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Some worries from a potential adopter(17 Posts)
Hello, thanks for reading this in advance! Ive only just signed up but have been reading the forum for a while now.
Myself and my partner (a gay couple) are currently considering adopting.. obviously for biological reasons we aren't able to conceive our own children and given the options of surrogacy or adoption we feel that we would rather provide a loving home to a child in need rather than go the surrogacy route.
We've done a lot of research online and spoken to the LA as well as a couple of VA's (we are in Scotland so choice seems a bit more limited) but we have a few questions that no one can really give us answers to and we hoped that asking on a forum like this where people have been through the process before might be helpful.
Firstly Ive had some mild depression in the past, I was referred to apsychologist for some CBT and was on antidepressants. The first time was after a family bereavement and after I had just come out. The second time was after a horrendous time at work which resulted in me having to take some time off (a few weeks) and start antidepressants as well as CBT again. So my concern here is twofold; firstly how big an issue is a situation like that and secondly would they ask for a reference from that particular workplace?
The second question we have is about ex partners. There doesn't seem to be much guidance on what constitutes an "ex partner". Before I met my current partner I was in a relationship which was psychologically abusive with a very threatening partner. We never lived together, never had any children together etc, but we were seeing each other for around 2-3 years (started as a casual thing so start and end dates are not really "set") which I suppose is a significant amount of time. Id really rather not have social work try to contact him because, frankly, he's frightening (once threatened me with knives, occasionally kicked me as I slept if I stayed over) (and as a secondary issue I imagine he would make loads of stuff up in the assessment). Does anyone know which partners they choose to contact, if there is a certain amount of time the consider significant or if they have to have been cohabiting?
I know I have a bit of a cheek asking all this as my first post, but its actually quite hard to get this information out of the agencies
Hi so for your first question, you will undergo a medical with either your own doctor or possibly one who you don't know. The paperwork is big in regards to this, you have your own issues which is respected, so long as your doctor feels this is the time for you, you should be fine. It's the panel you'd need to worry about. I've had bereavements of very close friends and it hit me hard. They accepted this.
Regarding your ex partner/s unless you've had a child with them they don't even need to know about them. I had a partner for 5 years before I met my husband and I didn't need to give them any information on him as we didn't have kids. In regards to the violence I'm not sure what to say.
Your best option is booking in to speak to a social worker and take it from there. If they are trained properly they'll give you the answers you need.
Hope I help a little
Good luck to you and partner on this journey.
So you don't think id need to inform them about my ex as we didn't live together and didn't have kids?
When you say its the panel you need to worry about, I thought if the GP was supportive of your application then that was seen as OK?
Yes I'd personally not tell them about your ex
If your gp is happy with how things are at present that's good but panel will nitpick
eg, I've never met my dad know who he is from a photo but that's it. They pulled me up and made me feel awful that he wasn't in my life, sorry wasn't my fault he abandoned my mum when she was pregnant. I cried at panel, I honestly thought we'd or I'd blown it because I didn't want to kindle a relationship with my dad after 35 years of him not being there.
On panel they'll be an impartial doctor he/she amy ask you questions regarding your mental health like for eg if you had another death how would you cope? Would you take more time off work? How would you reassure child everything is fine when your not?
Things like this may get asked but may not.
I don't want to scare you but think outside the box. Have your answer before they ask the question.
Oh and about your references, they will ask your current workplace line manager on paperwork you'll put down the name you want to use as a reference. They won't ask your last workplace x
Thank you so much for getting back to me, I really appreciate it! Its good to talk to someone whos actually been through the process.
I've got one final hurdle to jump before I'm at the finishing line. Just submitted our paperwork for the judge so awaiting that news now. Another 20 weeks and we'll know if the AO is granted x good luck x
Your social worker will be interested in how you dealt with and worked through difficult situations in your life, what you learned and if you would do things differently if they happened again. Everyone has tough times and they want to see how you've got through them and how it's shaped you.
If you work in social care of any description they will want to contact every single employer due to working with vulnerable people. If you're worried about a 'bad' reference discuss it with your social worker and explain what was going on in your life at the time. I've been in that position and it was fine.
If you never lived with your ex partner or had children you don't even need to worry about mentioning him.
I'm in Scotland too and it's a fair bit different up here as I've discovered from reading threads here. We're close to the end of our assessment and have panel soon. Feel free to private message if you want to ask anything else about our assessment.
As above, it's more about how you've handled your mental health issues.
DH took an overdose 8 years before our panel (his previous partner cheated on him). This was obviously raised in his medical but to make it worse our social worker didn't pick up on it until the last minute so hadn't discussed it with him, so it was very much glossed over in our PAR. Which meant the panel really zoned in on it. He basically reassured them he now has better coping techniques, is now in a more supportive relationship etc and it wasn't an issue at all!
I work in social care, they certainly didn’t ask for a reference from every employer, just my hereby one (I’m also in Scotland). I also had significant mental health issues before and then during the approval process. The process was delayed while I got better and they asked for a report from my therapist as well as my GP but we were approved - the chair commended me for overcoming adversity and emphasised the strengths it would give me as a parent.
That's interesting Jellycat, my social worker insisted on details for every social care employer I've ever had since leaving university, and contacted every one of them. Was advised this is standard practice....maybe it's just my local authority but they seemed to indicate it was Scotland wide.
Several of my previous employers have gone bust -- I wasn't the cause, honest--
That’s very interesting Charlie I’ve been in social care for over 20 years so they’d have done well finding people who could remember me enough to give a reference. The longer I’m around adoption processes the less confident I am that the processes are well thought through much less standardised.
@scotman have you worked through any trauma created by being in an abusive relationship?
Have you thought how to deal with any future losses? Eg parents/parents-in-law/other relatives?
Being prepared for things that may cause stress (or anxiety or depression) is helpful.
If/when you have a young child, who has already suffered their loses, you need a strategy for dealing with things that upset you. Having been through it you can show you know what causes problems, can put things in place to help you cope.
I have an abusive ex as well and we just never communicate with each other now. EVER. So I wouldn't judge you if you didn't mention that x.
Everybody has exes. The problem some of the children who need loving homes have is that their ''currents'' are abusive.
parents' currents - so to speak. Hope that was clear.
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