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Planning to start the process - what can we expect(6 Posts)
I've been reading some of your posts to try and get an idea of what the adoption process is like but thought probably just asking might be simpler. DH and I have been trying for a second for many years and now at 42 I have decided that that ship has truly sailed. I've always thought that adoption is something I would consider and how feel the time is right.
I'm just so unsure of what it will mean for us as a family. How long does it take to get approved? How hard are SS on you? What should we prepare ourselves for?
We already have a DS (8) but all 3 of us desperately want to share our love with another child. So to additionally ask, how difficult is it to integrate an adopted child into a family where a child already exists (from adopted child's perspective that is).
Thank you in advance for any advice. I'm excited but also so nervous as I can't help but think that this might never happen.
In our experience it took 9 months to be approved. We were very lucky and had a match a week later with DD coming home 10 days shy of a year since we put in out initial application. This is very quick. Depending on where you live and whether you use LA/VA, it usually takes longer than a year to complete the process with a child.
I didn't find SS were hard on us but they ask a lot of intrusive questions, dig into your past and speak to family and friends. They want to know what you can and cannot cope with when it comes to the issues a child in care may bring. They want to know that your relationship is strong enough and your BC will cope with the transition - they will want to talk to them.
We adopted an almost one year old and already had a BC who turned 4 a week after she arrived. In our case she fit right in and has been hugely comforted by another child in the house. He makes her laugh when she is crying and she follows him around like his shadow. We found it hard for BC too though as he suddenly had to share is parents , his house, and (unlike the newborn siblings his friends have that sit there and do nothing) she was also pinching his toys.
There is no reason to believe it wouldn't happen for you. Just go to a few open evenings and see how you feel.
We have bc aged 8 and ac now 2 who has been with us 15 months.
Some amazing pluses but you don't need anyone to tell you how to enjoy the lovely bits!
Things we didn't consider properly - ds's homework. Ac needs constant attention while she's awake. We got in the habit of getting her to sleep and then we did Ds's homework at 7pm. Both of us tired - not a recipe for success. It's taken me a year to find a solution. Wish i'd put the thinking time in earlier.
Lots of other things we had thought about - and the sw was brilliant at helping us explore and think about what we taking on. Stop thinking of them now as the enemy who might go hard on you - treat them as a resource to get you to the place you need to be mentally to be ready to adopt.
They'll help you think and reflect and yes they might be poking into corners of your life you prefer to ignore but you'll come out stronger at the other end.
I agree with pp, try to build a good working relationship with your social worker and make them part of your support system through the process. For many reasons out of anyone's control our approval process took a very long time (think years), our social worker has been fantastic throughout. Yes she's really pushed our buttons but is proving a great resource as we go into placement. They honestly aren't the enemy.
Thanks happy just and jelly. The insights to your BC are great. Haven't thought of the homework aspect so that's a good consideration.
Not too worried about SW but I'm quite a direct person so will need to moderate my responses not to appear too bossy!
I'm kind of hoping the process doesn't go too fast as I'm sure we have loads to think about and prepare before our house is ready (need to build an extension to accommodate more space and more people!)
I hope this doesn't sound too negative but i wish someone had pointed out to me how unattractive we were as adopters because we had a bc.
You'll know from reading threads that almost all children in the adoption system are traumatised and mentally or physically damaged. Their best option is to have a parent/parents who can focus as much time or attention on them as possible.
When approved you would join the pool of adopters and everyone of those without bc would have an advantage over you.
If your bc is NT you will have to work hard to show you understand you will be parenting in a different way and will be happy to abandon all your previous parenting techniques.
You won't get the little sibling in the same way as all your friends did. But they will treat you like you did - you may find this hard, i do. There's also a few friends have made it very clear they are done with the toddler stage and we have been quietly ditched - never mind all those years when they had little ones and we didn't - grrr. But everyone in this process loses friends (or puts them on hold for a few years)
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