My feed

to access all these features

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


Mental Health

18 replies

GlobeRotter · 10/07/2021 14:50

I've tried to search but I keep getting an Oops page.

I was wondering if anyone would mind sharing whether they have been approved to adopt with a mental health condition. I have CPTSD, I am having treatment, and have a good support network; never been a danger / risk to anyone including myself other than SH at 15 when I had no explanation of what the hell was happening to me after a very traumatic incident.

I have zero contact with the people who caused the CPTSD.

The physical and psychological health teams I see have all said that they feel I would be able to be a parent, and parent well, but we haven't specifically talked about adoption yet.

OP posts:
UnderTheNameOfSanders · 10/07/2021 16:37

Sorry, I don't know what the 'C' bit of CPTSD stands for.

How have you been over the pandemic? If you have been strong and stable then that would be a really good indicator.

Dependent on the reason for the CPTSD you might need to watch that any adopted child didn't come with any background that would re-traumatise you.

You do have to be pretty resilient. We adopted 14 years ago. The last 6 years have been quite difficult, and the last 16 months have nearly broken me at times, as I entered the pandemic with no reserves and then things got worse with my DC.

GlobeRotter · 10/07/2021 16:42

There were definitely times during the pandemic when I relied on support network, coping mechanisms (including developing new ones), particularly at the start as I was going through a historical CSA investigation, and my best friend died.

However, I was better during the last twelve months.

C is for Complex - it's basically PTSD on steroids.

Thing is if I do this, I would really like to do it whilst I still have access to a mental health team... it would be an additional layer of support there.

Definitely need to think about this further though. What has made the last 16 months so hard (if that is OK to ask)?

OP posts:
UnderTheNameOfSanders · 10/07/2021 16:53

Last 16 months? Oh nothing much...

  • pandemic
  • events in birth family
  • one DC descending into MH crisis, missing GCSE year
  • one DC making big choices
  • my DF being ill
GlobeRotter · 10/07/2021 16:57

@UnderTheNameOfSanders that sounds really hard - I am sorry I phrased my wording poorly. The thought it my head was "has the pandemic retraumatised everyone".

I hope you have support, and that your DF and DC are getting better / the help they need.

OP posts:
UnderTheNameOfSanders · 10/07/2021 17:08

No the pandemic was just somewhat the icing on the cake. Smile
DF much recovered, other things sort of more stable but some big events coming up which may be de-stabilising again.

I guess what I'm saying is you need your MH & support to be as solid as possible before you start. Homestudy can be quite stressful in itself.

Ted27 · 10/07/2021 18:24


would you be a single adopter?

Mental health issues in themselves are not a barrier to adoption, it depends where you are in your recovery and how stable your condition is.
If you are still having treatment, I think its highly unlikely that an adoption agency will consider you.
You say you would like to ‘do it while you still have access to a mental health team, By which I take it you mean the actual approval process.

But they won’t be there forever and the approval process is the easy bit. As has been said adopted children often have traumatic backgrounds, they can be triggering of our own mental health issues. I consider myself to be fairly resilient but there have been times when my son’s behaviour and trauma have nearly broken me.
I’m a single adopter, being a parent is tough, being a single parent is very tough. Even if SWs were to allow it, I really wouldnt go ahead until I was fully recovered.
I think its probably not quite the right time for you, far better to wait a year or so and be well and stable. Good luck with your treatment

GlobeRotter · 10/07/2021 19:05

@Ted27 Yes, I would be a single adopter.

Thank you very much for your very honest reply - I do want to finish Phase 2 trauma therapy first, and do my own life work as well.

I will actually always have access to the mental health support (well at least for a very long time) but not necessarily in an "engaged" in trauma therapy type of way.

Did you do anything to strengthen your resilience?

OP posts:
Scirocco · 10/07/2021 19:40

@Ted27, do you mean that adoption agencies wouldn't consider anyone who's open to or under the care of mental health services at all? or that they would want people to be stable?

Just like some physical health conditions, some mental health conditions mean people benefit from long-term follow-up by secondary care. Would the same apply to anyone under a specialist for, say, asthma or arthritis or diabetes? If agencies would reject people for being under mental health secondary care regardless of their stability, but wouldn't for physical health issues, that kind of seems like unnecessary discrimination.

gordongrumpy · 10/07/2021 19:46

Physical health issues need to be stable, too. It's not discriminatory, it's making sure you're healthy enough to raise a child who's had a difficult start.

My cardiac consultant was asked to comment. The LA have their own doctor who looks over your health assessment.

It's about finding the best parents for kids in need, and they need to be healthy enough to raise them, physically and mentally.

Scirocco · 10/07/2021 21:47

@gordongrumpy, I agree that it's important for prospective adopters to be physically and mentally stable enough to meet the needs of children. My question is whether simply being open to mental health services means someone would not be considered - regardless of their actual level of functioning and health.

My understanding was that physical health issues requiring secondary care follow-up would not be an automatic exclusion criterion - that, eg., someone's diabetes clinic or cardiology clinic would provide a report - and I'm wondering from what was written above if the situation is different if the secondary care follow-up is from mental health services?

There are many people who attend mental health services, who are very stable, but who need to attend clinics for, eg medication monitoring. Automatic rejection of those people based on the clinic they attend, rather than considering their actual circumstances, would be discrimination as this isn't what happens for other clinics.

gordongrumpy · 10/07/2021 21:58

I would imagine that it would depend on the individual. But also, I don't know about your area, but even significant mental illness in the past would not leave you "open" to services here. Patients who are stable are discharged much more readily from mental health services than cardiology. And even cardiology, they ditch you asap! Most people who have stable health conditions aren't under the hospital. It's not mental health sigma, it's a sign that things aren't stable.

Ted27 · 10/07/2021 22:01

@Scirocco, as I said it would depend on the condition, recovery and where you are in your treatment, stability

it would be the same for medical conditions, some of which can be controlled with medication, as can some mental health conditions.

I wouldnt think an agency would consider someone undergoing chemotherapy, but if they’d been in remission for several years then its different.
I was poorly for about 18 months in 2018-19, turned out to be gall stones but I waited 9 months for surgery. If I had applied then I would great rightly been told to go away and come back after my surgery.

The Op sounds like her difficulties are comparitively recent. She will be in a much stronger position in a year. The OP is also single. She says she has a great support network, so do I, but at the end of the day I am on my own. There is only so much friends can do. I need to be in the strongest possible place both mentally and physically.

what did I do to build resiliance? Well we are all different and no matter what we do we have different levels of resiliance.
The first thing I think is to be honest with yourself. I know single adopters with two and three children. As much as I would have liked two, I knew that really one was the right decision. I knew my limitations.

I started out in the best place I could, I delayed for a few years so I could find a more suitable job, more family friendly, higher pay, more holiday allowance, a year adoption leave.
I have never returned to work full time, though I have gone up to 4 days a week in the last year. That extra time when he was at school was essential to my sanity. I don’t think adopters in general are great at self care. I always made room for my needs - I kept my gym membership, I kept my expensive skin care, I had a facial and massage every half term. I went out with my friends. I loved scout camp because it gave me 4 or 5 days to veg out, sleep in, re - charge. I bought myself flowers - just small things to keep my spirits up. I now have an allotment, its my happy place, somewhere to go for some peace and quiet.

Scirocco · 10/07/2021 22:08

As you say, @gordongrumpy, you don't know about my area. In my area, and many others, clinical processes and clinic protocols will differ from yours. Which is one reason why a blanket policy of rejecting people under a particular type of clinic seems somewhat discriminatory to me. Saying "Well, you're under X clinic therefore can't be stable" cannot be used as a blanket rule when there is significant variation between health services and on more local levels between health boards and trusts.

Example: a person who is on certain medications needs specialist follow-up for monitoring of these. Clinical guidelines state that person should be provided with specialist follow-up for as long as they're on that medication. If they're clinically stable and have been for a significant time, should they be excluded from consideration automatically if their clinic is a psychiatric one rather than, say, a cardiology one? Or should they be considered as an individual and subject to the same rigorous assessments as other people?

Assuming that someone is not stable simply because they attend a certain healthcare specialist is stigma.

Scirocco · 10/07/2021 22:11

@Ted27, thanks for the clarification, it's much appreciated and sounds more like what I expected.

Ted27 · 10/07/2021 22:11


there has been no suggestion that there are blanket policies for rejecting people.

Ted27 · 10/07/2021 22:14


i think we cross posted

gordongrumpy · 10/07/2021 23:12

No one has said there is blanket rejection just for being under secondary care.

Adoption isn't as physically stressful as it is mentally stressful.

Jellycatspyjamas · 11/07/2021 04:38

The “complex” part of cptsd is the part that may prove problematic because of firstly the type of interpersonal trauma which gives rise to complex ptsd and secondly the impact on emotional stability, trust in relationships and resilience. I see you said you want to be through phase 2 of your treatment, I assume you’re in a 3 phase programme - where are you in that just now. I’d honestly say you should be aiming to be very well into phase 3 and looking at ending before you start the process. Which is to say you’re clear about who you are post traumatic, and have an idea of what comes next and are working towards that.

The adoption process is very intrusive and the sw will want to understand your trauma, who in your life caused it, what your contact with them is and how it impacted you. I’d want to see a good, long period of stability before you start the process because the process itself is hard, and being placed with children is incredibly hard. Some of the children may come from a similar background, have experienced long term, ongoing trauma and so be very triggering of your experiences, I’d want to see you coping with day to day triggers before introducing children into the mix.

It’s not impossible, at all, some of your experiences will give you a deep capacity for empathy with children who have also experienced complex trauma but you need to be very far through your treatment and able to demonstrate long term stability.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.