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Adoption advice after having your birth children(20 Posts)
Been wanting to adopt for years but n bet been the right time with getting married, moving, having birth children. Really have my heart set on it. My son is 17, daughter 2. Would love to start the process soonish and happy to wait afterwards as am aware the at least a 2 year age gap between youngest and adopted child. Know there’s not a huge amount of literacy on the age gap between but I personally feel that it’s best to not wait until my daughter is in school and that the children be closer in age. Is it fairly impossible to adopt a 0-6 month old? Local authority vs voluntary agency? Any experiences and advice would be amazing!!!! Xxxx
It's not impossible but I think 6-12 months is more realistic unless you are doing foster to adopt. In my local authority there are very few babies that get through the court system before 6 months.
Most Authorities rejected us as our son was 3 (just) when we started the process and very few have children young enough to be taking on people with such restrictions on age. I contacted about a dozen and an authority over an hour away were the only ones who would accept our application. DD moved in a week before her first birthday. Because of how long the court process takes, you are unlikely to get a child under 6 months without doing foster to adopt.
I have a birth child and have adopted. I could have done with someone being a bit clearer (blunter) about the age gap stuff.
Basically your adopted child will probably be traumatised in some way (even if you get a tiny baby). They will heartbreakingly play this out by attacking those close to them. You will understand why they are doing tgis thanks to training and reading but it still hurts. They will attack your other children physically and perhaps mentally possibly on a daily basis. You need to think about protecting each from the other - and age gap is one useful way. It will also protect your child's friends.
My adopted daughter is beautiful and adorable but all of us are covered in cuts and scratches that she didn't mean. My birth ds is 6 years older and has been endlessly patient but the balancing act of her demanding all attention (more so than a birth sibling) has meant we've messed up sometimes in the laat 18 months in terms of attention - and finding time to do homework.
I wouldn't change our lives at all - but i may have planned/thought about stuff better.
Thank you. All very helpful and I’m grateful for that. Will think about fostering to adopt as pushed that aside before due to fear of becoming attached, as well as my children. Part of me feels selfish though for wanting to adopt incase it adversely affects the children. Contacted agencies and just wondering if it will be more possible with local? xxx thank you everyone xxxx
You really should think hard about FTA and the attachment issues you mentioned. There is always a possibility that baby will be returned to family.
Please don't think a younger baby will be easier. It won't. My DD is very clingy and demands my attention a lot. She is very jealous when I cuddle her brother and when I go for a shower I can hear her scream for me from upstairs.
I know you are thinking young because of the age gap but I just wanted to give my experience as many think they are "less damaged" when you get them from a young age.
Not in case it adversely affects the other children. There will be adverse affects, you're bringing a traumatised child into the family, plus with fta, there is all sorts of uncertainty. Many of us had birth children, and the pros hopefully are outweighing the cons, but the bigger the age gap, the most the adverse affects are mitigated.
Yes sorry of course it will adversely effect the children. I’m not thinking baby will mean they will be less traumatised, just would love to be there with them from as early as possible. Since I’ve started to look into the whole thing, I can’t help but wonder how anyone adopts cause feel like there’s more chance of going to the moon!!! It’s seems so impossible to adopt a child and all I feel from it all is negativity. I’ve trained as a social worker and therapist so I have a little idea but obviously no where near the experience of all of you. The blunt truth is great... why I posted... thank you. Will really consider your experiences and advice xxxx
to second thomassmuggit - there will be adverse affects even in the simplest adoptions...
our BC (4) has started drawing pictures of themself in my tummy, saying I the only one in your tummy mummy, not X.....just me......Baby arrived at 5 months, needing very little 'extra' than a newborn sibling would really - but at just over 1 yr needs lots more than others the same age, mostly holding, picking up, extra closeness, time etc....
BC simply has to wait more and despite how much they love each other, I sometimes question whether the age gap was right, should I have waited till BC was at school etc etc.
adoption is a wonderful thing, I am so grateful it exists, talk to lots of people if you can, a bigger gap would be so much better for your BC....but i guess by the time you go through the process school should be looming....
We wanted a small gap between our BC and AC, but ended up with nearly 5 years between them. Honestly, if we were doing it again and could choose we would go for an even bigger gap...
Just wanted to say I’m following this thread with interest. I’m a prospective single adopter, currently in Stage 2, with a 5yo BC. Among other things I’ve been going round and round on the ideal age gap. Initially I was thinking I’d be focusing on children about 2-3yo (BC will turn 6 shortly after panel and I thought a 3 year gap would be good) but this isn’t the first time I’ve read a recommendation for a larger age gap. I’ll still aim to be approved for 0-3yrs, but it sounds as though focusing on potential matches at the younger end of the spectrum might be better for sibling dynamics.
I’m still hoping that when the “right” profile lands in my inbox I’ll just KNOW, and all this stressing over age and gender will melt away!
If it’s okay to add slightly to the original question, can I ask how many people have experienced violence towards their BC after adoption? I’m bracing myself for all sorts of additional needs, and I would expect any new sibling to have a few negative impacts on my BC (hopefully more than offset by all the positives!) However my BC is very quiet and shy, and she would be hugely distressed by violence, even from a much younger child. I understand that there are no guarantees, especially with a younger child, but I had understood that violence is only one of a wide range of trauma behaviours that could occur? My assumption was that violence would occur with less than half of AC (although traumatised behaviour of SOME sort is pretty much certain). Is violence more common than other disordered behaviours?
Folded - we have 1BC, and more than 1 AC - both older and younger than BC. We have had violence yes, but in a toddler tantrum sense....BC (4) is sassy and loud, and so is fine to say NO, we don't hit, and I can usually hear the squeal and sort it out.
We dont' have any 'adoption related' violence issues no.
I think you can ask when you start reading profiles, and know if the potential child is likely to be a 'hitter', but obviously - as with all adopted children, there are no guarantees what will unfold in the future.
the majority of adopters i know, have 'normal' (sorry i hate that word) toddlers with a wide range of toddler behaviour.
as the age range goes up - about 60% of the adopted teens i know are violent towards their parents sadly.
Hi, I hope a minority voice is welcome on the board too.
I have 2BC and 2AC with less than two years between BC2 and AC1. Yes, my children are probably too young for me to really know/comment, they haven't reached adulthood yet, my eldest is under 9, and I've only been an adopter for four years, but from my (limited) experience getting a good match is far more important than getting a specific age gap. There's six years between my eldest and youngest and actually I find that age gap the hardest, as they're worlds apart in what they do, how they think, and what they want; they never really gravitate toward each other, there's nothing to unite them (yet) (except for tickling, and being noisy).
Yes, adopted children are traumatised (though this manifests in many ways, not just violence), and my pair have various issues (as do my birth children), but I'm not so sure a big age gap and keeping children apart what socially?physically? emotionally? promotes a 'better' relationship just by default. I think its more complicated than that, and based on personalities and the needs of all your children, and also maybe taking into consideration what you're like as a parent/ or parents. Can you cope with chaos? have you got the energy for 2 under five, or two under 7 for that matter? Now add in the higher degree of unknowns with adoption. Think practically too, do you, or will you have the time, to listen to one child practise their phonics (say a 5 year old), while a toddler (with speech delay, so therefore quite frustrated) runs about? Zoom into the future, and I don't know the answer to this myself yet, but can you cope with two teenagers at the same time? (I'll have four teenagers at the same time, so I hope I can). (OP, you already have a teenager so you're better equip than I was when adopting to answer this).
You're welcome to PM me so I can elaborate on why I'm finding close ages gaps positive, but in short; school, friendships and alliances via common references, less of a distinction between 'adopted' and 'bio child'which I think is helpful, others might disagree.
And as a snapshot to my day, my very confident DC3 (that's also AC1 in this post!) spent her day helping shy DC2 (aka BC2) come out of his shell at a half term activity camp. DC2 had a panic before bed, that he might be put in a different group to DC3 tomorrow.
Re. agencies and matching - we were matched very quickly, BC were seen as a positive and age gap didn't even get a mention at panel.
We 'just knew' when the right profile landed.
Our adopted child is more violent than normal toddler behaviour, made harder because discipline is all about building attachment and relationships, whereas standard parenting requires a secure attachment. You have to be calm and attachment focused, even when it feels like they've broken your nose, it's hard!
However, the birth child has learned so much empathy, and loves their sibling, and I wouldn't change a thing.
Thanks for all the helpful info!
Constant it was so reassuring to hear about an AC who doesn’t display “extra” violent behaviour. I don’t for a minute assume that means it’s all been a walk-in-the-park, but it reminds me that support forums are naturally skewed towards families needing more help, and the overall % of violence arising from trauma is hopefully much lower than it might appear from internet message boards!
We thank you for such a detailed and thoughtful post. It was very interesting, and helpful, to hear the other side of the age gap conundrum.
Thomas thank you for sharing your story. It sounds tough, but worthwhile.
Apologies to OP for sidetracking your query a bit! I hope you benefited as well!
Thank you all so much for your time in sharing experiences and advice xxxx
My birth dd was 9 when our 3 year old adopted son joined us. He turned 4 fairly soon so there is almost 6 years between them. The age gap has helped.
Might help to join a Therapeutic parenting Facebook group to get an idea of the joys, challenges and strategies (they are mostly parents who are adopted). I’m reading it now because I hope to adopt in the future and so am aiming to use the same ‘techniques’ and approach with my BC so that all the children will grow up with similar parenting... if that makes sense!
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