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Adoption as a single parent

(10 Posts)
JustJewels Sun 06-Jan-19 12:43:28

I've read a lot on the subject of adopting as a single parent but I'd love some "real life" opinions, so to speak. I would very much like to adopt, not immediately, but certainly in the foreseeable future, in as much as it is foreseeable! I own my home and have a small business and very small property portfolio, so I'm fairly financially stable and time flexible. I do have two worries, the first being that I don't have much in the way of family, the second being that I'm certainly not committed to being single forever. Would these factors present major problems in the opinion of those who have experience in the area? Many thanks for any comments and suggestions.

OP’s posts: |
cookiecrumbles14 Sun 06-Jan-19 14:27:30

Hello! I'm halfway through the adoption process as a single adopter. To answer your questions (as much as I'm able to; actual adopters will probably have better advice than me!):

- not having a big family shouldn't be an issue if you have a solid support network. My family is quite small and spread out across the country so they're not immediately at hand for me but they are incredibly supportive of me and of the adoption (so far...!). They will provide me with emotional support. My friends, many close by, will provide me with the practical side of things (I hope!!).

- I'm single but definitely want a partner. Unfortunately I've not met the right person (lots of near misses who I'm still friends with but not The One). I'm putting my dreams of falling in love (with an adult male) on hold for the next couple of years. If I met someone now I'd have to stop the adoption process, which I don't want to do. And then post adoption, because all adopted children have experienced trauma, I'll need to spend years building attachment with them. I don't know what this will look like yet, but I do know that introducing anyone at the early stages will be an issue and that potentially introducing someone who may not stay in their life would have negative consequences for the child. My child will, of course, have to come first, but they will have additional needs which will have to be considered. We'll see what happens!

I'm in a similar financial situation to you (self employed, property, etc) and it's not been an issue with my SW (yet).

If you have any further questions I'm happy to answer them. Looking forward to seeing others' responses to this too! x

Ted27 Sun 06-Jan-19 14:45:01

Hi, I'm a single mum, one child, 14, nearly 8 when he came home.

I don't have much in the way of family either, and they don't live close by. But what I do have are incredibly supportive. I do have a small group of friends who have never waivered in their support. I've been fortunate only to lose one friend because of adoption, but I have gained so many more !
You need to be able to show you have a support network, it doesnt have to be family. I think showing a willing and capacity to be able to seek support and make new friendships helps.
I had one social worker who seemed to think that because I only had a small group of friends I was determined to go it alone. Couldnt be further from the truth. Nor do I have crippling social anxieties which prevent me from making friends. I just had a small group of friends. Since adopting I have made lots of adopter friends and also friends in the ASD world. So showing you are open to building and developing support is helpful.
Staying single? No you are not entering a convent but I think you need to commit to a period of time to staying single, until you are through the process and for several years afterwards. To be honest I haven't had the time or energy to even think about dating for the last 7 years. I'm just starting to get my life back in terms of having a social life, but still the needs of my son take up all my emotional energy. I don't really have room for another adult in my life. I'd say I know about 50 or so single adopters, one is getting married soon, and only one or two are dating, but they have much older children in their teens. A small sample I know but I don't think untypical.
Its hard being a parent. I think couples will tell you its hard to make time for their relationship. Its harder again being a single parent and finding the time to date and establish new relationships. Its highly likely that you will have a child with additional needs, so any partner needs to accept the fact that you have a child, the additional needs and all that adoption carries with it. I think that's hard to find.

Loopylas123 Sun 06-Jan-19 20:47:29

Totally agree with Ted27.
I only have a small family but my support network isn’t just family it’s neighbours and 2 friends and they were fine with that.
I did get asked at approval and matching panel about future relationships. When I got to the point of applying to adopt I had decided that the only relationship that was ever going to make me complete and a better person was going to be between my child and I. So commiting to a single life wasn’t a problem.
In all honesty you don’t have to stay single forever, but I personally haven’t got the time or inclination (or space) for another person in my life.
I’m also very aware of people targeting single parents, so therefore I am even more wary at the moment, this may change as my child gets older.

JustJewels Sun 06-Jan-19 20:54:07

Thank you both so very much for your helpful and informative feedback, I appreciate it a great deal. What you have said is reassuring as well as being food for thought.

I was a "step mum" - God! Awful word!! - for several years and I'm still very fond of and close to the children, who aren't children any longer and one of whom now has her own! (He was a lot older than me!) I always have insisted kids come first in any situation so I'd naturally put any child or teenager - I'm not against adopting an older child should that be a good fit - at THE very top of my priorities.

Once again, sincere thanks for sharing your experiences and advice.

OP’s posts: |
Ted27 Sun 06-Jan-19 21:04:43

just be aware that SWs may want to talk to your step children but it sounds like that would be a positive thing for you.
Older in adoption land generally means school age, 8/9 tends to the the top end. Children 10+ are rarely adopted.
I know a number of single adopters who adopted preschoolers and its worked for them. For me school age was much better, apart from anything else child care costs are crippling, but to be honest I was quite happy to bypass the nappy/teething stage.

sunnymam Mon 07-Jan-19 06:38:19

Support is hugely important - I never realised how much so until my son came to me - but that can be from friends as well as family. Do think about who will be around for emotional and also practical support. Closer to the time look out for adoption support groups as well as other activities/groups etc. in your area that could come in useful.

I just said to my social worker that my focus was on my child, I didn't see myself in a relationship anytime soon and that my child would always come first (so I would be very mindful of any future relationships and how it would impact my child).

To be honest I don't know how anyone with kids and single has the energy to pursue a relationship!

Sounds like you are in a really good position in terms of your work and finances to start thinking about adoption which is great!

excitedmuchly Mon 07-Jan-19 17:08:33

I'm a single adoptor just about to go to panel. I was asked about my current dating during my stage 2 assessments. I answered honestly and said that I have no plans to date anyone now or in the immediate future. I said I wanted to focus my ' all ' on my child and building the bonds, the relationship and the attachment with me.

I did say never say never... you never know! But for now I want my entire focus to me by child. My social worker was really happy with this and it hasn't come up again.... although I'll let you know if it's mentioned in my PAR which is being written now!!

As for support.... I have a very small family ( very small as in me, my sibling and my mum!) As part of the process you have to do support mapping and have to draw out who you feel would support you with what ie physical support, emotional support etc.

My support network is small but I have been open all the way through about how I strongly feel it is about quality and not quantity!! And have been open about making new support networks... ie online friends, other local adoptors, those you meet on training etc.

I think as long as you can.... hand on your heart... say you have someone you could call at 3 in the morning and you know they would come and support you if for example you were suddenly taken ill and had to go to hospital... you'll be fine.

Feel free to pm me if you want to chat more x

clairedelalune Mon 07-Jan-19 19:56:30

Like others have said you can say never say never but you do have to be genuinely committed to putting child first and foregoing relationships if necessary. I know that mine (home 2 years) would not let me have a relationship; they need the attention. And you know what? That is totally fine by me 😁

clairedelalune Mon 07-Jan-19 19:56:59

But by God do you need a good support network

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