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5 birth children and considering adoption

4 replies

red · 30/12/2013 16:57

I have 5 birth children who range in ages from 15 to 5. I would really like to adopt a young sibling group to add to our family. I have approached one agency corom but they suggested our family was too large already for them to consider us, on the initial phone conversation. Although they said that there are no specific limits on family size. Should we try other agencies and push for at least consideration or give up for now.

OP posts:
Hels20 · 30/12/2013 21:21

A better bet might be to become a foster parent and then adopt through that - LAs are v reluctant to move children unless they have to - and a sibling group would be harder to place. (I hope I haven't put my foot in it with foster parents by making that suggestion as I have no real experience of fostering - only second hand knowledge (separate from DS's foster family).

Otherwise, try and ring round a couple of LAs closer to you.

The "problem" that LA's have with people adopting who have "large" families is that for every child/adult in the house, you have to multiply the risk by that child. (I think this is their view.) So, if 2 adults want to adopt, multiply the "risk" of it going wrong by 2. For 2 adults and 1 child, the risk is 3x etc.

I hope you persevere and get somewhere because lots of children need homes.

Kewcumber · 30/12/2013 21:41

What hels said about risk but also I assume you have enough space and time that 2-3 adoptive children will take up.

They will need a similar room arrangement to what they are used to - eg if they are in separate rooms now then mostly you will be expected to give them a room each with you. If that means your birth children sharing rooms are they going to be OK with that and for it not to breed resentment.

I have no idea how much time 5 children take up already but I have an idea how much one adopted child takes up and my guess would be that its probably 1.5-2 times as much as a birth child - which I guess you have to multiply by the the size of the sibling group you adopt.

The fact that all your birth children will be at school by the time you're placed (if not already) will help.

If you have considered and can deal with that then try a few of your local authorities not just the one you live in. They may consider you but I feel that they would probably need some convincing that you have the time these children would need.

Lilka · 30/12/2013 21:47

Your youngest is old enough, so if you are certain that you want to adopt, I would ring round every agency you could potentially adopt from. Your local authority, any neighbouring local authorities which will take adopters from your area, and any other voluntary agencies operating in your area

I do understand why Coram would be concerned about you already having 5 children and wanting to adopt a sibling group - 7 children all at home at once is a very very big task. It's hard enough with two alone, without having 5 others who all have competing needs on top of that. You may find that agencies would prefer you to just adopt the one child and then adopt again later if that goes well

Alternately, if your eldest is 15, in a few years you'll have only 4 at home.

I have known a couple of larger families adopting though so it's not impossible. I know a family who had 4 BC's aged between, I think about 21 to about 10 when they adopted (1 child). And I remember the family from 'Home for Maisie' who'd adopted a group of 2, then a group of 2, then a group of 4 then Maisie last, and certainly at least 4 of the older ones were all at home when Maisie came home

So it's not an impossible thing. However you do need to think carefully about the number of children you'd like to add to your lot, and how you would manage difficult behaviours etc as well as the strain of the move to you on everyone, and the changing dynamics of the family. It wouldn't be easy, but if it's what you want then persevere. Just because one agency won't take you on doesn't mean that every agency has the same opinion.

Lilka · 30/12/2013 21:55

My second paragraph should read 'having two adopted children alone' would be difficult, without having 5 BC's on top of that

You do need to bear in mind that many waiting children have additional needs (emotional and attachment based issues, not necessarily a physical disability or other issues). The vast majority of waiting children are going to be harder to parent than a neurotypical birth child, so as Kew said, it's about having enough time and attention going spare to give to new addition or 2. A new sibling group of 2 would probably need a vast amount of individual attention, so you have to manage that alongside your 5 children who may also be reeling a bit and need attention and time themselves. Which is why you may find agencies would prefer you to adopt 1 rather than 2

Also, I forgot about the bedroom space! As Kew said, any 1 child you adopt will need their own bedroom, they can't share with any of your BC. For a sibling group of 2, they may each need their own bedroom from the off as well, some same gender sibling groups can share a room if they've been sharing in FC, but not all children with emotional issues cope well sharing. So you need 1 spare bedroom to start the process, and having only 1 spare room will limit the number of sibling groups you can adopt to same gender siblings within a certain age gap. And the agency will want to know what you plan to do if they grow a little and can't cope with sharing any more. If that happened, could you move to a bigger house?

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