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early stages of the adoption process

(43 Posts)
andie123 Sat 04-May-13 20:41:50

My partner and I (we are a female same sex couple) are just at the start of the adoption process. We have had our first visit from a social worker and are just waiting to go on an adoption course. I guess I'm just looking for some advice/support/encouragement. We really don't know what to expect, what kind of questions we'll be asked, so any heads up that anyone has would be welcome. We know that it will be a very intense and testing time, and while our families are very supportive it would be nice to talk to some people who have been through or are going through similar experiences. Hope to hear from some of you soon.

KristinaM Sat 04-May-13 21:05:26

Hi andie, there's a thread here with lots of mumsnetters who are the early stages of the adoption process


Do pop in and say hello, they are very friendly smile

KristinaM Sat 04-May-13 21:06:27

Forgot to say,don't believe anything they tell you about biscuits

ThreeBecomeFour Sun 05-May-13 23:16:14

Hi Andie. Just wanted to wish you good luck. We're just adopting for the second time. I hope you have a speedy journey though the process. Do pop over to my blog if you want to read a bit about our lives as adopters. I've got loads of other blogs listed there as well that you might find useful. Http://www.lifewithkatie.co.uk

Devora Sun 05-May-13 23:57:10

Hi andie, nice to see you here. There's a couple of lesbian adopters here (including me) and everyone is very friendly, so do plunge in and ask any questions.

Yeah, don't let them worry you about the biscuits. Most social workers like Garibaldis.

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 06-May-13 08:25:15

Hi Andie and welcome smile Lots of really useful advice on these pages from some very experienced people.

I only found MN once I'd brought DD home (a year ago) so never even knew about the biscuits! Thankfully our SW forgave the oversight and matched us with DD grin.

It is a roller coaster (cliche I know but true) and it can be frustrating, exhilarating, nail biting and draining - but so so worth it. Good luck

andie123 Mon 06-May-13 11:19:19

Thank you everyone for all your lovely messages, it's made me feel very welcome. So social workers are partial to biscuits? Well that's fortunate because my partner is a pastry chef smile. I will definitely check out your blog threebecomefour. For those of you who now have children how long did the whole process take? I know it can vary a lot but just trying to get a general idea. Devora did you face any difficulties being a lesbian adopter? Our friend and his husband adopted their daughter about a year ago and recently became her legal guardians. Unfortunately when they went to court they got a really homophobic judge who said some really shocking things to them. I'm sure that kind of thing doesn't usually happen but it's made me wonder?

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 06-May-13 11:31:45

It took us 12 months from the first enquiry to the phone call advising us of a match. Then another 2 months until we brought DD home. I have to say that I think DH and I were exceptionally lucky for it to be that quick as we were specific about we could and could not deal with and wanted a very young child.

We didn't seem to have to wait very long at any stage, although the 4 months from approval panel to that phone call advising us of a match felt like a lifetime smile.

I understand from others that this isn't the case for many adopters, and others wait a lot longer than us.

Devora Mon 06-May-13 23:22:23

Hi andie, we had absolutely no problem getting approved - we were the only gay couple with our local authority at that time, but they were very welcoming and supportive (and now they run an annual recruitment evening specifically for lesbian and gay potential adopters). However, we definitely had some problems getting matched when we were looking out of area.

In the end it came right, though, as we were matched with a fantastic 10 month old baby girl, who has been home for nearly 3 years now.

Have you joined newfamilysocial?

Italiangreyhound Tue 07-May-13 01:17:46

ThreeBecomeFour looked at your blog, very good.

Andie all the best with your journey, I am not sure what they will ask you but I think thy may ask stuff like...

Have you dealt with any issues relating to not having a biological child (assuming you do not)?

Have you got a good support network around you etc?

We have a birth child (now 8) and tried for about 6 and half years to have another (unsuccesfully). I did come to terms with all the fertility stuff and the end of it, and I kind of felt the social workers would need some convincing! But it must have really showed on my face when I talked about it that I was over that stage and ready to move on.

They might also ask you about having experience with kids etc.

My social worker has asked me about my being overweight so we no longer out biscuits for her! That ship has sailed! She gets the fruit bowl now!

Good luck.

Kewcumber Tue 07-May-13 11:55:59

and if your pastry chef partner you would like to meet up for dinner in London later this month then feel free to bring some eclairs come

KristinaM Wed 08-May-13 09:39:08

LOL @ kew

andie123 Wed 08-May-13 09:51:36

Italiangreyhound thanks for the list of possible questions. We haven't had an kind of fertility treatment or anything. Adoption is our first choice, my partner has always planned on adopting because she was adopted herself. I wanted my own at first, but the more we talked about the more we realised it was the right way for us. The only sticking point I have really is letting go of being able to name out child. I know this sounds silly and minor, and it's not something I'm losing sleep over. I guess it's just picking a name is so intrinsically linked to have a child, can anyone relate?

Kewcumber we would love to meet up for dinner, unfortunately we aren't off work at the same time until the end of June. Being with a chef is not as good as you would think, however her eclairs are awesome and I'm sure she'd bring some if we could meet up later in the year!

Kewcumber Wed 08-May-13 12:09:45

look through the adoptions threads - there's a meet in a couple of weeks - you don't have to both come! In fact we all ditch partners for the night (I ditched mine about 10 years ago but to be fair that wasn't so I could go unaccompanied to an MN adoption night out).

Italiangreyhound Sat 11-May-13 00:45:30

Kew had to smile at the ditching comment!

Andie hope you can make it to London.

Italiangreyhound Sun 12-May-13 01:18:18

Andie I can relate to the name thing. I had 6 and a half years of fertility treatment and a list of potential names with about 20 or 30 names on it! I guess they will come with a name and that name will be them. I tend to make up nick names for most of my friends! Maybe they will end up with a name that I sometimes call them that is special to me and them! But it won't detract from who they are (I hope!).

Moomoomie Sun 12-May-13 13:20:22

Andie..... I know exactly how you feel re the child's name. DH and I used to come up with the most outrageous names that our children could be called.
Dd2 name is still a bit of a sticking point with me, at school she is known as a shortened version and at home she has a nick name, which is nothing like her real name.
Good luck with your process and keep posting on here.

Happiestinwellybobs Sun 12-May-13 14:15:36

Us too Moomoomie smile. We had been prepared on our training course and it was something I was a bit worried about. We decided to give DD a "far out" name (before we were even approved); actually it caught on with our friends and family!

When we finally got the call, I waited until the end of the call, holding my breath to find out what her name was. And it is lovely - not what I would have chosen, and we do get the occasional comment that it is not a common name (which I'm glad about actually), but it suits her.

Also we gave her middle names, which link her to our family history too.

Italiangreyhound Sun 12-May-13 23:58:43

Andie, are you going to be in London? Talk to Kew if you are cos she is organising a get together and it looks like a lot of fun!

Devora Mon 13-May-13 23:14:50

Andie, I doubt there's many adopters who don't get hung up about names. It's almost a primal thing, the need to name your own, and particularly acute when it feels like the only thing you can have any control over.

I think its importance recedes once your child is with you, though. Very quickly you get used to their name, and then you get quite fond of it because it is THEIR name and you are beginning to love them.

Now, can't we tempt you do our little rendez-vous next week? Offer you a little light entertainment while your girl is having fun with puff pastry or whatnot?

andie123 Tue 14-May-13 10:11:18

Hi everyone sorry for not posting for a while, been crazy busy at work. Glad to hear that others have experienced similar feelings with the name thing. As well as not being able to pick the child's name, I suppose it's the worry that certain names have bad associations. I remember reading an article a while back about teachers being able to identify trouble makers just by their first name before they've even met the child. I think that's completely unfair and suspect it becomes a self fufilling prophecy for the child. I like the idea of giving them a middle name or a nickname though. When is the meet up next week Devora? I have to go on a statistics course next week (I'm so rock and roll!) so if it doesn't clash I will try and make it. If I can't I don't suppose there is anyone here who is based up north who would be open to meeting up at some point?
We got back in touch with the sw yesterday to confirm that we still wanted to proceed after our initial meeting a couple of weeks ago, so we're just waiting to hear back now. Our agency are also helping my dp obtain her adoption file. She was adopted when she was 2 and has decided that she needs to know more about her own history before we have our own child. It's quite a nervous time for her as from what her dad has said her early years were quite horrific. I'm scared for her but obviously support her decision.

Italiangreyhound Wed 15-May-13 02:23:29

Andie hi, the adoption meet is Wednesday next week...


The name thing.... I think any teacher who could predict a child would be difficult because of their name sounds like a teacher I would not want teaching my child! I find people in the UK (HUGE generalisation here) a bit 'snobby' about names! My friend from South Africa told me names are much more varied there. And I have noticed have a mass of friends whose daughters all have one of about half a dozen names. I think in places like the USA it is much more usual to have an unusual name and so no one makes a snap judgement about someone based on a name... or do they! Any Americans reading this may disagree. I think my bench mark would probably be is this name embarressing, are they likely to be teased because of it. Etc. I would want to do what is best for the child.

I had quite strong views on names myself when I started this process but to be honest as I have gone through it I havfe seen that the child came with a name and like I say if that name is going to plague them through life with a totally weird spelling or a potentially rude/embarressing meaning then I would want to talk to social worker, but that would be when we were matched. I must emphasise we are not yet adoptive parents so maybe someone wiser can advise. If there are protection issues then of course that is another matter altogether and again I would want to do what is best for the child.

Italiangreyhound Wed 15-May-13 02:31:05

Sorry - future tense comes with a name.

PS Andie re your DP's own adoption. I think that is totally the right thing to do. Much better to explore all that and get any feelings to do with that out in the open and 'dealt' with, or at least expressed and aware of before getting too far down the line. adoption is going to challenge you and your partner and it is going to throw up stuff so you need to be in a strong position and if there are issues that you are not aware of yet that will not help you guys and most of all the child will not be helped.

As the thought of our potential approval this summer or autumn looms I am (in equal measure) excited and TERRIFIED!

I am so eternally grateful that issues in my own life have been dealt with (I had problems with overeating which Christian prayer ministry has helped to expose and process for me) and I am really pleased not to have that burden! I mean it is quite likely a child coming to us might have food issues etc so it is so much better that I feel I have been through mine and am free of it. To be honest when we first looked into adoption I did not even really know I had food issues I just thought I was greedy and ate too much!

Kewcumber Wed 15-May-13 11:17:30

I have pm'd andi but she may not be in teh habit of checking her messages yet.

andie123 Wed 15-May-13 18:20:35

Hey kew thanks for the pm. I have my statistics course Wednesday-Thursday so won't be able to make it, thanks though. Had a bit of rubbish news this afternoon, because dp is in the process of getting her adoption file the agency decided they want us to wait 6 months before taking up our application. I know it's probably the sensible thing to do, but we both still feel a bit disappointed. I think if we wanted to we could go to another agency? We were going through adoption matters north west not our local authority. They said they will book us into a prep course in December if we want. I know 6 months is nothing really, just feel a bit deflated.

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