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Just starting the adoption process

(56 Posts)
DLouise2004 Tue 13-Mar-18 23:26:05

Hi guys I wondered if anyone just starting the process may want to join me to chat through the journey and discuss what we are all going through? We are just starting our journey and excited, scared, nervous all at the same time! X

Iggyflop Wed 14-Mar-18 07:47:07

Exciting! We’re in stage 1! Just waiting to do our prep course in April so would love to join the thread and compare notes xx

Shannonlynn Wed 14-Mar-18 08:01:42

Hi, we are half way through stage one so would love to be in touch. Some of our training is in April and some in May. smile

DLouise2004 Wed 14-Mar-18 08:17:26

Great to hear from you @Shannonlynn @Iggyflop - is great to know some people going through this and we can chat through the highs and lows!

We have just finished failed treatment so have been told we can register in a month so should know where we stand in April.

How have you found the process so far and do you know ages etc you are looking to adopt? X

Iggyflop Wed 14-Mar-18 08:32:20

So far I’ve found it okay. I’ve been surprised by my reactions, as in that I’ve felt annoyed at it being quite intrusive and that’s before the assessment has even started! I knew what to expect and I’m a pretty open person so I guess it just took me by surprise that I’ve felt irritated and exposed by it. I think one of the things I found uncomfortable was the depth that the references go into and feeling a bit weird about our close friends and family being asked to comment on us, the strength of our relationship, how we cope with stress etc. Again, rationally I totally understand why they do this and at the same time it made me uncomfortable (I doubt this is the last thing that’ll make me feel this way!)

We’ve had our medicals and our references have all been received. We would’ve been starting our training this month but due to my work (I work for the LA we’ve applied through) we’re having our training in a neighbouring town. We’ve also started some online training that was recommended by our SW as part of stage 1 on the first4adoption website.

I’m sorry to hear fertility treatment hadn’t worked out for you and at the same time excited with you about starting our adoption journeys together.

We’re hoping to adopt siblings and we were surprised to find our area is struggling to place siblings under the age of 3. Who knows though. From reading this page it seems people’s preferences/expectations can change as the process unfolds.

Xx

DLouise2004 Wed 14-Mar-18 14:18:09

Hi @Iggyflop that's interesting what you say about them being so intrusive - I have actually been thinking about that quite a lot. I think I am fine re the references from friends but when we went to the information day they had stated that they want to speak to my previous boyfriend. We split up 8 years ago and it wasn't a nice break up so it just make me feel uncomfortable that they would want to interview him. I think he would probable say nice things but I almost just don't want him to know that we are going through this process - I don't really feel like it is any of his business and also I don't trust him to not tell other people. If we have to we have to but I may state a preference that I would prefer they didn't.

We need to do some more research but we think we may look into sibling groups. Our LA have said they really struggle to place sibling groups. We actually just bought this book to read up a little: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/099558222X/ref=cmsww_rwaa_api_3nJPAbA7AR9DM

fatberg Wed 14-Mar-18 16:52:26

There’s loads of us here who have adopted two, and some even more.

There’s a reason it’s hard to place siblings. It is hard. It is emphatically not like having two birth kids. (Usual disclaimers about how I wouldn’t swap them apply...)

Iggyflop Wed 14-Mar-18 17:23:54

Yes, I know what you mean about the exes...luckily me and DH were relatively young when we met so neither of us had ever lived with a partner before and we’ve been together 15+ years otherwise I’d have no idea how to go about contacting my last boyfriend! I was really surprised at my gut reaction to my friends giving references. It probably didn’t help that they all received them on the same day and contacted me in a bit of a panic saying ‘we didn’t know they’d want so much detail, what year did you meet, how long have I known you, what do you want us to say about how you cope with stress’ and told me some of the questions. Maybe I got drawn into the panic a little bit too! It felt odd having a third party contact our friends and relatives and ask personal questions and I don’t know why, they will have all said good things about us and I’m a really open person so I took myself by surprise!

That book looks fab! I’ll order a copy.

I’ll bet it is really hard looking after siblings berg! One adopted child would be hard enough. Like all things in life I’m sure there are advantages and disadvantages to siblings and adopting one child at a time x

Shannonlynn Wed 14-Mar-18 17:49:45

Hi all, Everything you have been saying above in terms of references I completely understand and feel as well. It’s strange to have people comment on your ability to manage money and your ability to deal with stressful situations. However, adoption is all about putting your future in others hands because at panel I guess that is what happens. It’s horrible but nessasairy, it was one of the aspects that stoped us applying before this. Ex references are also really intrusive, especially when the ex loves the fact that we are unable to conceive naturally and finds it hilarious that she is able too but not me. :,( We plan on telling my step children and her over Easter break, please send me strength. We are looking at one or two 0-5, but aware a baby is not likely. smileXxx

GiddyGardner Wed 14-Mar-18 18:03:09

Hi all, I'm nearing approval panel, so if you want to know my experiences for what they might be worth just ask. The hardest thing I am finding is that my mind is galloping towards matching and placement, when in fact we could be miles away, and it's so hard to switch off from that, it's hard to continue to plan in your full time job as normal, because you don't know if you will be there to carry out said plans.

The intrusion, well that's another thing, I haven't found it too intrusive, I've actually enjoyed it, but do think about experiences and how they may sound to the SW, they do analyse, think job interview. Because of my situation, I have had more references taken, over and above our original 3. Because they felt that our references didn't know me as well as my husband. Even though I have known them 8 years. So they wanted some from earlier. It does feel personal, but we can all recognise why it's needed, and for the most part, it's just box ticking, but I have on occasion thought 'why should so-and-so get a say on whether I can be a parent', but it's not like that. Try not to take things personally and just jump the hoops presented. This is goning to be nothing compared to actually parenting a child that has had so much loss. Many people who have come to adoption have gone through loss and trauma (so we can easily deal with references taken etc.., annoying, but not the worst thing), our loss just needs to be picked apart before they place a child that has suffered loss and trauma also, or it could be a disaster. I have also tried to think that the intrusive nature will help us get a better match, as the SW will know us better and will be able to advocate for us at panel.

DLouise2004 Wed 14-Mar-18 18:41:24

That's exciting @GiddyGardner that you are bearing panel - it must have been a rollercoaster. Can I ask what training etc you have had to do? X

GiddyGardner Wed 14-Mar-18 19:24:02

Hi @DLouise2004 feels like a slow slog really, we were originally due for panel in feb, we are now looking at may. But, As you say, I guess it is a roller coaster, because hoops do keep getting presented. We are fairly straight forward though (or so I feel, no red flags so far, so although hard, manage your expectations time wise and don't take their timescales that the LA or VA originally state as read), it's just important to keep your goals in mind and just keep going! We did the initial training, and then all of the other training they have offered. We are with a VA, they provide some extra training such as intro to autism, theraplay, empathetic parenting, attachment...we have taken up all of them, even though only the initial 2 day course was compulsory. We also attended the adoption UK conference (which was really educational...but at our own cost), we completed the First4adoption online stuff (which I thought was really good as an introduction to issues). I would also advise lurking on the forums, read about others' experiences and advice and read any books you can get a hold of, listen to the R4 podcasts, watch the programmes on adoption (there are loads, many lists of reading/watching/listening materials on the forum if you search for it). Any research you do will not be wasted and what you learn may help you in the assessment process, and help you to decide your own parameters. I have found that sometimes my initial answer to questions posed by the SW in stage 2, may have been different had I not read the research, been to the training.

GiddyGardner Wed 14-Mar-18 19:33:44

I seriously could not emphasise the importance/value of these forums though, this one and the adoption UK one has so many knowledgable posters, with so much invaluable experience, living the issues, not just the theory. I found that I read posts and then read up on the issues presented independently. I have learnt so much from contributors to these forums.

DLouise2004 Wed 14-Mar-18 20:27:20

That sounds good @GiddyGardner - I will use the forums and read/watch/do as much as I can. Can I ask why these say there is a delay from Feb to May for panel? Just interested in what the delays may be! X

GiddyGardner Thu 15-Mar-18 07:16:24

Delays have been due to things like Christmas, SW annual leave, sickness, Easter and originally our panel was put back for reflection time. Our VA are very keen on reflection time, so originally we had our appointments booked in weekly, this then became every other week. Which was a pain at the time but I have found helpful. Appointments can feel quite full on.

As prospective adopters we have very little control over the process and we were probably a little laid back at the beginning of stage 2. I would advise being proactive in getting meetings booked in and understand what will be discussed at each one (this may help to gently keep the process going, and at least if you have a delay, you will know how far behind you are), and understand when the PAR needs to be submitted (I think due to our delays, our PAR has not been ready to submit to panel in time, the PAR has to be completed and submitted weeks before panel). Also, ensure you complete your stage one workbook comprehensively (this has helped us during stage 2).

DLouise2004 Fri 16-Mar-18 23:06:54

I feel like I just want to get started now. Need to wait a few more weeks before we can submit out intention to register. I guess I ought to get used to all this waiting! X

GiddyGardner Sat 17-Mar-18 09:51:08

Time does fly though, even though the process can feel frustrating! Remember to do other stuff as well as adoption stuff, it can be all-consuming, and make the most of your freedom whilst you still have it! Enjoy your journey, it's exciting stuff!

DLouise2004 Mon 19-Mar-18 08:10:39

Good advice @GiddyGardner

How is everyone? We told our parents at the weekend that we are going to take the adoption route and all seemed very supportive x

DLouise2004 Thu 22-Mar-18 18:02:45

Hi guys can I ask you about the finances side if things - at what point do they go into the details about your finances and what do they want to know/see? Just trying to get prepared! X

GiddyGardner Thu 22-Mar-18 21:28:06

Hi, I feel like I am filling up your thread, but as no one has yet responded, thought I would. Our SW went into this at stage 2, although we had to do a financial breakdown in our stage 1 workbook. Ours was a very straight forward conversation, they looked at a statement of our accounts and that was it. But, that's not to say it won't come up again! Our SW has a habit of covering stuff and going back over it in more detail at a later date (we are at approval in May). Then I guess any child that we are matched with, their SW might want to go over it again (who knows). I think different LAs and VAs go over financial stuff differently, and I guess it greatly depends on your circumstances. I have heard that some go through statements line by line, but ours certainly didn't (yet). It's like everything else, think about your situation, how will you make adjustments, will you cope if one of you can't go back to work, how will you manage if there are extra costs (due to child's needs etc.). Social workers love a plan (and a back up plan, maybe work out two of three different scenarios) and forward thinking, taking into consideration all of the different variables, it also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and preparation. Don't worry too much, parents have had to adapt to having children money wise since the dawn of time, it's just that we have to prove it, so have a plan and a back up).

DLouise2004 Thu 22-Mar-18 21:36:43

Thanks @GiddyGardner that's really useful. We have a few debts from renovating house which are quite high but manageable and hoping to remortgage to cover all so will be covered but just worried they may question it all x

GiddyGardner Thu 22-Mar-18 21:54:20

They will question it, but manageable debts are part of life, I am presuming renovating the house was forward thinking, and you knew you wouldn't of been able to do this after children were placed, so it was all part of the plan in preparation for children. Have answers ready, talk to each other about any bits you are worried about, and you will realise how naturally forward planning you have been. As long as your mortgage will be manageable (possibly on one wage, and if it is manageable one one wage, then again, that was part of the plan). It will be fine. It's an anxious time, you do worry about how you will be judged, it's understandable, I have been there...and I still am! xx

DLouise2004 Thu 22-Mar-18 22:02:23

Thanks @GiddyGardner - that makes me feel so much better! X

DLouise2004 Sun 25-Mar-18 20:49:28

How is everyone? X

topcat2014 Sun 25-Mar-18 22:15:46

We are hoping to get this the end of stage1 in a couple of weeks. Must admit
I never wanted to see the reference form questions!

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