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Single Adopter: Finances

(20 Posts)
maternityleavequestion Thu 07-Nov-19 17:43:36

I am starting looking into adoption as a single adopter.
I haven't met with any agencies yet as I am still in the research phase.
I own my own home (with a mortgage of £1,000pcm) and I would carry on working - hopefully 5 days as week, but school hours/breakfast club-after school club hours as I am realistically not able to afford nursery fees so would be looking to adopt 3 years +
(1 year adoption leave)

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maternityleavequestion Thu 07-Nov-19 17:52:20

My take home pay would be about £25,000.
My commute is very short And cheap.
I run a car, no debts and no other big outgoings (house bills aprox £300pm).
I could extend mortgage term to reduce that cost if needed as a buffer, and downsize if I really had to (preferably only as last resort) but do you think and do you think social workers would consider that a high enough wage?

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maternityleavequestion Thu 07-Nov-19 17:53:14

Sorry my phone is dying and it's hard to type!

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namechanger0987 Thu 07-Nov-19 18:05:31

I know someone who has adopted 2 kids and she was only working part time min wage at the time. She was living with her parents also.... so probably not what you would deem 'ideal' circumstances.
The 2nd child she was in her own house and only working odd part time jobs, cleaning etc. So must be claiming some benefits I guess.
They asked if she would consider a sibling of one of the children recently too so I think they must consider people of all types

ohheyblue Thu 07-Nov-19 18:20:59

Hi @maternityleavequestion I've just posted a different thread of my own about starting the process!! I also have money questions (amongst others!!)... but mine is more about money saved for mat leave. I'd have to go back to work too.

I can't help answer your questions but wanted to say hello! smile

jellycatspyjamas Thu 07-Nov-19 19:14:15

* I would carry on working - hopefully 5 days as week, but school hours/breakfast club-after school club hours as I am realistically not able to afford nursery fees so would be looking to adopt 3 years +*

I think particularly as a single scooter you need to think about what would happen if your child’s needs meant you couldn’t work full time. Realistically older children tend to be slightly more predictable in their outcomes but you may find your child can’t cope with the long days that go with wrap around childcare. My DC were older (4 and 6) and cope with after school care 3 days a week but any more than that and they really struggle with emotional regulation and tiredness. I’ve also reduced my hours to part time because both children need a fair bit of support and have multiple health appointments to attend and I have limited childcare support.

It may that working full time is ok, but don’t bank on that being the case.

MrsMatty Thu 07-Nov-19 19:23:51

You will need to bear in mind that an adoption agency will expect you to take time off work when the child is placed with you. Adoption leave may be just 6 months but many agencies expect to you take a year off.

Also bear in mind that some adopted children may be unable to cope with breakfast club and after-school clubs in addition to a full school day. And how will you cope during the school holidays if your child is unable to go to holiday clubs?

Consider too that you may need to take time out of the working day to take your child to appointments. Some adopters find that they are not able to return to work after adoption leave because of their child's needs.

Sorry if this sounds negative and this may not necessarily be the case if you do adopt, but you'll need to think through the financial implications of all of the above.

Ted27 Thu 07-Nov-19 21:45:52

single adopter here, Finances are tricky. SWs would be looking at your overall financial position and stability rather than a particular level of income.

If you can give yourself some wriggle room on the mortgage I would. I have just remortgaged to reduce my outgoing from £1000 to £700, even though I had only 2 years to go. I am seven years along, when I started out £1000 on the mortgage was ok. However, like many other public sector workers I have had no pay increases in that time, meanwhile food, council tax, utility bills etc etc costs have all gone up and its increasingly been a squeeze. So think about the longer term.
What if you can't go back to work full time? How will you cover school holidays - I have paid anything between £75 to £100 a week for holiday clubs.
I'd also think about what kind of lifestyle you want to maintain. I do receive some benefits but I don't like relying on them, it makes you too vulnerable.
We don't have an extravagant lifestyle but we are reasonably comfortable. I can afford holidays, weekends away, I don't have to worry about affording school uniform or new shoes every five minutes. I don't spoil my son but he gets (eventually!) what most kids his age gets. I wouldnt want to be in a position where I couldn't afford an ice cream in the park.

maternityleavequestion Thu 07-Nov-19 22:08:11

@ohheyblue Hi! 
@MrsMatty Sorry my first post wasn't clear. I am budgeting to take a year off work adoption leave - which is why I could take a 3 yr old, if they were heading for school at 4 years.

I assume when the social workers match you (especially single adopters) with a child they would match someone like me who needs and wants to work with a child who could cope with that (I know adoption is uncertain).

I could drop down to 3 days a week if I remortgaged etc quite easily, but I would like to pay off my mortgage to be able to help with potential uni costs/help with deposit for 1st home etc, but I know that is a luxury and the future is unknown so they might not go to uni etc

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jellycatspyjamas Fri 08-Nov-19 04:27:06

but I know that is a luxury and the future is unknown so they might not go to uni etc
This is really important to remember and time invested in those early days will make so much of a difference to your relationship with your child and their development. If I had to choose, I’d focus on supporting their early years with you as far as possible because that’s the foundation for their future. Simply put, your adopted child is more likely to do well in the future if they have a solid start with you, so I’d use any space capacity now rather than saving for uni which may not happen.

maternityleavequestion Fri 08-Nov-19 05:17:16

Sounds sensible advice @jellycatspyjamas I am reasonably well off compared to some, but I am a single adopter and my earning capacity isn't great (arts degree!) but I have been very lucky that I got on the housing ladder and have some other investments which will help pay for adoption leave and probably going PT during primary school years and possibly secondary school too.
I do love going to work and I would find it difficult to not work both financially (would have to go on benefits as I'm not independently wealthy by any means) and emotionally as I love my work & colleagues (@Ted27 please don't tell me adoption means sacrifice - I'm well aware - but there is a limit to how much I want/can sacrifice without losing myself & my support network. I am completely willing to make huge changes to my life and lifestyle - but I know what my limits are, and I recognise that I need to look after myself as well, especially being a single adopter - the child needs a resilient & healthy parent and I am old enough to know what my basic needs are to maintain a healthy positive version of myself.)

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maternityleavequestion Fri 08-Nov-19 05:23:48

Thanks for all the replies...I don't mean to sound defensive, I've just posted a few times on this board (probably with lots of different usernames) and I am well aware of the awful strain adoption might bring....I'm not stupid, I just don't understand the process properly..adoption is still a chance I'm willing to take...so I don't need a constant reminder about how horrible it could be because I'm well aware, I just have faith that things will work out the way they should, and hopefully I can prepare as much as possible. (Plus I might not be accepted, in which case I can go back to my lovely life of work, travel and flitting around pleasing myself!) grin

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excitedmuchly Fri 08-Nov-19 06:23:29

I work term time only and school hrs only at the moment. I didn't want to give up work and felt that me working was really important.

My little one came to me 6 months ago and started school in Sept. She is very much developmentally typical BUT as with most/all our children, does have trauma based issues.

There is no way she would cope with being in before/ after school at the moment but before coming to me she was at nursery doing 3 long ( 8 till 6) days. She very much needs the down time/ the rebounding with me and the nurturing after a busy day at school.

You are right in the fact that the matching is vital but even then, having a child move to you throws up all kinds of different issues which weren't there before/ might of been hidden.

I'm a single adopter and am really happy to chat via pm if youd like.

jellycatspyjamas Fri 08-Nov-19 07:19:12

.I don't mean to sound defensive,

I don’t think you sound defensive at all - most of the adopters here would urge you to keep a part of yourself for you, and for many of us that means having a job that brings money, social stuff, a sense of independence and competence. It’s ok not to want to give every ounce of yourself to your adopted child, it’s healthy to think about how your life might look and what you need. I’m not a single adopter and I was clear at all stages in the process that for my own sanity I’d need to be able to work in some shape of form.

You don’t sound defensive, you sound wise - you can never ask these kind of questions enough.

Ted27 Fri 08-Nov-19 07:40:57

I'm not sure why you have directed that remark to me. Having a child, whether birth or adopted does involve some level of 'sacrifice', thats just how it is, but its not a word I would use.
I've not said anything fundamentally different to anyone else, and I would agree with everything you say in the last part of your post, which is really the same point I was making about thinking about what kind of lifestyle you want to maintain.

Glitterfox Fri 08-Nov-19 22:05:48

Not sure what they look for in terms of actual wage but mine looked at monthly affordability and also my savings. Monthly affordability was to check all the things that should be getting paid were l, that I had no outstanding debts and also that I would have enough money for nursery fees when went back to work (mine is under 3).

They were interested in the savings to prove I could take more than 6 months off at the beginning (I had 10 months rather than a year).

I think as long as you can prove you’ve got enough for you both to live on and you’re sensible with money without any massive debts you’ll be ok.

Agree with pp comments though about child possibly not being able to cope with long school days and wrap around care so maybe worth considering reducing hours. From our experience, older children tended to need more support than the younger ones as they had poor experiences with birth families, and potentially multiple foster carers and trauma because of it. But - your social workers will be able to talk to you more about this and as you say up thread you should be matched to a child who’s needs you can cope with

maternityleavequestion Sat 09-Nov-19 21:23:33

Ideally I am hoping I can return to work 3 days a week (short days eg school hours) so I can do drop off and pick up everyday, but that obviously depends on what financial buffer social workers are expecting.
I could return to work 5 days a week (again school hours only if my employer agrees, which I am reasonably confident they might)
and I also have family investments which will mature in the next 5 years or so - I could potentially borrow against these and also extend my mortgage. So that is potential funds for funding my adoption leave of up to a year (along with SAP).
At the moment I have £50k in savings, but plan to spend that on an small extension as my home would benefit from the extra space, to make it more family friendly - eg more room for play dates/studying/crafts etc.
I've always been relatively lucky with money and always seem to have enough...but it might not look like it on paper if I spend the £50k!
I know these questions are for the social workers to answer, but it's good to know what sort of thresholds they have - and what they think it affordable.
At the moment I have a relatively extravagant lifestyle because I travel a lot, and have several expenses hobbies. Equally I don't waste money, and know how to cut my cloth as it were and absolutely expect the foreign travel and hobbies to come to a grinding halt if I adopt...which is fine, there will be new adventures and challenges and fun to be had.

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BarcelonaFreddie Tue 12-Nov-19 22:53:35

Keep hold of the 50k as a buffer if the worst occurs and you can't return to work how you planned. A child who is struggling needs you much more than the space for crafting.
You could hopefully return to full time work when child is older and more secure - look at extensions - big or small - then.

ButtonMoonLoon Wed 13-Nov-19 20:23:44

When I adopted my daughter I had to provide a three year financial plan to evidence how I would fund my adoption leave, and the two years after.
The first year I used savings alongside adoption pay to keep us going.
I went back to work after 14 months -at that point I was able to start claiming tax credits. As a single parent, this funded 70% of my childcare costs and was non means tested. So long as you use only Ofsted registered childcare providers you are able to claim support via the childcare element of tax credits which is great.
My LA was quite strict and only approved the match with my daughter on the understanding that I wouldn’t return to work more than 3.5 days per week. Not every area is the same, but since it’s widely acknowledged that every adopted child will have some sort of additional need, even it it’s ‘just’ attachment issues, it made sense to me.
This was fine initially, but then (as is often the case) more of my daughter’s needs came to light meaning she needed more of my time. Poor thing simply couldn’t cope with fragmented childcare arrangements - before and after school care was just too much of a challenge for her, we muddled along for a further six months but then it all just became too much so I ended up changing jobs to work 3 days a week 9.30-2.30.
It meant a drop income, but the shortfall was thankfully covered by an Adoption Allowance paid to us by the LA alongside other benefits.

jellycatspyjamas Wed 13-Nov-19 21:08:24

When I adopted my daughter I had to provide a three year financial plan to evidence how I would fund my adoption leave, and the two years after.

Bloody hell, we provided a mortgage statement and a spreadsheet showing incoming and outgoing finances. No bank statements, no savings plans etc. We had a very open discussion about both our careers and working lives but no in depth detail of our current finances.

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