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Adoption advice(8 Posts)
I have one biodd born when I was 43, she is now nearly 4. Dh is a year older. We looked into adoption before she was born but I was somewhat ambivalent largely due to my own experience as an adoptee.
We would really like to adopt a second child but it looks impossible because we are too old to adopt a child younger than dd. Does anyone have any experience of this?
Hi Acinonyx. I am 45, dp is 47, and we are currently being assessed to adopt a child 0-2 (same issue as you; biodd of nearly 4). So we have not been considered too old. That may be because we are an in-demand ethnic combination (white and black Caribbean), and as you know there is a shortage of adopters for dual heritage children.
I wouldn't necessarily assume that one agency speaks for all. Have you tried ringing some other agencies? The voluntary sector ones (Barnados, NCH Action for Children etc) are often more flexible than local authorities.
That is encoraging Hester. I am mixed race (south asian/european) so perhaps that will help!
I think I have had some negative initial feedback in the past but I will try calling again and see what they say.
May I ask how you reached this decision? Were you ever unsure or anxious? I sometimes worry about the consequences if they don't get on.
acinonyx - please please dont give up - there are agencies out there DESPERATE to find mixed heritage families for young children. All the usual age rules don't apply " black" families". (sorry, i cringe at having to use the SS term " black" )
In your situation i would compose a short letter and post to all the adoption agenices that cover your area. Dont ring as you will be at the mercy of whatever idiot person is the duty officer that day.
just say the basics about your family and that you are seeking to be assesed for eg a mixed hertiage child of 0-3 years . If you able to consider any more complex background factor / SN or if specific ethnic background matter to you then say this too.
you can also contact agencies who have a child waiting and if they think you are a good enough match they might assess you for that child. although this is tricky if that placement doesnt work outIYSWIM
why dont you join Adoption uk and contact soem other mixed race adoptive families? you can also see their adverts of waiting children, which is very informative
also agree with hester to check out the voluntary agencies. many will asses families up to 1- 1 1/2 hours drive away, not just "locally"
if there is not a big south asian population where you live you might get a better response outside your area IYSWIM
I actually saw our SW today and asked her about whether our age would count against us. She said, "Not with your racial mix" - it was as overt as that!
At the beginning of our journey, I rang a number of agencies and got vary varying responses from them. One was downright hostile - made it quite clear she wasn't keen on us. Then I talked to a very nice social worker at another agency who basically said, "Don't waste your time with us - we don't need your ethnic origin so we will never make you a priority. Understand that this is a market and you need to go to an area where they are baying at the moon for the ethnic mix you provide. And above all, don't waste your time with a social worker who isn't enthusiastic about you - they will be your advocate in the market and if they don't think you're great, you may as well give up."
In answer to your question, yes I have worried tremendously (and continue to worry) that this may all turn out to be a disaster for my birth daughter. Or it may be the best thing I ever do for her. You just don't know, do you, and that is very nerve-wracking. In the end I decided not to make a final decision - just to take one step at a time, secure in the knowledge that we can stop at any time. I still don't feel I've made that final decision - and maybe I won't till we get to matching and it starts feeling very real. But as we have inched through the process, I have felt increasingly enthusiastic and positive about it, so I think the decision is making itself. I've also been very reassured at how understanding how social worker is about the importance of our daughter's needs, and there is no question that those needs will get overlooked at the final hurdle.
Final thing: all applicants have to do a prep course - in our case it was three full days - and I really found ours tremendously helpful in helping us think through the issues. Why not allow yourself not to make a final decision until you get at least to that stage?
Thank you both for your useful advice.
Hester - that is exactly how I am thinking and we may do just as you say and leave the final decision to 'make itself'. It would have to feel right. We have also thought about international adoption but in that case you have to pay for the home study and we really would want to be certain about it.
Very interesting to hear what was said. This is a very white enclave - I should prbably contact some of the London agencies.
We have started the prep before with a local agency that I would not want to return to.
NCH Black Families Project does a lot of dual heritage adoption. tbh I was far from impressed when I rang them, but I've met a number of other people who raved about them so worth giving it a go.
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