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Starting the adoption process

(26 Posts)
Westcountryangel Sat 15-Dec-18 13:56:48

Hi all my husband and I are yet to start the adoption process but we will be attending our first information event in Jan 19.
I joined this site so that I might reach out and connect with others who have perhaps been through a similar process that we are facing.
I have so many questions but I’m trying to pace myself. It’s difficult for me not to run away with thoughts and plans now that we have decided to adopt.
It is a decision that we have been considering for a long time but we have finally moved into a lovely new house this year and both have settled jobs. So now seems like an ideal time to begin.
We are sadly not able to have children of our own and I decided that fertility treatment was not for me.
So if anyone has any advice for us, has been through the adoption process recently or is just starting it would be great to hear from you.
My first query is how on earth do you choose an agency? We are based in the south west so choices are limited anyway but wouldn’t you just choose the local agency so you can attend meetings?

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Italiangreyhound Sat 15-Dec-18 17:47:26

Hi welcome and good luck.

I would visit the open data of all agencies and go with the one that provides the best post adoption support.

Voluntary agencies do not have xholdren to place so for me they'd need pretty compelling services to go via that route but !others here* may have used them and love them.

In my case the social workers always cake to our home so they need to be willing to accept the mileage to see you. But for post adoption support you may be expected to go to them so be aware the disyance may be s future issues.

We adopted over 4 years ago. Feel free to ask anything.

Italiangreyhound Sat 15-Dec-18 17:48:08

Open day or evening not open data!

Westcountryangel Sat 15-Dec-18 18:05:07

Thanks Italiengreyhound it’s a mine field. Can I ask what sort of things you have to consider regarding the child you want to adopt? Do you have to specify age, gender, ethnicity etc?

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excitedmuchly Sat 15-Dec-18 18:29:23

I'm also in South West and have gone via an agency rather than the LA.
Happy for you to message me and I'll give you a run down of my experiences with them...( really positive so far!) I'm almost at panel.

JumpersForGoalposts Sat 15-Dec-18 18:49:06

We adopted DS 5 years ago and we've just been approved at Panel to adopt again, so ask me anything.

From experience, they'll provide a lot of info at the first meeting, most of it is designed to be 'worst case' to make sure people who move forward are fully informed. You'll probably be asked to leave your details so you can be contacted.

There's likely to be an initial scoping phone call to check for 'red flags' (e.g. smoking) then you'll begin stage 1 which will involve attending training days and completing background work like referees, etc.

A social worker will be assigned to work with you for stage 2 where you'll go through your life journey, finances and experiences in order to produce a report for approval as adopters.

Once approved, you'll be matched with a child and then it all begins!!

That's a (very, very) brief overview of our journey-hope it helps.

Good luck!

Ted27 Sat 15-Dec-18 18:53:39

yes, you can state preferences for an age range, siblings, girl or boy. The vast marjority of adopters will be matched with a child with the same ethnicity.
To be honest its more important that you start thinking about additional needs - FAS, ASD, ADHD, attachment, deveopmental delays etc etc. Most adoptive children will have some kind of additional or special needs so you have to think very carefully about the level of need you can support.

Italiangreyhound Sat 15-Dec-18 21:46:21

"Do you have to specify age, gender, ethnicity etc?"

If you specify which sex you want to adopt, you would probably need to say why.

I think most people who adopt generally are white (in the UK) and most kids up for adoption are white too. So if you are open to ethnicity I'd say that to social workers.

So I think age is the big one, and yes you could specify an ahe range.

Westcountryangel Sat 15-Dec-18 21:56:29

Thanks everyone really appreciate the advice

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kimberleyc Sat 15-Dec-18 22:16:45

We are going through a very similar situation although we have one birth DD who is 5. Due to various infertility reasons we have been unable to have another so have just begun the adoption process. We too have been thinking about it a lot and have decided that fertility treatment is not for us. We attended an open evening in September and have just started on stage 1. We have had a home visit & completed the initial paperwork. It's exciting and daunting all at the same time. Also it feels like it is a long road to actually get to meet our future child but we are ready. Good luck xxx

Pinkroseuk Sat 15-Dec-18 22:43:06

Hi can I join please smile
Have been ttc for 2 years and I am undergoing many tests at hospital currently but things are not looking hopeful for conceiving. Pretty much decided IVF wouldn't be for us so looking into adoption - have loads of questions and starting to read websites but would be great to chat to you too smile thanks x

poppet31 Sat 15-Dec-18 23:18:31

Hi all. I am currently part way through the process and am hoping to go to approval panel in April. We too decided to pursue adoption instead of IVF. Happy to answer any questions about the process so far.

Heyzee Mon 17-Dec-18 12:07:18

In August we were told our fertility treatment journey was coming to an end. We would like to adopt. Although we need some time to come to terms with our news and get my health back on track. I look forward to following this post closely for information and to learn about the process. Wishing you the very best of luck in your journey x

TinselTimes Fri 28-Dec-18 07:41:48

Apologies, I looked but didn’t spot this post and started a very similar thread! Here’s a link for anybody who wants to read it - it’s a bit negative so far sad

kimberleyc Fri 28-Dec-18 08:31:39

Hey Tinsel I saw that thread and thought it was very negative and it did freak me out a bit! I think there are lots of positive stories too. It is scary starting the adoption process but I am also excited and I think you have to remember that everyones experience is different and unique to them.

Ted27 Fri 28-Dec-18 10:30:33

there is nothing negative about that thread.

Its the reality of modern adoption. I have an amazing son, he is who he is - ASD, learning difficulty, sensory issues and all the rest. He has had extensive therapy. He is doing great. But its hard work.
Its not negative its our lived experience. And that of the majority of adopters.

MrsMatty Fri 28-Dec-18 12:13:47

Well said Ted27, nothing negative there at all. It's just how it is. All of us in LO's adoptive family are thrilled to bits - we can see it is hard work for the parents but wonderful too. Just different.

TinselTimes Fri 28-Dec-18 14:44:35

Yes absolutely, I do want to hear the lives experiences - we need to do some serious thinking about what we could cope with and how we’d handle things. I think I’ve had a rose tinted view as I have friends who were adopted and it wasn’t that difficult (but they were adopted as newborns which I appreciate is very different).

mumofblueeyes Fri 28-Dec-18 22:58:35

I had a good experience with our LA
Oxfordshire and would recommend them to others.

chocolatebrioche Fri 28-Dec-18 23:59:32

We adopted our beautiful boy earlier this year.

We went to information evenings at the Local Authority, then another one a week later with Barnardos. We went with Barnardos, because we just loved the warmth and enthusiasm of the team. We continue to be impressed - every person we've dealt with has been great. When at the info evenings, grill them about what post-adoption support you will be able to access.

We were advised to keep our 'criteria' (number and ages of children) as wide as possible initially, as once we were going through the process, it would become clearer to us what would work best. This was good advice, and they were right on this.

We have birth children too, and the biggest shock has been how different parenting this child is to how it was with our birth children. Almost all adopted children will have additional needs, and it's important to be open and honest with each other about what you are up for taking on. Our son has some issues that hadn't been picked up on until he came to us, so be prepared for the unknown too.

Read everything you can get your hands on. Sally Donovan's books are a really good starting point. I found reading real life experiences of other adopters helped keep my expectations fairly realistic. There's a lot of Disney-esque rubbish out there about adoption, and family and friends can get very dewy-eyed and sentimental about it, not realising that it's actually pretty gritty stuff.

Last bit of advice, if you're doing this in a couple, have as many meals out and weekends away together before you adopt as you can possibly manage. Enjoy the last bit of time together as a couple while you can.

MurkyWaters Sat 29-Dec-18 16:04:34

Go with your gut. We approached several agencies after looking at the First4Adoption website and their own individual websites. We also approached our local council, who really couldn't be asked. It was as if we were interrupting them during lunch.
Some agencies' reactions were lukewarm at best, bordering "yeah whatevs". Not the kind of thing you're looking for when you approach an organisation with so many questions and feeling quite vulnerable.
Two agencies however were really friendly and helpful and took their time talking to us on the phone.
In the end we went with the agency that we felt most comfortable with. That's all the advice I can offer on that one.

Westcountryangel Sat 29-Dec-18 18:24:09

Thank you all for the advice so far. We have our first information evening on 15 th Jan and I am so excited to start the process

OP’s posts: |
Rufus27 Sat 29-Dec-18 23:07:12

Hi @westcountryangel, I’m in a rush so can’t write much now but just wanted to say I am from the west country as well and have been through the process twice (DS was placed Dec 2016 and then DD came earlier this year) so you’re welcome to PM me if you want a more local perspective. Sorry such a short message!

GG2233 Tue 15-Jan-19 01:38:53

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Westcountryangel Fri 18-Jan-19 08:00:50

Well hubby and I have been to our information evening with the LA. They seem very nice. I had done loads of research before the meeting because that’s just my way of preparing and so there wasn’t really anything new. I had read about each part of the process individually but I hadn’t really thought about it as a whole. So after death by PowerPoint for 2 hours, daunted wasn’t the word for it !
But it’s not deterred us and we are now well on the way of completing our registration of interest form. Am I the only one that thought “oh registration of interest will just be a short initial form to give some basic details “. WRONG!
Why don’t they just call it what it is, a twenty page application form with sections for life stories.
At the isn’t even stage 1 yet.

OP’s posts: |

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