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adopting a child older than the one you have...

(11 Posts)
makipuppy Mon 22-Jun-09 18:00:24

My partner and I have always wanted to adopt and also foster. We took this decision when we met, because for various medical reasons, my partner can't have biological children.

Last year, we had IVF treatment with donor sperm and are expecting a baby in August.

What we would like to do, after the baby is born, is set about adopting an older child. We are aware that an older child may potentially have emotional issues and health problems do not phase us. We feel we have a lot to offer.

However, it now emerges that we cannot adopt a child that is older than the one we have. I can't for the life of me imagine why. Can anyone tell me? Is there a way round it? A friend on an adoption board mentioned that because of the nature of the conception of our baby, we may be able to adopt an older child.

I'm 41 and my partner is 37.

We would love a bigger family.

PortAndLemon Mon 22-Jun-09 18:21:58

As I understand it, there are several reasons. Firstly, the sheer amount of time that taking on an adopted child requires. In many ways it's similar to the kind of intensive attention that a newborn requires, and that's far easier if your other child or children are old enough to understand this and to need less attention themselves. Also children being placed for adoption usually have some attachment problems, and this often includes violent tendencies. This is easier to manage physically (likelihood of doing serious damage) and emotionally (how would you cope with a new older child to whom you are not yet bonded attacking your baby?) if they are by several years the youngest of the sibling group. I think there's also some research that shows better outcomes where children are adopted in a "natural" birth order (i.e. always younger than existing children in the family), but you want Kewcumber on that.

makipuppy Mon 22-Jun-09 18:25:13

Thanks Portandlemon. That does make some sense. I remember when my SIL had a baby, SS took away their foster child who was 15 (and pretty hectic!). We were gutted at the time (although we kept up contact) but SIL says she did understand why.

Hopefully Kewcumber will be along!

PortAndLemon Mon 22-Jun-09 18:50:49

(I only mentioned Kewcumber because I've seen her post eloquently on this before; no offence intended to other posters...)

Kewcumber Tue 23-Jun-09 10:49:10

Port an lemon has pretty much summed it up.

The other thing to add is that if you are adopting older you are prsumaby considering a school age child, the disruption of school age adoptions is pretty high so social workers like to give them the best possible chance of success by ensuring the child gets as much attention as possible.

It is possible to adopt an older child but you need to have a very solid case and have thought through some of the issues mentopned. I would suggest joining adoption UK and getting on their forums to seek out people who have successfully done it and what problems they encountered and how they convinced the social workers.

Personally I would like to be dealing with say a bio toddler which all the demands they make on top of say a newly adopted 5 year who might be very disruptive. It sounds way too exhausting!

Kewcumber Tue 23-Jun-09 10:50:05

Personally I wouldn't like to be dealing with ...

makipuppy Tue 23-Jun-09 11:20:55

Right, I see the issue. Thanks for explaining. There is also a possibility we may take in an 11 year old from within the family (an orphaned nephew currently with grandma). I suppose he would be 12 by the time we did this.

Kew, I'll join adoption UK, and carry on our research.

chickenmama Wed 24-Jun-09 19:51:47

I'm approved as a foster carer but have been matched with an older child who they were hoping would be adopted. I have a 3 yr old birth child. The understanding is if all goes well I will go on to adopt my FC. This was not an easy process though, and I have waited almost 2 yrs for this placement. I went about it much the same way adopters do and really considered the type of child that would fit with my family. I called around other adoption agencies a yr ago as I was becoming frustated with the wait and was told that any adopted child would have to be younger. I truely felt an older child would be better for us, and am so glad I stuck it out

Good luck x

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 26-Jun-09 10:53:07

It may be different if it is a family member that you wish to adopt as it might be considered the best thing for him to live with family - then again it might not, it depends on all the circumstances. I understand your wish to adopt your nephew but you must be prepared that it might not be considered the best thing for him.
Good luck though!

makipuppy Tue 30-Jun-09 19:07:25

Hi, sorry to be away from this thread and thanks for your advice.

Chickenmama, that's interesting because fostering is also something we plan. We have fostered a lot within our family so I've had some understanding of what it involves. I'm encouraged to know that I could maybe foster with a view to adoption and that having a birth child won't necessarily impact on this.

Kat, I don't know that we'd 'officially' adopt DP's nephew. DP had to fight for him once when his parents (DP's sis and her husband) died and SS wanted to have him adopted instead of being brought up by his grandmother who had been looking after him towards the end. DP was around all that time, picking him up from school every day and generally being a father figure in many ways. He is now 12 and with puberty around the corner, he really needs a 'dad' on the scene. He loves and admires DP. I was thinking of making a bedroom for him in our house and having him for the holidays and seeing how that suited him. Grandma has guardianship and I don't think that after 11 years there is much SS contact. We weren't actually thinking of asking for SS permission, perhaps this is a big mistake?

makipuppy Tue 30-Jun-09 19:07:27

Hi, sorry to be away from this thread and thanks for your advice.

Chickenmama, that's interesting because fostering is also something we plan. We have fostered a lot within our family so I've had some understanding of what it involves. I'm encouraged to know that I could maybe foster with a view to adoption and that having a birth child won't necessarily impact on this.

Kat, I don't know that we'd 'officially' adopt DP's nephew. DP had to fight for him once when his parents (DP's sis and her husband) died and SS wanted to have him adopted instead of being brought up by his grandmother who had been looking after him towards the end. DP was around all that time, picking him up from school every day and generally being a father figure in many ways. He is now 12 and with puberty around the corner, he really needs a 'dad' on the scene. He loves and admires DP. I was thinking of making a bedroom for him in our house and having him for the holidays and seeing how that suited him. Grandma has guardianship and I don't think that after 11 years there is much SS contact. We weren't actually thinking of asking for SS permission, perhaps this is a big mistake?

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