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interested in adoption - are we suitable candidates - looking for advice - long post, sorry!

9 replies

luvlyluvvie · 08/06/2021 15:38

My husband and I have recently been through three miscarriages back to back and I really can't put myself through that kind of pain and loss ever again. I'm 43 now anyway (my husband is almost 42) and I've come to terms with the fact that we'll never have children of our own together. Adoption is something I have actually been considering for years, even when I was with my ex-husband but he wasn't prepared to go through the process. My husband now has an adopted nephew, and is also very up for the idea of adopting. However, having done a fair bit of research I'm feeling very intimidated by embarking on the process - it looks very complicated and I don't want to get my hopes up if we look like terrible candidates and likely to be kicked out at the first hurdle! Those of you who have been through the process and who have more insight than I do, could you tell me whether we stand any chance at all? A quick overview...

I have three children with my first husband who are now aged 22, 17 and 15, all of whom are supportive of the idea of adoption but I know that my ex husband will be contacted and I'm quite concerned that he won't be very supportive of the process. He's an alcoholic and was quite abusive. I haven't seen him since I kicked him out but by the end of our relationship we absolutely hated each other and our break up was acrimonious. Since then he is still in contact with his children but doesn't pay any maintenance and only sees them rarely. Even so, I'm worried that he'll say bad things about me that the SWs will hold against me and that will ruin our chances of adopting straight off the bat.

We have a 4 bedroom house but my eldest will be moving out at the end of this summer to live with his girlfriend and that will leave us with a spare bedroom (we rent, but our landlord is my dad so we have complete stability in that respect).

My husband works full time as a chef in a kids day nursery. I'm a freelance copywriter so I work from home and have flexible hours. I could take as much time off as necessary.

I used to be an early years teacher and have worked extensively with children with additional needs - I might struggle to get a reference to support that though as I haven't worked in schools for several years and have lost contact with almost everyone I worked with back then.

We have a strong supportive family network. Apart from my children who are very supportive (and my daughter-in-law to be who is a support worker with special needs children), I also have my parents who live 10 minutes away, a number of friends (one of whom has an adopted daughter himself) and my husband's family. His brother lives nearby but his sister, her wife, their adopted son (who's 9) and mother live about 2 hours drive away.

Health wise we don't really have any major issues. My husband had an operation for a collapsed lung 6 years ago but hasn't had any problems since. My only issues are a BMI of 35 (as it isn't over 40 I'm guessing that isn't a major problem, and I'm also taking active steps to reduce my weight) and that I'm on medication (sertraline) for anxiety. I've been on this medication for four years and have had talking therapies and CBT and am stable. I haven't had any major episodes for years, even after all the miscarriages, and I feel that our experiences of coming to terms with repeated loss has helped to make us more resilient and capable of dealing with problems.

My husband quit smoking almost a year ago. At the moment he vapes and I know that's an issue but he's said that he'll give it up if we decide to enter the adoption process.

My main concern at the moment is that we've only been in a relationship for just over a year although we've been living together for almost all that time and have been married for a month. Obviously, the fact that we're married shows that we're absolutely committed to each other and our family but I don't know how long we'll have been expected to be together to pass the first hurdle. Since I'm aware that the process is a slow one I was wondering if we approach agencies once we'd been together for 18 months that would be long enough?

I'm sorry this is such a long post but I'd like to get a good idea of whether it's worth us approaching agencies for more information at some point later this year or whether we should hold off for a while longer. Also, I'm interested in the early permanence route but I'm not sure if we'd be suitable candidates for that either. I'm open minded about adopting a sibling pair, but with only one spare bedroom for at least the next couple of years I'm not sure if that would be possible. I'm also wondering what age of child we'd be considered as adoptive parents for should we pass both panels - as we're both in our 40s I don't know whether we'd only be considered for older children or whether we'd be considered as suitable for a toddler/pre-schooler? I appreciate your insight and advice - I think it's important to get as much info as I can before we launch into anything.

OP posts:
ApolloandDaphne · 08/06/2021 15:45

I am a retired SW and i sit on adoption panels. I can't see anything that is a huge red flag in what you have written here.You are right that the length of your relationship will be questioned and discussed but it is not a deal breaker. I think it would be worth approaching your LA or an agency and having a chat about adoption.

Helenahandkart · 08/06/2021 15:53

I think our agency wants you to have given up smoking/vaping for at least 6 months before you can register with them, so your husband might want to give up sooner rather than later.

ApolloandDaphne · 08/06/2021 16:33


I think our agency wants you to have given up smoking/vaping for at least 6 months before you can register with them, so your husband might want to give up sooner rather than later.

Actually I missed that and you are right. Get him to stop vaping now.
Jellycatspyjamas · 08/06/2021 21:18

You sound fine, there’s nothing there that is problematic given your DH will stop vaping. The length of relationship is short but there’s clearly a commitment to each other.

The thing I would consider is taking time to recover from your losses, sw will want to see you’ve had time to grieve your losses and to come to terms with not having biological children. They’d also want to be sure that your mental health has remained relatively stable during that time. The good thing is that will give you time to work on your weight and your DH to stop vaping.

Different agencies and areas have different rules on siblings sharing rooms, ages of children placed and early permanence so it’s worth doing a bit of research on that.

Good luck!

SimonJT · 09/06/2021 07:21

The length of relationship will be questioned a lot, we had a couple who joined our adoption group recently with a similar relationship length and one of them already had a child. The parent was also questioned on why she felt it suitable to move a stranger into her childs home etc as her husband had moved in within weeks, which was interesting as while actually obvious I hadn’t thought of that.

We’re in a kind of similar position to you, I have a son (adopted) and me and my husband married recently on our two year anniversary, so again a young relationship. We would like to have a child together and I have wanted a second for a while. We are going to wait until we have been married for a year before we get the ball rolling officially. That way we can enjoy the first year without the address stress of the process, but we will have been together for three years at that point so the length of our relationship will be less of an issue, my son will be better placed to have a sibling join the family as well.

Have you looked at any adoption support groups in your area? They can be a really valuable resource and a great source of support.

Whether you start now or in 12 months, approaching your LA now can still be beneficial. We have recently met with an agency that we would like to use to have a chat, ask questions, get a feel for them etc.

Italiangreyhound · 09/06/2021 08:57

In your shoes I'd take the next 6 months to get some counselling/resolution on your losses (I am so sorry).

Lose weight if you can (my BMI was and is the same- still working in it).

And get your dh to give up vaping.

I'd also possibly decorate the newly spare room in neutral colours (but that is totally optional) and again it is what we did.

Good luck. Flowers

Italiangreyhound · 09/06/2021 09:01

It is very unlikely your alcoholic ex would be able to say anything to swing things negatively. Just be honest and open. The process is not that hard IMHO. I think all your children will be consulted.

Be prepared that even though they are supportive it can be hard having a new person join the family. I adopted D's 7 years ago when did was none and my friend just adopted a child with a teenager at home and there can be a bit if jealousy!

Italiangreyhound · 09/06/2021 09:02


Italiangreyhound · 09/06/2021 09:02

DD was nine

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