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Jammydodger1234 Tue 25-Jul-17 19:13:34

Hi I'm looking for help, me 21 and my partner 22 have been together since the age of fifteen we have bought our home have one beautiful little girl 2 and a dog Bull mastiff 6. We have stable jobs and will be buying a business in a couple of months. That's our background.

Now we have always wanted to adopt a child not because of medical issues we just feel there's children in the world who need a happy home. We are wanting to adopt a little girl the same age as our daughter.

However we don't have a clue where to start. Can someone please help. We are wanting to foster for a year or so and then adopt the child as our own...

I have so many questions
. What I'd the parents wants the child back
. Who do we even talk to about this is there one big adoption agency or lots of little ones if so who are they are they good ect ect...
. How hard is it for this age
. How long does the process take
. Do you love then like your own

Please I can't think of stuff of the top of my head any other insight would be appreciated.. Thank you

OP’s posts: |
UnderTheNameOfSanders Tue 25-Jul-17 19:55:32

You can't adopt a child the same age as your daughter. SS will insist on at least a 2 year age gap. This is to protect your child, and the placed child. An adopted child is not a 'playmate' for a birth child, and will probably need parenting differently too.

My children are my own so I love them like my own. Sometimes I think I love them more than I would have loved birth children, because it was so hard to become a family.

Most children in UK available for adoption have come through care proceedings, rather than being relinquished. So there isn't really the option for the 'parents to want them back', though prior to final adoption order they do have various rights to try this. Children aren't generally placed for adoption unless it is really clear that the birth parents cannot parent adequately. There are relinquished babies of course, but not as many as 40 years ago.

If you 'foster to adopt' then this can be better for the child, but you would have to be prepared that the child may be returned to birth parents if they get their act together. foster to adopt could have massive impact on your birth child as she could form a bond, only for the child to be returned. I don't known whether they would even let a couple with a birth child foster to adopt.

Normally when a child is placed for adoption it then takes ~6 months before the final legal adoption. More for an older child (15 months for us).

Once they have agreed to take you on, you have an indepth homestudy which takes ?6 months or so. Then an indeterminate amount of time for matching, as they find the best parents for the child, not how long you have been waiting for.

You are very young to be adopting. It shouldn't be a barrier, but SS will find it unusual, and unusual often means harder to be accepted. They may well wonder whether you have the maturity / experience of life to parent a traumatised child, and cope with their past history etc.

One of you should be expecting to be off work for at least a year. Does that fit with 'buying a business'?

The dog may be an issue, a pet assessment would be needed.

You can be assessed by your Local Authority, or a neighbouring one. Or a voluntary agency. VAs don't have their own children to place, and are often used for 'harder to place' children.

hope this helps

UnderTheNameOfSanders Tue 25-Jul-17 19:57:36

All the above assumes you are in England and considering adopting from within England. Rules in Scotland/Wales/NI may be slightly different. Adopting from outside the UK has similar homestudy but other hoops, and costs ££.

Jammydodger1234 Tue 25-Jul-17 20:17:05

Well our daughter goes to nursery until three o'clock we can afford to send her and our adopted child to nursery while we work.

Will ss not allow this, what if they where at school age are one of us not supposed to work then??

OP’s posts: |
Jammydodger1234 Tue 25-Jul-17 20:17:18

And yes England

OP’s posts: |
UnderTheNameOfSanders Tue 25-Jul-17 20:28:34

They will not want you putting a pre-school age child into daily childcare when newly placed. It would be terrible for the child's 'attachment' ( read up a lot about this, it is really important ). Really SS often have a lot of choice over which family to place younger children with, and so you might find they prefer a SAHP over 2 working parents.

With a school age child they would still want you to have a decent amount of time off, so if e.g. placed at Easter they probably wouldn't want the child to be going into holiday child care over the first summer.

And anyway, adopted children often have additional needs which aren't obvious on placement, and you would need to be flexible as needed. What if the child placed just couldn't cope in a childcare / holiday club? You would have to put the child's needs first.

Etihad Tue 25-Jul-17 20:38:58

sanders can type faster (and more eloquently) than me.

I adopted a toddler a couple of years ago. It has worked out fantastically and we haven't had any major issues. But I wouldn't have dreamt of her going to nursery. If I could go to the toilet in the first 6 months without her being upset I was having a very very good day.

Parenting adopted children is, and needs to be completely different to parenting a birth child. There's a good book called The Primal Wound that explains some of it.

Jammydodger1234 Tue 25-Jul-17 20:55:42

I see, I'm not bashing your knowledge just an observation. Why would they not want a child to be with a stable loving family who can provide a loving home a huge family full of cousins anties uncles grans and grandads and a sister. Stability in her home life financial stability all because she would go to a nursery for a few hours with her new sister an dB make lots of friends and make new relationships with teachers learning about trust and friendship. We're also self employed so if it did come to it the child would then come to our work with us were she could be sat next to us at every minute. Either that or her spend her time in a care home. It doesn't make sense, again not bashing you just wondering why???

OP’s posts: |
Jammydodger1234 Tue 25-Jul-17 20:56:34

Hope I'm not coming across snotty read that message back I sound a little arsey haha sorry

OP’s posts: |
Etihad Tue 25-Jul-17 21:09:10

There aren't any children that age in care homes. There is actually a huge amount of approved adopters waiting for children.

The amount and sort of stability an adopted child needs might be very different to what a birth child needs.

My advice is to read as much as you can, about neglect, abuse, attachment, developmental trauma. There is a good programme on BBC2 now showing the effect of substance misuse on families.

Look through some old threads on here to see what the reality of adoption can be like.

There a tv series called 15000 kids and counting (link on here under a thread about adoption programmes)

Go to an agency open evening and chat to adopters and social workers who can answer your questions

comehomemax Tue 25-Jul-17 21:15:10

Jammydodger, it may be worth reading through past threads here and in the adoption uk forum.
Some of the points you've mentioned are very much at odds to adoption and I think it would be worth you researching before approaching agencies.

You mentioned adopting a child the same age as your daughter - can I ask why you want this? As Sanders said, a child would need to be at least 2 years younger than your daughter so an agency wouldn't allow this.

You also mentioned fostering for 12 months prior to adoption - again can I ask why? An adoption agency would be seeking permanence for a child so you wanting to foster first for a year would raise eyebrows.

I think you need to change your approach to understand where an agency would be coming from - there are currently more families waiting to adopt than children unless you are considering large sibling groups or high level of additional needs. Agencies are looking for families that can meet the needs of the children in their care rather than finding children for parents if that makes sense. They will expect you to change your lifestyle to parent a traumatised child rather than expecting a child to fit in with your work etc.

Finally, it's worth thinking through what the children waiting to be adopted have experienced - drug and alcohol exposure causing delays, neglect, abuse, abandonment, poor care, poor diets - think about how you would manage the trauma led behaviours that might be present.

comehomemax Tue 25-Jul-17 21:17:54

eithad sorry, cross post with yours!

B1rdonawire Tue 25-Jul-17 21:26:04

Until the child felt safe with you, they wouldn't be able to begin to feel safe with other adults (nursery workers, your wider family...) and they wouldn't be able to begin to form friendships (with siblings or nursery children). This child will have lost everything they've ever known at least once (leaving their birth family) possibly twice (leaving their foster family to be adopted) and maybe more times if they've had more foster placements. Can you imagine being moved tomorrow against your will and never seeing anyone or anywhere familiar again? All that loss and grief, and mixed with their other life experiences and possible additional needs, it will be so hard for them to become secure and they'll need all your time and energy to help them do that. So that's why most social workers will be expecting adopters to take a year of adoption leave to concentrate on supporting their child. It may take much more than a year, but this will be the start of the foundation of your relationship.

You're at the beginning of your journey and have lots of questions - as Saunders said, reading up about attachment and about the effects of early trauma, should help with some answers (and give more questions!)

donquixotedelamancha Tue 25-Jul-17 21:34:54

"There's a good book called The Primal Wound that explains some of it."

The Primal wound is pseudo science. It's basic premise- that all adopted children are damaged by adoption itself, is offensive bunkum. Please don't read it OP- any modern UK book on adoption would be better.

"Parenting adopted children is, and needs to be completely different to parenting a birth child."

No. Adopted children are just children. In the UK, in recent years, the majority of adopted children have additional needs. In many cases these can be very severe and getting your head round how life changing that can be is very important for prospective adopters. These needs are caused by the circumstances children are adopted from- not adoption.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Tue 25-Jul-17 21:46:28

It wouldn't be very good for a child to be at work with you. You would need to be focussing on work (otherwise why would you be there). A young child needs their carers to be focussed on them.

My younger DD was 2.5 when placed. She started pre-school 2 mornings a week around 8 months later. Even that was possibly a bit early with hindsight, though she did enjoy it when there. When she eventually started school age 5, after a few weeks her very experienced teacher said we had to do handovers different from the other children because she was 'lost' in the morning and needed way more reassurance than the others. She has continued to be more needy than 'standard' children.

OP, I think you need to do a lot of reading around, you seem quite naïve at the moment about the whole topic to be honest.

donquixotedelamancha Tue 25-Jul-17 21:52:36

Righto, OP. I'll have a crack at answering your questions.

"What I'd the parents wants the child back."
Doesn't work like that. When the child is taken into care a court order is made removing (some) parental responsibility from the birth parents (BPs). Once a child is placed with you its is vanishingly unlikely they would be removed. After 12 weeks you can apply for an adoption order (AO) and when it if made you are then their parents- no-one else.

"Who do we even talk to about this is there one big adoption agency or lots of little ones if so who are they are they good ect ect..."
There are lots of agencies, of two types. Voluntary Agencies (VAs) are charities. They only assess adopters, match with children and provide post adoption support- they don't take children into care. Local Authorities (LAs) are councils. They do everything a VA does, but usually will match with children locally (rather than searching nationally). A different department in the council will take children into care. There is a lot more to choosing the right agency, but post again about that if you get to the point of actually applying, or search old posts.

"How hard is it for this age"
Healthy children under two are the most in demand. Harder to match adopters have little chance of getting them and typically more 'attractive' adopters will search a while. Often these days they are placed through foster to adopt (FtA) or similar schemes. A big part of deciding to adopt will be thinking about what additional needs or developmental uncertainty you would feel comfortable accepting in a child.

"How long does the process take"
By statute it should take up to 6 months to be approved to adopt- it can take much longer. Then you go through the matching process of trying to find the right child- how long is a piece of string? We've adopted 2 in 3 years and in both cases we were matched as soon as approved. Many people wait years. Some of it is a good agency. Some of it is how you approach matching. A lot is pot luck.

"Do you love then like your own"
Oh god yes. It's brilliant- but having a child already, you know that.

gabsdot Tue 25-Jul-17 22:02:58

Adopted children have all experienced trauma to varying degrees in their early lives.
Sometimes this doesn't have any long term affects but often it does.

It is crucial for adopted children to form secure attachments with their parents and the way to do that is to spend lots and lots of time together and to limit associations with other adults. This should go on for months and months. That's why creche, childminders, even school can be a bad idea in the beginning.

annoyedand Tue 25-Jul-17 22:09:37

Jammydodger ---
Sorry but your answer is nieve.
Yes ss want adoptees who can provide stable homes and financially stability but these children's needs
Also need to be met.

When a birth mother gives birth they grow their babies in their bellies and then hold them when they are born when the babies needs are
Then met this then forms an attachment.

The children whatever age you adopt them will not have received this and will have trauma from being removed from birth mother. They may depending on their age and circumstances but mostly will have been placed in a foster home (never a residential) where they will have been provided with love and all of their needs met. Because the adoption process is lengthy they do if possible for the child then form a health attachment to the foster Carers.

You as the adopters are
Then dealing with children who have been traumatised removed from parents and then possibly a few times Sometimes with good practice only once are leaving their foster home.

These children then need to form an attachment to you so you farming them off to child care is not going to help a child feel attached. I believe ss suggest you take the first year off.

And if you did need
To work as you are
Self employed either yourself or your partner look after the child but not day care as this will not help the child be attached..
Please read up on attachment.

I hope no one read this as rude but if you genuinely want to adopt I believe a good sw would not support you with your present thoughts..

donquixotedelamancha Tue 25-Jul-17 22:10:07

"you seem quite naïve at the moment about the whole topic to be honest" We were all this naive about adoption once.

OP, you are getting a bit of push back for good reasons. Please don't be put off by it- there is some really good advice in the posts above. I'll add my own tuppence worth:

There are two very hard ideas to get your head around when adopting. We all had to make the adjustment to understanding them:

1. Many of the children up for adoption need a lot of extra support. The vast majority come from terrible backgrounds and have experienced substantial trauma. Drug and alcohol use has lasting effects. Even if you are matched with a child at the 'easier' end there is a large degree of uncertainty. The majority of adopted kids eventually live happy, normal lives- lives they wouldn't have without adopters; but to adopt you have to assume that there may be hard times, and in some cases very hard indeed. There is no way to guarantee outcomes.

2. The adoption system places no value on you. You are at the back of the que. The only thing that matters is needs of the children- you have no right to adopt, its all about how you might be good for them. If you get a good agency you will be well supported- but that is not always the case. Even if it is, there will be bureaucracy and battles to get support for your kids. Approval is intrusive and matching is hard. In fairness I hear that pregnancy isn't dead fun and I've been through worse times than the adoption process.

I think if you apply to adopt now, you will get knocked back- for all the reasons given in this thread. If you waited 2/3 years your child will be older, you'll have more life experience and you have time to research, plan and save up. Adoption is a wonderful thing to do and I hope you go through with it, but not yet.

Jammydodger1234 Tue 25-Jul-17 22:41:08

Hi all I completely understand what everybody is saying I just see it as I want another child I want a sibling for my child. However there are children who need home so why don't I adopt one instead of bringing another child into the world when others need love.

I am very naive about it all of course I will read more into it. It may be another couple of years when they start school ect ect but this is something that I will definitely be doing. Thank you all for your answers x

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yeahokay Tue 25-Jul-17 23:08:38

With all due respect, OP, this isn't something you 'will definitely be doing' unless you take the advice of the previous posters and realise that you will 100% need to make changes to your lifestyle and routine, maybe for a short time or maybe for a very long time, before any adoption agency will accept you as a viable option.

If certainly doesn't sound like you're mature enough to do this at the moment, with suggestions such as making a child come to work with you or putting it in childcare rather than, you know, nurturing and looking after he/ she.

We have a DD and adopted DS nearly 10 years ago. He was six years old when he came to us and was diagnosed with ADHD soon afterwards. Due to repeated meltdowns at school, constant fixed term exclusions and finally, a permanent exclusion, I permanently left my job to support him. This isn't something I wanted to do but it was necessary when he needed collecting from school for poor behaviour almost every day. On top of that, there were numerous hospital appointments to assess his needs etc. My daughter is four years older and this was an incredibly difficult time for her and for all of us.

You need to get real with many of your 'naive' assumptions. Adopting is a huge privilege and agencies want people who are dedicated to improving the lives of young people who have had awful starts in life, not people who can't even be bothered to take some time out of work for adoption leave.

Jammydodger1234 Tue 25-Jul-17 23:34:53

First things first it's not that I can't be bothered to take time off work it's the fact that I would like to earn enough money to give my children the beat things in life and to make sure they have funds for their adult life. I go to work everyday for my child and would continue to do this for my adoptive child.

The business I'm buying would allow me to make a room for my child to be which would be comfortable, fun and only a few steps away from me.

I'm wanting to adopt a child for the sake of the child, not for my own personal gains.....

Like I've said there are children in this world who need love, support and a secure home and instead of me bringing another child into world I'd like to rescue a child who hasn't been given the best life. I would 100% give up my work for my child/children. I am just making quick decisions as to what I could do if the child would be okay with Comong to my work if that didn't work out id be a sahp.

Like I said it might not be right now it may be in the future but it is something I defiantly will be doing

OP’s posts: |
fasparent Tue 25-Jul-17 23:36:13

Understand your feeling Gammydoger, Most of us have same but in reality as most of the post's describe all children are different, some need lost of understanding some may have secondary problems not apparent.
Have too go with your heart , will get a lot of training and advice on your
journey as you are now.
Good Luck , we have care of 16 children 9 Adopted all are different.

Jammydodger1234 Tue 25-Jul-17 23:37:59

Thank you fasparent x

OP’s posts: |
annoyedand Tue 25-Jul-17 23:48:52

---- how do you manage with 16 children. Guessing you're not uk ??

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