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Advice on starting adoption process please!

(23 Posts)
MummyAlltam Sat 17-Mar-18 08:49:58

Hi I don't know what I'm expecting to come of this but here it goes

Dh and I have ds1.5 and dd4.5 we are renting and we both with stable full and part time jobs. We have recently been feeling the call for an addition. We have had no firtillity issues but I'd love to go down the adoption route. I am just unsure about all sorts of things. Are we likley to be accepted having already had children and no firtillity issues? How have people found the introduction of an adopted child in to your family? How have you decided what ages to adopt? And how has it been adopting siblings? Is there a group or a meeting I could attend?

thomassmuggit Sat 17-Mar-18 10:06:17

Why adopt rather than have a birth child?

There are more adopters than children waiting. Easy to place children are easily placed. Do you have a special skill you can offer children with special needs? Are your birth children prepared for a child with special needs/behaviour problems?

hidinginthenightgarden Sat 17-Mar-18 10:09:00

I think the first thing you should do is spend some time on the therapeutic parenting facebook page. Not all of the parents on their have adopted, many are birth parents but it gives you a good insight into what issues surround children with trauma. It is not an easy road at all. The process is invasive, emotionally draining, frustrating and long.
It terms of groups to meet, the most sensible thing to do is attend an open evening with your local authority- they won't have an issue with you choosing adoption over another birth child but they will ask why and put a lot of emphasis on the difference between parenting adopted children VS birth children (this is something we have struggled with the most. DS doesn't understand why consequences for DD are different for him.)
In terms of age, you have to adopt a child at least 2 years younger than the youngest child in the house. This means, as there are few babies under age 1 available for adoption, you will probably have to wait a while before starting the process.
My family have been very welcoming, no one treats them any different. The hardest thing is managing your own feelings as to start with there isn't that overwhelming feeling like there is when you give birth. You will likely feel different towards your adopted child for a while because they are essentially a stranger (you get a week or two of introductions before they move in with you!) when they move in. Its a bit like caring for a niece of nephew for the first few months.

Italiangreyhound Sat 17-Mar-18 11:33:02

@MummyAlltam welcome

I'd say analyse your motives. Is it that you want to help a child? If so there are tons of ways of doing that. If it is that you want to parent again, why adoption?

Talk to your dh/dp together and make sure you are both really on the same page. Go to an open evening, maybe one for fostering and one for adoption.

I have a birth child, DD (9 when ds came to us at 3). She is 13 now, he is 7. It's not been easy. We tried for over 6 yeatrs for a sibling and had extensive fertility treatment.

Feel free to ask me anything if you wish.

If you do the @ and my nane I will know if you ask anything in a thread.

Or you can pm me.

Just to be clear -adoption is brilliant uit most people who adopt do not have the option of any (or more) biological children.

So you may well be scrutinized as to why you chose this route. Which is fine but it is not something birth parents ever need to explain.

Good luck.

MummyAlltam Sat 17-Mar-18 11:59:19

My husband went through the system when he was younger. He was fostered, and returned to his mum. We thought about fostering but I couldn't face returning them. After hearing his experiences I'd love to try to give a child the same life he now has.

I was un aware that there were too many adopters. The last thing I want to do is take away from someone else while I already have so much. Although I'm sure that would be taken into consideration...

Thank you hidinginthenightgarden that's really helpful. I'll look in to those things. And it helps to know about the ages.

MummyAlltam Sat 17-Mar-18 12:05:39

@itiliangreyhound thank you for your kind words. We discussed our motives and would like to delve deeper in to it before applying. I was hoping for personal feedback about settling in and how your families have adapted as a unit. I'm am aware I won't finds all the answers here but general chats and stories are appreciated where people have the time or inclination. We are looking to going to some events as you suggested and seeing how they go.

Italiangreyhound Sat 17-Mar-18 15:19:35

Hi, "I was un aware that there were too many adopters. The last thing I want to do is take away from someone else while I already have so much. Although I'm sure that would be taken into consideration..."

I'm not sure it would. You would be accessed on the basis of whether you would be a good parent for a child, not whether you deserve one. I they felt you would be a good place for a child to live and for you to be parents to that child, it could happen. But your own children would need to be a bit older. Being an adopter with a child has its benefits and it's problems.

"I was hoping for personal feedback about settling in and how your families have adapted as a unit." Year one was hard, dd has extra needs and she was quite jealous but she loved her brother and he was ultra cute. As he has gotten older and she has entered the teen years she is less interested in him!

My biggest bit of advice is never pass on toys/clothes/equipment without permission from your child. You would do it for a birth child but don't for a newly adopted child. It can cause jealously and is just not worth it.

"We are looking to going to some events as you suggested and seeing how they go. " Good idea.

Allthecoolkids Sat 17-Mar-18 19:07:47

Honestly I’d suggest posting on other boards. I don’t know if it’s jist part of the AIBU culture on MN these days but I’ve never seen prospective adopters get such a hard time anywhere else as they do here. Matching panel isn’t as rigorous as some of these posters!

We have birth children and have adopted too. It has gone brilliantly. Hard work but utterly worth it. You might need to wait a couple of years though, you’re unlikely to get a newborn in lots of areas and you do need an age gap.

Best of luck, hope it happens for you.

Italiangreyhound Sat 17-Mar-18 19:10:42

@Allthecoolkids agonies given the OP a hard time!

thomassmuggit Sat 17-Mar-18 22:08:59

A hard time?

I asked the first questions and social worker would ask. Hardly 'a hard time'.

Italiangreyhound Sun 18-Mar-18 00:53:41

@Allthecoolkids agonies who has given the OP a hard time!

Italiangreyhound Sun 18-Mar-18 00:57:33

I think it is very important for anyone going into adoption, who posts for advice on a forum, to be aware that social workers will ask about your fertility/lack of fertility/existing children/reason for wanting to adopt.

Any social worker who does not ask that, as thomassmuggit say, pretty much straight away - would be failing in their duty.

Almost every adopter I have met in person has talked about fertility issues, either to have one child or to have another child. So a possible adopter who has no fertility issues will be asked about this.

The good news is it will not necessarily bar you from adopting, since the services are there to find families for children and not children for families.

Dontbuymesocks Sun 18-Mar-18 11:15:19

I’m an adopter with no fertility issues so there are some of us out here! It’s not something I discuss with people (why I adopted is no-one else’s business as far as I’m concerned) so people who know me may assume I have fertility issues.
Our SW worker asked about this during one session in stage two and it wasn’t mentioned again.

thomassmuggit Tue 20-Mar-18 12:52:45

Don'tbuymesocks are you a single adopter? Because that's a reason to adopt that SWs understand, same as same-sex couples.

A fertile couple choosing to adopt will be questioned closely about their motives, as SWs tend to be wary of those wishing to 'rescue' a child. Adopted children are like all children- ungrateful little shits sometimes, and the 'but I rescued you!' dynamic is rarely a healthy one long term.

OP you wouldn't be 'taking away' from others, each family are assessed on their own merits. If you were the right family, you'd be matched with that child. However, as adopters with birth children, unless you have a special skill, you would be down the preference list. The adoption process is hard on everyone, especially children, are you prepared to have your birth children involved in the process, and then waiting for a child that may never come? I ask again, are you and your birth children prepared for a child with special needs? I have adopted DC and birth DC, and it's hard and wonderful in equal measure.

I think adding a child with the needs adopted children have to your birth children when there is no need to, i.e. you could have a birth child if you want a bigger family, is something that should only be considered when your birth children are sufficiently old enough to have the resilience to cope with the adopted child's needs. It could all be a fairy tale, but the common scenario is that it's not, and actively choosing that scenario is different to having a birth child.

I don't think I'm giving you a hard time, but I'm not going to say 'Yes! Of course, adopt siblings with a toddler and another young child already!' because that's a big thing to think about doing. I'm sure people have done it, but you need to prioritise your BCs needs at this age.

Dontbuymesocks Tue 20-Mar-18 13:20:32

No, I’m not a single adopter. My experiences of social workers are clearly not yours. As I said above, I/we were asked about this in stage 2 and we talked through our motivation to adopt in depth at this point. Our SW was clearly satisfied with our responses as we weren’t asked about this again.
I hope the comment about ‘rescuing a child’ wasn’t aimed at me because this certainly wasn’t our starting point. Some people don’t have a strong desire for a birth child. Some people don’t want to give birth.
There is a very strong tendency on this board to make broadbrush statements about adopters and adopted children as though they are each a homogeneous group. This isn’t true and isn’t helpful.

Dontbuymesocks Tue 20-Mar-18 13:31:47

Sorry, I didn’t answer fully. Not a same sex couple either.

thomassmuggit Tue 20-Mar-18 15:09:18

No, the 'rescuing' comment was to the OP's DH. I don't know if that is how he/they feels, but if it is, it's not a good place to start. You haven't said what your motivation to adopt was, but, yes, it must have been enough to satisfy social workers, and I suspect it wasn't about rescuing a child, if SWs were satisfied.

You say you were asked about this in depth, which is all I'm saying. OP should expect to be asked about this in depth. Your first post made it sound like you were asked in passing for your motivations, which would be surprising. Fertility problems or not, and I am fertile, everyone has their motivations examined in depth. So that's why 'why' was my first question to OP. It's something the SWs with ask, in depth, as they did you, and everyone else. If SWs let someone adopt with examining their motivations that wouldn't be diversity in practice, that would be incompetence, and likely picked up at panel. I'm not giving OP a 'hard time' pointing that out. Everyone gets asked why, and the why is less obvious if you're fertile.

Dontbuymesocks Tue 20-Mar-18 15:44:22

Thanks for the clarification. We were asked about this in depth, but I meant that there was one discussion about it rather that it being a recurrent theme which we were questioned about multiple times.

thomassmuggit Tue 20-Mar-18 15:58:28

Well, yes, I never suggested it would be asked multiple times. It is certainly asked, though.

WeLoveLego Fri 23-Mar-18 10:09:52

Hi OP,
We adopted AC when my BC were 2 and 4 years old. We have no fertility issues. We wanted to adopt our third child as felt we’d make good adoptive parents ( I’m not actually sure what a ‘good adopter’ is, but being really engaged and interested in suppporting the social and emotional development of our children, and really enjoying children / parenting was a good start).
I’ll answer your questions: Are we likley to be accepted having already had children and no firtillity issues?
Yes. We did and we have plenty of friends who did the same.

How have people found the introduction of an adopted child in to your family?
Interesting. Relentless. Thoroughly rewarding. Enrichening. Tiring. Lots to consider.

How have you decided what ages to adopt?
The SWs found us the right match, not the right age. A child younger than your last BC.
( we have less than a 2 year gap. Adopters on here say big age gaps. I personally like our tight gaps, my kids don’t know any different, I’ll ask them as adults).

And how has it been adopting siblings?
Well we did actually adopt siblings as we adopted our ACs sibling, so we have 4 kids altogether, but in terms of them all getting’s big family life, sometimes they fall out, sometimes they’re best mates. It’s fun, loud, gets a bit too noisy sometimes.

Is there a group or a meeting I could attend?
The next step for you is to attend an intro evening, to learn more about the process.

Ted27 Fri 23-Mar-18 11:37:53

I'm a single adopter and was grilled about whether or not I'd tried other 'methods' of having a child.

I don't think its quite accurate that there are more adopters than children waiting. There are more adopters than babies/very young children.
If you were looking for an older child, 6,7,8, the picture would be different. I had SWs falling over themselves to get to me. My son was just shy of 8 when he came home.

HannahMeadows Thu 29-Mar-18 10:36:55

@MummyAltam I have a few blog posts on these topics which might help:
Advice for prospective adopters
Why I'm an adoptive parent

And one about the reality of our daily life as adoptive parents: Adoptive parents: survival mode, stress, and coping strategies.

Hope they're useful – happy to talk more if you like.


Wantobeafarmer Mon 02-Apr-18 08:00:15

Would you consider a long term fostering placement as children in this circumstance (with many exceptions) are considered unadoptable and the ones that need love support and guidance

They are also children that are past over due to being perfectly, individually unique (disabled) that again would grow and development with the right love support and opportunity.

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