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Adoption and Mental Health

(10 Posts)
Breeze81 Sun 03-Nov-19 15:34:51


My partner and I considering adoption. I'm terrified that my mental health issues will prevent us from doing so. After a long battle with infertility, I fell pregnant in August but had a miscarriage at 10 weeks. It was traumatic for us both, and we made the decision to try to adopt.

I have chronic anxiety and intermittent bouts of depression. I'm on SSRI's and have weekly psychotherapy. I try to eat well and exercise regularly. I'm doing everything I can for my physical and mental health, but I still struggle sometimes.

Is it even worth applying? After years of infertility, pregnancy and miscarriage, I fear rejection from an adoption agency would break me.

Is it selfish to even want to be a parent, knowing my mental health issues?

I would really, really appreciate any advice. Be honest. I can take it.

Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
TimeToChangeAgain12 Sun 03-Nov-19 15:48:48

Are your mental health issues under control? It's great that you are doing so much to help yourself, they will be looking for you to be self aware enough that you seek help. I think it will need to be under control though before you start the process. In an ideal world it would be issues are under control and you have lots of strategies for when they are not. Does that make sense?

fartingrainbows Sun 03-Nov-19 17:31:07

Is it even worth applying? After years of infertility, pregnancy and miscarriage, I fear rejection from an adoption agency would break me.

There are some heart wrenching posts on here about the things that can go wrong with adoption (other than being rejected by an agency) I'd have a really good read and think long and hard about how mentally fit you are to deal with the realities of adoption. I'm not an adopter, I thought long and hard about whether I was mentally well enough to adopt and eventually concluded that I wasn't. This is sad on a personal level but far better than realising it too late when other people are involved in the process. I wish you all the luck in the world, but please be honest with yourself.

Breeze81 Sun 03-Nov-19 17:55:53

Makes perfect sense. Thank you so much for replying. Things are definitely under control at the moment. But the nature of the beast means it won't always be that way. That's why I feel despondent.

My Dad was an alcoholic and my Mum Bipolar. They were never intentionally abusive, but their illnesses meant we were neglected at times. Especially when they were simultaneously having bad episodes.
It was tough growing up, but there was so much love. My parents brought up nine kind, thoughtful, sensitive children. Despite their issues. I know my partner and I can give a child a great life. I'm just so worried that we won't be given the chance because of my health.

Thanks for the advice on strategies. I didn't even consider it, but it seems so obvious now. I feel positive to have something to work on!

Thanks a million. Take care.

OP’s posts: |
Breeze81 Sun 03-Nov-19 18:02:23

Fartingrainbows (haha)

Thanks a million for your kind and frank reply. I needed someone to ask me to be honest with myself. That will take as long as it takes.

I admire your bravery in understanding that adoption wasn't for you.

Take care.

OP’s posts: |
Yolande7 Sun 03-Nov-19 19:00:49

I have just had a chat with a social worker who told me they are less rigid in many ways than they used to and they offer more support during the process. I know people who are recovering alcoholics who went on to adopt successfully, people who suffer from depression, etc. Do you have support nearby, eg. parents or PIL in case you are struggling? How flexible is your partner workwise?

Adoption can be very tough. It is a gamble and there is no way to predict how complex your child will be. I know children who looked "easy" on paper and who turned out to be very complex and the other way round. Adoption is not that same as having a birth child. So I would recommend reading this forum and the Adoption UK forums and books like "The Adoption Experience", "No Matter What" by Sally Donovan, "Building the Bonds of Attachment" by Dan Hughes and "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog" by Bruce Perry. "Building the bonds..." is fictional, but will give you a good idea what you are potentially letting yourself in for.

poppet31 Sun 03-Nov-19 22:22:32

I have suffered from anxiety in the past and have had several long term absences from work because of this. The agency we chose were understandably wary and did make me have further counselling. It is something that will be explored in great detail during your home study and you need to think about your support network and what strategies you can put in place if you become ill or cannot cope. What I will say is that adopting is by far the most stressful thing you will ever do in your life and you do need to make sure you are mentally robust. It sounds as if you have had a very difficult childhood - that could work in your favour as you will be able to empathise with a lot of the children who enter the care system for whatever reason. However it also puts you at risk of a child triggering your own mental health so you do need to make sure that you have dealt with any issues arising from that time in your life. Happy to chat further if you have any questions (we have recently been placed with a little boy.)

jellycatspyjamas Sun 03-Nov-19 22:22:47

I’ve had significant issues with my mental health before and during the adoption process. I took some time out of the process to get myself on an even keel again but the main thing was my awareness of what caused my difficulties and the supports and strategies I had in place to cope and recover.

Being open and honest about what’s gone before and, as far as you know, what triggers episodes for you and how you plan for those times is helpful. I’d also suggest giving yourself time to recover from your miscarriage - maybe wait until the new year to give yourself time to heal. I’d be more concerned about your recent loss than mental health issues which are being actively managed.

ifchocolatewerecelery Sun 03-Nov-19 23:08:37

@jellycatspyjamas has written what I would write. At the moment, I think most adoption services would not accept your application to adopt purely because your miscarriage is so recent. They would want to be sure that your decision to adopt isn't a knee jerk reaction to your fertility issues, that you have come to terms with everything that has happened and have given real consideration to all the issues surrounding adoption. There are many successful adopters out there with a fertility history similar to yours so it's not a barrier it's just something to be aware of.

kierenthecommunity Wed 06-Nov-19 03:34:47

Sorry for the rotten time you’ve had. flowers

PPs are rich, there’s no way they’d consider you know as it’s only been three months since the MC. But there is zero reason MHI would stop you adopting in, say, a year or so if you feel your anxiety is well managed. The LA usually insists on this time gap anyway so you’re no worse off than any other adopter who’s had fertility problems/treatment

Good luck smile

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