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Would you wait?(49 Posts)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
Will try to keep this short. Looking for honest answers as feels like ppl can't say this in real life if they have AC or BC.
We are in our early & mid 30s been together 10years & have great life, own our own home, lots of holidays, social events, love our work etc (not a stealth boast I promise). A few years ago we felt time was right to start a family, turns out we both have fertility issues so were told ivf etc unlikely to work.
So we're now on stage 2 of the adoption process. All going well so far. Except I can't shake this niggly feeling that we are too young!
The more I learn about being adoptive parents, struggles, behavioural issues, attachment, aggression, GDD, FASD, the more I think... ok we know what we're letting ourselves in for & we're still up for it BUT maybe we should enjoy our simple / fun life for a while longer?
I guess my question is, to both birth & adoptive parents, would you wait?
Or despite all the stress & struggles do the good times genuinely outweigh the bad?
This is my 1st post so here goes, as a parent of BC also a foster career and hopefully soon to be adopter [have been approved a few months for adoption and foster to adopt] I would say that you have plenty of time as in my experience adopters in my group were all over forty as are myself and husband. You sound as though you are happy as you are, so maybe don't rush into it, parenting is for me the most amazing and best thing I have ever done, but you have good bits and bad BC or adopted it is for life so take your time with your decision
In my experience the good times definitely outweigh the difficult times or rather they make the difficult times bearable BUT (and it's a big but!) it is hard. I'm a single parent so I can't talk from the perspective of being a couple, but I would say that if you are having niggling doubts at this point you might want to think about putting it on hold for a while.
I was late thirties when I adopted and whilst in some ways I wish I had been younger so I had more energy in far more ways I am glad I became a parent when I did. I'd had the best part of twenty years partying, socialising, holidaying in interesting and far flung places. I felt very ready for a change and the challenge of being a parent. The chances of doing any of that stuff now are slim to non existent and I feel will be for a good few years to come but this may be due in large part to being a single parent so doing it as two might be easier.
There is no harm in taking a break to reassess if you want to. Much easier and less stressful to do it know than feel resentful once you're parents.
At the end of the day only you can know what's right for you but I think listening to your gut instincts is usually (always?) a good idea.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
Just wondering if any one has any experience of foster to adopt as we are considering going down this path would be helpful to hear some real experiences good or bad.
Thank you for your responses both of you. I'm excited about becoming a parent but I think the adoption process makes sure you take off the rose tinted glasses. I think a lot of people 'romanticise' the idea of starting a family (whichever route) & many ppl say they're surprised / unprepared for how hard it is. I just couldn't tell if what I'm feeling is cold feet or common sense!
My DP is 36 & completely ready but trying his best not to pressure.
No. I wouldn't wait.
I adopted at 38 and 41 and am pretty shattered. Generally, I think adopted children do take up more energy and time - and you can't outsource childcare in the same way you can a birth child (e.g. You can't really go away for a weekend for a good while after AC arrives). Also - remember it can take ages to be matched and then a good few weeks for adopted child to move in (for us with AC1, we heard about child in July and child didn't move in until a December). remember you also don't have to take the first (or second or third) child suggested to you. It might not feel right. I looked at lots of profiles when going through adoption first time - some the SWs preferred other couples to us, some - when we dug a bit deeper - there were issues we
Felt we might not be able to cope with.
It can take a long time - so I would get approved and start looking as it could take years.
Thank you Hels20 I really appreciate hearing your take on it.
I think that's what I'd like to do, get through all the proverbial hoops of the process & at least know that we're deemed good enough. Just wasn't sure if this was the 'wrong' thing to do as SS so overstretched.
I feel like it'll take time & as we are young we can wait for the right match for us.
Did your AC come through the borough who took you through the process or further afield?
I am so glad I'm a "young adopter". Day and night therapeutic parenting is exhausting. Children take energy. Being relatively young is a huge advantage in energy levels, and cope with the massive change required.
Troublesome teens in my 60s? Fuck, no thanks. I intend to be living the good life, perhaps with securely attached grandchildren by then!
We've adopted 2 in the last few years and are now late 30's. I thought it was the perfect age but with hindsight I'd rather be a little younger.
The advantage is that in your 30's you are more experienced, wiser and your relationship has been tested. The reason I wouldn't wait longer is that kids are tiring, and also I love seeing my parents with their grandkids and mine are getting noticeably older.
I would add that there is no reason to think that the kids you adopt will necessarily have the shopping list of issues you describe. You should definitely assume uncertainty, and its very helpful to be aware of the high levels of additional need, but there is a huge range in adopted kids. Thinking about what you want to/are able to take on is a large part of the process. If you imagine that the people seeking support on the adoption forums are an average sample I think you may have a distorted impression.
It's so good to hear positive responses - thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I often feel like ppl only talk about the hard times / bad stuff, of course because when it's good they're off living life!
RosieandTim - I think you articulated it better than me! Therapeutic parenting is hard and exhausting. I think having children at about 30 would be ideal - it wasn't to happen for us but I do know my energy levels have fallen. Based on family history, I will probably go through the menopause in the next 2 or 3 years - and just hope by then both my children will sleep through the night. (Whoshalibe - our six year old still doesn't sleep through the night and refuses to go to bed unless we are in the room with you. He frequently joins us in bed midway through the night so my sleep is constantly interrupted. If only I was 10 years younger). But it's a bit like having any child - there are always pros and cons to the age you have a child. If you are early 30s then that to me would sound like the perfect age - unless you feel like you still have loads to do before children come along...but you can still do some of that stuff when they do come along.
One DS was adopted in borough, one outside. I definitely felt like with no2 that we might not get another chance and felt slightly pressured to take child.
I was 26 when we were approved and DH 30. We already had a birth son so the change in lifestyle had already happened with DS but even so, I comment to DH occasionally that I couldn't imagine the disturbed sleep and constant attention required in my 40's.
Also as said above, there are people on this forum who took 3/4 years to get approved and matched with the right child. If you wait a few years and then it takes that long to get your lo you may not be in the same stable position you are now. A lot can happen in 5/6 years.
It's take 4 years for us to ge through the adoption process and our children will move in with us next month. You could start the process now and still be a long way away from parenting.
I can't advise you to wait or not but we adopted very young and it's been the right decision for us. In some ways I do wish I'd waited as parenting is hard going but I really wouldn't have it any other way. The fun doesn't necessarily have to stop. It will be different, but it would with BC. Of course you could get a child who means your old way of life is made virtually impossible but you find new ways to be happy and have a good time. My LO is incredibly hard work, exhausting, relentless but also makes me laugh and makes me prouder than anything
Just to echo what Hels said about sleep. I have very similar issues with child of similar age. I'm several years in and sleep is still an issue. Being ten years younger would have been an absolute blessing in terms of being able to physically cope with the lack of sleep. Of course not all kids have sleep problems but DDs have got worse over the years not better. I'm not trying to be doom or gloom or put you off but the reality of interrupted sleep and / or lengthy bedtime routines including sitting with them every night is physically and mentally exhausting.
Not all kids have sleep problems Don't tell me that. I console myself that other parents lie. Or have nightmare teens in waiting to make up for it.
Ha ha rosie I tell myself that too! Sorry to derail a bit OP. Despite being utterly sleep deprived adopting my DD was and is the best thing I've ever done
"Not all kids have sleep problems Don't tell me that. I console myself that other parents lie."
My sister's son is a precociously clever angel who's always slept like a log. I give him sugar and loud musical instruments at every opportunity.
My DD sleeps through. Has done since 3 months post placement.
But she wakes up at 5am EVERY MORNING! 🙈
We started process at 26 and 27. Now a year post placement at 29 and 30. Sometimes it's quick, sometimes its slower. We had a lengthy process to become approved but from being approved to our LO moving in was only three and a bit months but we were very fortunate we found her so quickly. It all depends on what you are able to cope with. Our social worker was very understanding and cooperated with us completely.
I will say we were youngest by far on our courses etc apart from a couple of other same sex couples we met along the way. As far as we were concerned we were ready to be parents but everyone comes to adoption at different points and as long as you can honestly say you want to commit to it in general you will be fine. Side note, I miss sleep. But she is totally worth it.
I was 33 and my DH 37 when our first two came home. We were considered young adopters then. We were ready, yes it's a massive adjustment but that's true at any age. I have so far (3 years on) found adopting nowhere near as stressful as it was made out to be in the prep classes.
And for the record, all three of mine sleep for around 12 hours and have done since a week after they came home. (Number 3 came home a year after the other two and slept through from the first night)
We were approved in our 20s.....but 10 years later we now have 5 ☺.....i couldnt do that pushing 50!
I have just enough energy to do what we do in keeping our siblings together, if we had started 10 years later our ages would have forced us to say no the the baby siblings we later adopted.
Adopted children need parents with oodles of energy....it is parenting +, even when no needs have been identified.
And despite being up front about it, sw will and do try to choose younger families for children.
Thank you everyone for your responses! I am definitely going to build up my sleep bank as much as possible because I do love sleep! My DP is an early riser & full of energy but no one has been this honest before about how long sleep problems last - birth parents always says it's just the first few years.
I am ready to commit to having children. I think I may do one last big trip post approval just to get it out of my system. I guess I'm scared because I love my DP so much & we have such a great relationship I'm worried that kids will come between us as I know they do. I guess we'll catch up on the other side of 18 years!
"no one has been this honest before about how long sleep problems last - birth parents always says it's just the first few years"
Like everything else with children it varies massively. We've got two, so although they aren't too bad individually the cumulative effect is that we are always knackered.
"I'm worried that kids will come between us as I know they do"
I really wouldn't assume that. Having kids is brilliant, I'm so glad we did. It is also knackering and hard work even if you have 'easy' ones. I don't think it's made huge changes to our relationship, perhaps we are slightly closer together. Things are at once very different and feel like it's always been like this.
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