Hi, and first of all sorry – this is going to be another one of those ‘what are our chances?’ type questions that I hope aren’t too annoying. I’ve been reading and thinking about adoption for about six months now, with a view to mentally preparing myself and my husband for the possibility of future adoption. We’re currently undergoing fertility investigations and I’m fully aware that any such treatment should be a closed book before starting the adoption process, but it’s nevertheless a subject I’m interested in anyway, and something I feel I want to do in the future, whatever happens with our fertility. This forum has been a fascinating read, and even though I’m just a lurker, I’m grateful for it.
I’m worried though about the criteria and our suitability in a SW’s eyes. Some things about us that I feel might go against us:
- we both have PhDs, which I’m aware from reading this forum can be off-putting (which to me seems ridiculous, but hey). We have zero academic snobbery and are both from working/lower middle class backgrounds, and would have no desire to push a child down any particular route. Their life is for them.
- I have had a quite problematic background. One of the upshots of this was that last year I traced my biological father only to learn he had died three years ago and I would never meet him. My mother had lied to me my whole life about where I came from, telling me he died before I was born, and was unsympathetic when I found out the sad truth. I’m not sure what a SW would make of that – would it go against me? It has strengthened my belief the importance of being open with children about where they come from and who they are, and I do feel I could relate quite well to an adopted child emotionally because of certain hardships I’ve been through in my own childhood (including periods of homelessness, and being sent off to live with my uncle, of whom I was scared, for a year). Would I have to assure the SW that the child wouldn’t have contact with my mother though?
- we don’t have much of a support network where we live. We live in Aberdeenshire, and my husband’s family all live in Ireland, and my mother lives about 500 miles south. We have friends through my husband’s work (I work from home on a very casual basis), but we live in a village where we don’t know anyone. We always assumed that having a child is when support networks start to grow – through mother and baby groups, nursery, school, etc. But with adoption, we would need those sorts of networks all in place to begin with, and this concerns me. We’re not religious or particularly community-oriented. How do/did you build up the kind of support networks they look for?
- we’re vegan. The child’s needs would come before this of course, and we would be happy to feed our adopted child/ren the diet they asked for and are used to, for as long as they continued to want it. But we wouldn’t eat animal products ourselves, and if the child asked us about that we would tell them our reasons. I’m worried that a SW might allow a certain prejudice about what s/he thinks vegans are like to colour her/his opinion of us. Many people think vegans are oddballs or ‘extremists’. We’re not, we’re perfectly normal people, but I just have this worry that it’ll go hugely against us.
Sorry, this has been long. Some good things about us just to balance it out:
- we are kind and caring people who have a lot of love to give
- my husband has a good job and we own a four-bedroom family home with a big garden in a quiet village in the countryside
- we’ve been together 10 years, married for 2, and our relationship is rock solid and very loving
- I’m based at home and only work (freelance writer) when I want to, so I would have lots of time to devote to the child/ren
So sorry this has been so long. It’s the result of months of ruminating on the subject with no-one knowledgeable to talk to about it. I’d be really grateful for any replies. I think of all our issues, number 3 concerns me the most. I'm a bit scared that they would reject us outright.