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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.


Disability and adoption

5 replies

AltruisticEnigma · 22/07/2012 17:57

Does anyone know if disablesd people come across barriers in adoption and what the policies on blind/visually impaired people adopting is?

Would be greatly appreciated. :)

OP posts:
forevergreek · 22/07/2012 18:11

I wouldn't have thought it would be a huge barrier. If you are willing to adopt a child in a similar situation as you I am sure they will be very interested as you would have your own personal experience of how to cope

Maybe ask someone if they could come over an chat about possibilities and where to go from there

I assume you would need all the regular checks and paperwork and ten extra to prove you can adaquately care for a child

Good luck

KristinaM · 22/07/2012 20:15

No blanket ban on any disabilities. Assessed on an individual basis. Woudl depend on level of disability, age and circumstances of child etc,

No one Official will admit to this, but it WILL be considered as a disadvantage, as are other things that deviate from a placing social workers idea of an ideal family. This is true of any disability, being older or youger than average, being single or white or gay/lesbian etc. So you are in good company!!

This means you will have to compensate for this by being wiling to take an low demand child ( unless you are high demand for another reason, such as being the ethnic mix that is in demand in your area. Or Muslim, as there is a shortage). So you probably won't get a a healthy baby or toddler. You might find an agency willing to asses you, but you are unlikely to get one placed as you will almost always lose out to a family not affected by disability.

I know a couple where she was Able bodied and he used a wheelchair. They were approved but then never had a child placed as they were always in competition with other couples. Eventually they adopted 2 cchildren from abroad.

As you may know, many children awaiting adoption who have visual impairments also have other conditions, such a learning difficulties, so you woudl need to look into this .

You might want to approach any voluntary adoption agencies which cover you area, as well as local authorities. Voluntary agencies often are better at assessing and supporting slightly out of the ordinary families.

Good luck

helbop · 25/07/2012 16:30

Hi there, my wife and I (same sex couple) are in the process of adopting and she is a wheelchair user. Although her impairment hasn't been a barrier to us adopting, there were a lot of questions as to how she is going to cope with a child (how is anyone going to cope with a child!!!). At adoption panel there were a few questions on her impairment such as how she manages her pain levels, how she will manage practically and (completely inapropriately) how we will make sure that our child wont become a young carer! We were approved I'm pleased to say though and when children's social workers read our profile it is a question they ask our social worker as my wife is the one who will be taking adoption watch this space.

In the end you know how you live your life, and of course you've had to learn what works and doesn't work for you which you'll soon learn with a child too. It's exactly the same for a mum without an impairment!

Also I dont believe that just becasue of your impariment you need to look at adopting a child with a similar impairment!

I am quite shocked at the post by KristinaM as we have never been told that we would be overlooked because one of us is a wheelchair user! every case is individual and it all depends on the agency you choose to go through. We went through South Tyneside as they are rated no 1 in the country, where as others are not as good.

good luck with it all and hopefully you'll decide to adopt!

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere · 25/07/2012 16:46

I used to work for // years ago.
They had info and articles on parenting with VI.
I think they had some adoption stuff.
It's a good idea to anticipate potential questions/concerns
I think a lot depends on what SW you get.
You will probably
Bly find yourself doing a lot of educating!

KristinaM · 25/07/2012 17:56

Helbop-I think you'll find I said that you will NOT be told that you will be " overlooked" because you are a wheelchair user. And I did indeed say that every case is different.

I'm sorry that you are quite shocked about my friends who were unable to adopt a baby because one of them uses a wheelchair. I understand that it's upsetting to hear about such discrimination.

When healthy babies and toddlers go to matching panel, there are nearly always a number of families all competing for the child. This is best practice-it's to give the best chance of placing the child with a suitable family.

So it's much like a job interview. In general, if an applicant for a job doesn't get appointed, black people, older people, women of childbearing age etc cant PROVe that they were " overlooked " because of discrimination. Usually they don't have information about the other applicants. And there are always ways in which one candidate is superior to another , so there's an element of subjectivity. No one ever says " we didn't hire you because you were black/gay/older" . However we know such discrimination occurs. The hard evidence is there.

In the same way, families who are " different " from the SW standard model ( which they claim doesn't exist but it evidence shows otherwise) will find it hard to get a high demand child placed with them, unless they have some additional points to compensate.

I don't know of any White same sex couples or gay couple of any colour or single White person ( male or female) or family affected by a serious disability who has adopted a healthy baby. I know many black families ( lesbian couples, single women and m/f couples ) and White straight couples who have. If there was no discrimination this would not be the case.

Im sure there are isolated cases of non discriminatory practice out there of course.and If anyone has the figures for age and health status of child placed by type of family I would be pleased to see them. But I suspect they are not collected. Which says a lot.

Helpop, I wish you and your partner every success in the adoption process. And I hope you continue to encounter social workers who treat you and your application in a professional and fair way.

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