but if I'm honest we probably wouldn't be seriously considering it now except for my pregnancy issues. It didn't annoy me that the person I spoke to didn't really understand me (I can see it came across like that) but I wondered if we would have problems explaining our reasoning. The potential for birth complications is v high, these wont just get better by themselves necessarily and could result in me needing surgery. We definitely haven't decided to try to adopt yet. Very much in the thinking in through stage. I'm quite interested in what some of you say about being way down the pecking order. I think having worked with children (often in care) with very lasting difficulties, I'm perhaps more wary than the average person of 'rescuing' an older child. I'm not sure we have the resources to provide the best care for a child over 3. They will probably need all sorts of ongoing therapy and support. While not struggling we just couldn't afford to go private and I have seen how cuts to services have left adoptive families totally alone in helping their child.... Hmm is that too gloomy a picture?
I think if we asked to be assessed for foster to adopt it would probably be much further down the line, when our children were old enough to really understand it (maybe 6/7plus).
I think you are right about grieving for a third child. I had heard people say that in relation to accepting infertility before rushing into adoption but hadn't thought of it in our situation. Thanks for that insight.
I know 3 siblings that were long term fostered, sadly it was the youngest who was under 3 who was the most damaged and just couldn't cope in family life. It's just rather a roulette isn't it? Rarely do you know how much input they got in the first 12-18 months when all that emotional development is needed
Perhaps in the future you can revisit and considering fostering? If you feel that you have the emotional resilience to adopt then you would have with fostering and at least then there is respite care and your DC keep their status as your birth children.
There are some regular posters with now adult adoptees - very mixed bag of how they have turned out and how they cope with that.
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