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


Would SW involvement immediately rule me out?

13 replies

Rockmehardplace · 20/05/2021 23:06

Have wanted to adopt as long as I can remember. Then get overwhelming urge for a birth child, years of infertility followed, we started to look into adoption then fell pregnant completely unexpectedly.

My beautiful DC has ASD/GDD & is non verbal. But it’s all good, he is who he is meant to be & the good times are so so rewarding it makes all the hard times worth it. After 5 years of fighting, we have finally got him the right support & in the right school.

I feel the time is now right for us to look again at adoption, but I’m scared of approaching SW as we are already on their books. DS had so many issues & we had a lot of input from OT/physio/SALT/paediatrics & it was suggested to me by my health visitor that I approach social work for support and also as additional ‘proof’ to get him the help he needed. I did this & social work helped us get an early nursery place & apply for some benefits I didn’t know we were entitled to, which we use for enrichment activities/therapy for DS. There has never been any suggestion that our care of DS isn’t good, but the occasional respite was offered, which I refused as DS sleeps well & we have very supportive family & friends to help out if I need a break.

But to get all the help DS needed, I really had to fight for it, so I’m scared they have me down as “that mother”, whereas I see it as advocating for my child to get all the help they needed.

DS is coming on leaps & bounds and we are so ready to do this again, but as parents of a child with additional needs, is there even a point to us applying?

OP posts:
Ted27 · 21/05/2021 02:40

Many families with children with additional needs have social workers. Having a disability SW is completely different to having SW involvement because of abuse/neglect.
So there is no reason why having a disability SW is a problem for you.
Having a child with with additional needs also doesn’t necessarily exclude you from adoption
You should think very carefully though about what you, and your existing child can cope with. Many adopted children have additional needs, some very complex. What can you really cope with, what woukd be the impactvon your son.

By the way, most adoptive parents end up being ‘that’ mum or dad, because like you we are advocating for our children.

ifchocolatewerecelery · 21/05/2021 07:21

There is a single father who has adopted 5(?) children and I think all except 2 are not biologically related and several have severe physical and mental disabilities. There are often articles and interviews with him around adoption week. So it is possible.

Jellycatspyjamas · 21/05/2021 07:32

It shouldn’t exclude you from adoption, I know I’m very much “that” parent - my daughter needs me to be. Do think about what you can cope with because adopted children can come with very complex addition needs that aren’t always recognised until after placement, but purely having SW involvement doesn’t mean you couldn’t adopt.

UCOinanOCG · 21/05/2021 08:26

You won't be ruled out on that basis as it is very different to having SW involvement for negligence or abuse. They will however have to discuss how you would manage an adopted child who would come with their own issues along with providing for the care needs of your DS. It's worth a call and a chat with your local adoption team.

Rockmehardplace · 21/05/2021 10:21

Thank you. I know We are ready and capable to do this again now, as all the support DC needs is in place now, but until I read one of the comments, I haven’t given enough thought to whether it’s the right time for DC. He is a very chilled out, laid back child who takes it as it comes, but is also very used to having 100% of my attention. I don’t want to go into this process until we are absolutely sure it’s the right thing.

Good to know that having a disability SW wouldn’t rule us out tho!

OP posts:
UCOinanOCG · 21/05/2021 10:29

When you say 'we' do you mean you and a partner or you and your DS? I think you might struggle if you are a single adopter with a child with additional needs. You really need to have excellent support in place. You also need to consider your housing situation - do you have another bedroom, and your financial situation - can you afford another child?

Rockmehardplace · 21/05/2021 12:57

Sorry, by we I mean me & DH.

OP posts:
Rockmehardplace · 21/05/2021 13:02

We have a spare bedroom, though it is small. I work part time but took 3 years off when DS was born and we could manage on one salary again if I had to leave work to care full time for an adopted child.

Much as I loved the baby stage, we were thinking we would rather adopt a child aged 18 months upwards. I’m not daunted by a lot of issues but this time I would like to have at least a little bit of an expectation what I’m taking on and though I’m aware there will be many unseen issues (my parents were foster carers, so I have some experience of children who have been in care) by 18 months a lot of DS’s issues were becoming apparent,

OP posts:
Rockmehardplace · 21/05/2021 13:02

Maybe I’m being hideously naive. This is why I really appreciate the reality from people who have actually done it!

OP posts:
Ted27 · 21/05/2021 13:43


no I don’t think you are being more naive than anyone else starting out.

In many ways you are in a better position than most because you already have the additional needs experience.

Adoption is a learning process, we were all new to it once, we all had things we hadnt really thought about.

Jellycatspyjamas · 21/05/2021 19:02

by 18 months a lot of DS’s issues were becoming apparent,

It’s true that older children often come with more clarity about any issues but I’d caution you to really read between the lines. My DD was placed aged 6 and there seemed to be a reasonably good understanding of her difficulties which having spent 4 years picking through were all pretty much shown to be wrongly understood. She has quite complex needs, but there were lots of assumptions made that were then adopted as truth which massively impacted her care and treatment. We’re only now on what I think is the right track in terms of her support.

You’re going into it with your eyes open, which is a huge strength, just don’t assume she will have had the same level of observation, assessment and care that you’d ensure for your child from birth.

Koko2019 · 23/05/2021 09:30

My social workers would have seen this as a positive. They are very keen that adoptive parents have the strength and ability to advocate for their child. That sounds like this is exactly what you have done. Many adoptive children will have challenges and need a parent to advocate for them so their needs are met. Sounds like you already have this in your favour.
Good luck.

flapjackfairy · 23/05/2021 14:34

We are foster carers and adopters with a birth child with autism ( aspergers ).
Our son was about 13 or so when we started fostering and we had no issue getting approved at all. I think it is v important to think about how your child will cope and the potential impact on him and when we started fostering our youngest was 3 . Looking back I would have waited until she was a bit older ( maybe 7 or so ) if I had my time again.
We actually specialise in children with v complex needs and our experience with our son was seen as bring a huge plus rather than a negative.

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