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Adopting children you know

(21 Posts)
Runner31 Sat 06-Apr-19 23:00:10

Does anyone have experience of adopting children that they know are about to be put forward for adoption? I work with one of the boys and it was his foster carer who told me. It would have been totally inappropriate and unprofessional for me to say to her that we are about to start the adoption process but I haven't been able to get it out of my head since. I'm not really sure how to go about enquiring. The boys will be under a different LA to us (although we live a mile from the county line and the relationship between the two LA's is very good). One of the boys has some difficulties from extreme trauma and neglect which we're absolutely fine with. I've seen him at his best and his worst and I'm not phased at all by it. Any thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
GreatestShowUnicorn Sun 07-Apr-19 00:10:58

Definitely worth enquiring.

Runner31 Mon 08-Apr-19 12:41:02

I did and it all sounds very positive! The social worker I spoke to in our local authority is going to contact the boys social worker and see how things stand with them. They could have a match already but the SW I spoke to today said that if not it could all move fairly quickly as they sound like they will be very hard to place. I said to her that I won't get my hopes up but she told me to remain positive as on paper it sounds like a great match. It's almost too good to be true.

OP’s posts: |
Mynamenotaccepted Mon 08-Apr-19 13:01:55

Hi, this happened to us, I was a midwife working on SCBU and baby was admitted with Down Synndrome.
It became clear his parents were not able to take him home. He went to foster care and they were not able to keep him long term. We t

Mynamenotaccepted Mon 08-Apr-19 13:05:19

Sorry bloody tablet...went to SW, he was living with us 5 months later, go for it and good luck.

Runner31 Mon 08-Apr-19 13:32:55

Thanks so much. That's so quick which would be fantastic. @Mynamenotaccepted were you already in the adoption system or was all that done within the 5 months?

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fasparent Mon 08-Apr-19 13:40:25

Would enquire if you could foster too adopt in the interim whilst legal process starts. Also you could inform the LA you intend too adopt them and start proceedings you are. required too give LA 3 month's notice. Can apply for adoption papers from childrens family court or on line.
Think that this kind of official approach would be favourable and prove how serious you are. Too file paper too court only cost around £175 most of the other work is done by social services.

Good luck

Mynamenotaccepted Mon 08-Apr-19 15:21:22

No, adoption was not in our life plan 3 homegrown children and career on th

Mynamenotaccepted Mon 08-Apr-19 15:24:34

I am changing my tablet!
Career was on the up so the whole process took 5 months but I am certain they were desperate!

Runner31 Mon 08-Apr-19 21:07:19

That's great to know, thanks. I'm trying not to get my hopes up but fingers crossed it can all go smoothly....and quickly.

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fasparent Tue 09-Apr-19 10:09:43

WORTH getting or downloading adoption papers even if you do not need too use them., come with a guide and contents have all the information you need too know. Very much worth a read.


IM0GEN Wed 10-Apr-19 10:20:26

You say that you work with one of the boys - I assume in education or a therapeutic context. If so, you need to remember that parenting this child will be very VERY different, as you will then be the focus of all their anger and trauma. I can guarantee that you will NOT have seen him at his worst.

ATM you are dealing with the child for how many hours a week ? How will it be different when it’s 24/7?

At the moment you are seen by other agencies as part of the solution to the child’s issues. But as soon as you adopt them, you will be seem at part of the problem.

There is a reason such children are hard to place and I’d respectfully suggest you do a lot more research.

If you work as a therapist then please discuss this with your supervisor ASAP.

If you are planning to adopt with a partner, you neeed to know that many relationships are blown apart as children triangulate as a control mechanism.

I’m sorry to rain on your parade, but this is a life changing decision and you need more information.

I wish I could just say “ Cool, go for it!” .

Runner31 Wed 10-Apr-19 11:48:36

You're not raining on my parade at all and your points are ones that we have already considered and discussed and are appreciated. Although I do think you've assumed the worst and not hoped for tge best with regards to the amount of research and knowledge we already have. The comment of me seeing him at his worst actually came from his current foster carer when we were discussing his poor emotional regulation but I'm not naive enough to think it won't be different if we are his permanent carers. My job makes me the brunt of many periods of distress for many children so please don't assume I'm going in to this blind. Every one has to start somewhere with kick starting the adoption process and for me its doing research and reading other people's stories. I've spent the last 5 years researching, learning and making sure we're in the right place to move forward. We're not considering adoption because of these boys, it's been on the cards for years.
I have a lot more information but don't think it would be appropriate for me to share any more information about the boys or us. It's not really relevant to my question and as it happens I spoke to our local adoption team who were very positive and explained how it works between two different local authorities. The ball has now started rolling so to speak.

OP’s posts: |
IM0GEN Wed 10-Apr-19 14:09:46

I’m glad to hear that you are considering this. However I didn’t suggest that you were going into it blind - perhaps you are confusing me with another poster ?

Experiencing other people’s children in distress for a short period isn’t the same as having your own child in distress and aiming that at you. It’s not just that it’s longer, the nature and intensity is completely different when you are the target.

Let me give you an example - I assume you know that children are sometimes abused by their parents and that you feel sad for these children. How much more sad will you feel when people have abused YOUR children? And perhaps you will have to interact in a professional manner with them. Because adopters don’t get to hate their children’s abusers - they have to empathise with them and put their feelings before their own.

How would you feel if you discovered today that your niece or newphew or a close friends child had been sexually abused by someone you know? Multiply that by a few hundred and live with that feeling. For years.

And that’s just your feelings, as a parent you also have your child’s to deal with. And that’s a lot harder.

You might understand that your child hates their birth mother or father for being a bad parent. But how will it feel when your child hates you and wants to kill you because you are a good parent ?

Adopted children are very good at putting their difficult feelings onto someone else - you will be that person as their adoptive mum ( I’m assuming here ) and that’s not easy.

These are the kind of issues I am talking about.

So the information I was suggesting you might need is not concerning the children’s background . It is about the reality of parenting deeply traumatised children and being a family living with attachment issues.

This is a big issue for prospective adopters who have a professional connection with looked after children . I know two adoptive families where one parent was a social worker and they both struggled hugely.

In one case it ended their marriage as one parent wanted to disrupt the placement and the other didn’t as they felt they couldn’t be seem to have “failed “ at something at which less qualified people had succeeded.

Your professional expertise and role can get tied up in ways that are unhelpful and damaging. And makes it hard to ask for and accept support, as you feel ashamed for “ not coping “.

One friend felt deeply ashamed at how she had judged foster carers and adopters and very distressed about some recommendations she had made that she now felt were wrong.

Anyway I’m not sure if these rambling thoughts are helping you, but I will Leave them here anyway for any lurkers.

I wish you well in your adoption plans OP.

Runner31 Wed 10-Apr-19 16:43:37

While I'm grateful for your input I'm not really sure why you're being so negative? I'm sure it's not intentional but it really is sounding like you don't think anyone should adopt because it will be awful and end they're marriage. I work with parents, carers and children and as I said I won't go in to the detail of me or the children but like I said earlier, please don't assume that I'm naive about the level of abuse and neglect that children experience or the situations surrounding them. I simply wanted some advice on how to go about starting the process when you already know the children.

OP’s posts: |
fasparent Thu 11-Apr-19 13:18:07

One question ask is your support network., with such children would say best line is too Engage with SEND Local disability team, and LA's Schools Statutory disability team, with a view of if needed be placed on a pathway assessment plan , this will bring into play the necessary support IF NEEDED , OT Play therapy and more, would fast track support. If asked about support is not just about relations, family and friends. We included this line with our last children and followed through all, Children's support was next too none can not fault it both are progressing well do thing now we never thought possible.
Wish you all the best.

fasparent Thu 11-Apr-19 13:46:07

Sorry forgot too include this which may be worth a read, system is all relatively new innovation approach of joined up Adoption and educational support

Runner31 Thu 11-Apr-19 16:49:08

Thanks so much I hadn't thought about including that type of support when we're discussing it with social workers. Particularly carrying over what has already been started within their current schools. We're quite limited with what is available within our local authority so some of the information on here is going to be really handy. Thanks so much. X

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Imeantunavailable Thu 11-Apr-19 17:07:42

OP try to see past Imogen's patronising tone. He/she does have a valid message (although needs to rethink their posting style if they want to be genuinely helpful). Think of these boards as a flavour of diverse experiences. You will have the extreme negatives, the middle ground and the positives. Take on board everything but don't get caught up with any one post or opinion.

I think as long as you HAVE done research (I have no reason to think you have not) then by all means enquire. We all had to start somewhere.

Adoption can lead to ruin/love/anger/stress and happiness. None of us knows where it will lead us and often what started out so well can turn into something difficult as well as the other way round.

My own experience has been plain far!! I would love to know an update, please do keep posting. There is a wealth of knowledge and opinions on this board. Good luck thanks

Runner31 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:18:56

Thank you and I'll let you know how things go. For various reasons the social worker isn't pursuing anything for us for a couple of weeks so first step is going to be getting used to the waiting. I will continue my research and i do really appreciate all the advice. Good and bad it does always makes me think and consider what might happen. X

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Yolande7 Fri 12-Apr-19 00:20:27

I know of a TA who fell in love with a boy in care. They were fast tracked and he was placed with them after some months. This was a few years ago and it is all going very well.

Please don't be discouraged. Yes, there are lots of adoptive families with huge problems and you need to know about the risks (the more you know the better), but there are also families who do very well. We have two daughters and we are a very happy family. Of course we have had challenges, but my girls are the light of my life. Every child is different and so is every family.

My advise would be to read as much as possible. Don't just read books about attachment disorder, trauma, etc. but also practical parenting guides like The Connected Child, Big Steps for Little People and The Inofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting. There is also a very good podcast out there at

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