My feed

to access all these features

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


Thinking about adoption - need advice

26 replies

ALFIEMAC · 29/01/2010 13:47

My husband and I are very fortunate to have twin boys, conceived via IVF who will be 4 years old at the end of May. Hardly a day goes by when I do not feel blessed to have them and cobsider myself very fortunate. That said, I would very much like to have another child and having had 3 x further IVF attempts since the birth of the boys we are now considering adoption. I will be 42 years old later this year and my husband will shortly be 40 - do you know whether we would be considered for adoption bearing in mind our ages and also what sort of age gap would there need to be between our boys and another child (I believe we would not be able to adopt a child older than our current children).
All I hear about are the downsides of adoption and the fact that so few children are readily "given up" for adoption and are in some way damaged. Does anyone know anything about adopting from abroad?
All advice much appreciated.

OP posts:
chegirlsgotheartburn · 29/01/2010 14:07

I know nothing about adopting from abroad but there are quite a few on here that do.

Most agencies in the UK do not like a gap of more than 40 years between adotper and child. That means that you would be considered for a young child.

The gap between birth child and adopted child varies but it usually at least 2 years.

There are also varying rules about how long after your last attempt at IVF etc. You will also be expect to discuss your feelings around infertility at some length.

There are lots of children in the system with problems. All will have suffered trauma but that is true of all adopted children because the very act of being seperated from their birth parents is traumatic.

You will hear a lot about the downsides and difficulties of adoption because when people are having problems they are more likely to go onto forums to discuss them! It is also important prospective adopters know what they could be facing so the negatives do tend to be emphasised during training etc.

Good luck

Nymphadora · 29/01/2010 14:10

Adopting from abroad still means you have to be assessed by an agency/LA here.

There is very few babies/small children given up for adoption here majority have been taken into care. The general rule in my area seems to be under 7 years seem to go for adoption and older children go into Foster care although each case is judged on other factors as well.

Adopting from here or abroad will usually mean that the child has some past history of a diffiuclt upbringing which may or may not impact on family life.

If you are considering this approach your LA or an agency soon as your age may be a factor , there also needs to be a year+ between stopping TTC and adopting. Look up adoption UK and BAAF on the internet to find out more.

beemail · 29/01/2010 17:07

Contact the Intercountry Adoption Centre for more info - they run Preparation Days for prospective adopters to find out more before going ahead and have lots of useful info ion adopting from different countries. Usually a long slow route with many hurdles along the way! It is the best thing we've ever done but def the most challenging in so many ways!
Have 2 delightful teenagers though!

SilkyBreeks · 29/01/2010 19:19

Find out as much as you can about adoption from loads of different sources, the amount of time that will elapse between you getting the ball rolling and potentially being matched is quite big so there is no harm in starting things off sooner rather than later - you can always get things going and then withdraw from the process if you come to feel it's not for you.
Adopting any child is very different from having a birth child, and obviously you will have to consider the impact on your twins before going ahead with anything.
You might want to visit the message boards if you haven't already, you can read about lots of different adoption experiences and ask questions that you might not dare ask a social worker ;)
I'd also suggest that you look at the After Adoption forums as well to get an idea of some of the problems that adoptees face as adults (and there are issues, however wonderful adoptive parents are it can't make up for the loss of the biological ones).
I can't think of any way to phrase this that doesn't sound unkind, and I don't mean it to, but you need to understand that adoption is about finding homes for children who need them, NOT finding children for adults who are struggling to conceive.
I write as an adoptee and friend of two sets of adoptive parents - wishing you loads of luck, you'll come to the right decision for your family.

SilkyBreeks · 29/01/2010 19:22

Just to add, I'm not saying that YOU don't understand that adoption should be about the needs of children rather than adults, but it's a particular gripe of mine that it seems to be widely viewed as a cure for infertility, which it assuredly isn't.
I don't mean to cause offence to anyone, it's really hard to word this without seeming a bit strident.

beemail · 29/01/2010 22:17

Agree with silkybreeks and as far as intercountry adoption is concerned campaigns in many countries have led to more adopters coming forward and hence less need for adopters from abroad enabling many children to stay in their own country with families from their own culture and ethnic background. Intercountry adoption is rarely the first option for these children but sometimes the only alternative to institutional care. It's not the best start in life though and the adopters will have some preparation for helping their children with difficulties arising from this but need to be aware that it is unlikely to be easy.

NanaNina · 30/01/2010 19:00

Google "Adoption UK" and "British Agencies for Fostering and Adoption" (BAAF) where there is a wealth of info.

If you do adopt the child will need to be younger than your sons (adopted children shouldn't have to compete with younger children for attention) and there needs to be at least a 2 year age gap.

Kewcumber · 31/01/2010 00:41

you might (if you haven't already) want to think about the issues an adopted child might have in the long term being the younger adopted sibling to twin bio children

I don't on the whole get overly precious about mixed bio/adoptive families but I do think that it might feel very very excluded (if thats the right word being differnt in so many ways.

Intercountry adoption if you are lucky would take 3-5 years depending on how switched on your La is and how many waiting children/how popular the country you chose. Waiting times are increasing in every country as people drop out of china due to the long waiting times predicted for people currently applying (6+ years on top of UK home study time).

Agree OAH is the place to call for info about intercountry and your LA will probably have an open evening on domestic adoption.

JoTheUnsure · 14/02/2010 15:05

We're in the same boat as you (I'll be 40 this year) but have already started the ball rolling (and it does take ages...).

We have BS who is 5, had a year of failed IVF and decided a year ago to go with adopotion.

I still have all the expected concerns (will I be able to love an adopted child as much as my BS, how will my BS feel about it...) and so am taking each step at a time - knowing we have the option to walk away if it doesn't feel right (and get another cat!). We had always planned to have another child and my BS wouldn't have had a choice in that... And who says a second (or third) birth child wouldn't have caused any problems...

I agree that the adoption forums only seem to talk about the scary stories, but that's true of everything.

I agree with the posts above, find out more - from reliable/knowledgable sources, go for information events - you can always walk away if it's not for you. But if you don't do it - you'll always be wondering what if...

Best of luck.

dolphin13 · 26/02/2010 19:22

I would ask everyone thinking of adoption please think about giving a home to older children. I am a foster carer and it is heartbreaking to see so many children left in the care system due to the lack of adoptors willing to take older children. They are not all so damaged that they can't attach to new families. I currantly have 2 children who so desperately deserve a loving family, they are 4 and 6. Because of the lack of potential adoptors it has been decided these children will have to stay in long term foster care. They can't even stay with us because we live quite close to the birth family and they would disrupt the placement.

AfterAdoption · 21/05/2010 11:21

Please also visit for more information. There are only very basic guidelines around who can adopt - you would be eligible but wold have to go through the assessment process as legally required.

Many children do come into the care system with difficult pasts and have had negative early life experiences which will impact on them growing up - look up 'attachment disorder'. But there is support out there for parents and we work with many families who have succesfully adopted.

FSB · 31/05/2010 20:22

dolphin13, i agree totally with your post, but isn't it more a problem of age gaps than people not being willing to adopt older children? i understand that attachment issues are generally more of a problem the older the child is, but like you said, there are plenty of older children who would adapt very successfully. however, if you have existing children it's not practical to wait 10 years to be able to adopt a school age child. we have a 10mo BD and are just starting down the adoption route (with the view that it'll take 3 or 4 years). i wouldn't want DD to be an only child for any longer than 4 years really, so that rules us out for an older child..

pootros · 20/10/2010 15:22

Has anyone here adopted? HOw long did it take them? Noted FSB's estimate of 3-4 yrs and was quite suprised as I 'd had then impression it was shorter. Nananina, I was interested in your opinion - why you thought 2 yr gap in ages was right. HOw do others feel on this?

Kewcumber · 20/10/2010 15:51

yes lots of the posters on here have adopted. My was three years from apllication to coming home with child. I know in certain circumstances domestic adoption can be quicker but havent heard of many quicker than 2 years from adoption - the sheer volume of paperwork and the homestudy, medical CRB etc can take a year easily.

I think a minimum 2 year age gap is a pretty reasonable requirement (many LA's will insist on 3yrs) and I beleive there is some evidence that a gap of 6 years is ideal (I seem to recall family futures doing some research but can't recall it exactly).

Its often difficult bringing a new child into an established family group and often more so when one or both chldren might have additional issues relating to their adoption or pre-adoption life.

Italiangreyhound · 20/10/2010 17:55

ALFIEMAC lovely to see you, I met you on the feisty and forty conception thread. I was just asking after you the other day.

I really wish you all the best as you look into all this.

Just FYI I know different county councils have different requirements as to length of time you wait between treatment and approaching them about adoption, and about maximum age difference between adoptive parents/prospective adoptive parents and children to be adopted, so it could be different in your area (I mean it could be more open in your area).

All the best.

hester · 20/10/2010 22:26

I have adopted a child under 1. I am in my mid 40s and have a birth child of 5. My family is, however, of 'in demand' ethnicity and this can make all the difference in adoption.

It took us about 2.5 years to get through the process.

pootros · 21/10/2010 21:30

Wow. Such great advice , and so quickly. Thank you so much.

One more question- not sure if this varies from place to place: how much info does the prospective parent get about the health of the mum? and how well the pregnancy went? I have seen a baby check from an adopted baby but was shocked at how little mum related info there was.

Any experiences on this?


hester · 21/10/2010 22:17

We got information on the health of the mum as it related to the health of the baby - i.e. her alcohol and drug use, allergies, progress of pregnancy and birth, any mental health issues. The information was not as detailed as I would have liked - I think adoptive parents often feel they didn't get as much information as they woul have liked.

They basically tell you what they think you need to know so you can form a judgment on the baby's 'risk factors' and whether you are able to handle them. The most common risk factors are substance misuse, mental health and learning disabilities. With very young children, it is often impossible to know what these will mean for the child - you need to decide what level of uncertainty you are able to take on.

With older children (over 2), there will be more extensive information on the child's own health. You will also get an opportunity to meet the medical advisor and talk through what the issues may mean.

shockers · 21/10/2010 22:41

I am so glad to see After Adoption on here..The've been a tremendous help to our familySmile

I would agree with silky. Adoption has to be about giving a child a family, even if that child isn't grateful or loving... they didn't ask to be placed with you did they? It has to be about patience and hope... sometimes for many years. It's difficult at times... absolutely bloody amazing at others.

I would definitely look into the issues surrounding birth twins, much longed for, and another child who could present you with really odd and unreasonable behaviours... for very, very valid reasons.

All that said... good luck, whichever path you choose.

PheasantPlucker · 22/10/2010 12:33

It took us 2.5 years from initial approach to an agency to having our fantastic dd placed with us.

We were told that a child we adopted had to be a mininmum of 2 years younger than the child already in the family.

The process was long, hard, some of the social workers were inept (sorry), and I would never do it again, but I love our dd with my whole heart, and am grateful every day that we were entrusted to love and parent her.

pootros · 25/10/2010 09:15

I'll be registering with our local child services then. And lots of others too, thanks to advice on mumsnet. We're in our first pregnancy -I'd always thought of starting to apply when child age 1Ish but from your advice, because of delays, best start registration now. Hopefully shifting circumstances won't freeze soc servs at the door... The desire to adopt has been present since I was a child.
Thankyou all so much.

FSB · 20/12/2010 21:46

good luck getting registered Pootros, our DBD is now nearly 18 months and we're still being fobbed off by SS... being told that it would only take 6-8 months from start to finish and we should "enjoy our daughter" and come back when she's 4!! Hmm

very irritating!!! poor DD is going to be an only child until she is in secondary school!!

Jan9902 · 08/05/2011 22:37

When adopting. think of yourself as a child, coming in to a home where you have to be good.. If not these new adults in your life might not like you.
Also they may not be ready to cope
Bless all accidents from sex. it's not your fault!

CurlyBoy · 13/06/2011 11:29

It all depends on your local authority and their guidelines. I am 42 and my wife turns 40 this year and our 20 month old little boy came to live with us 13 weeks ago. I think our LA likes 2 years between children but I'm not sure.

snail1973 · 13/06/2011 22:39

We have adopted 2 children. The first took us about 3 yrs from start to finish, which felt like forever at the time, but TBH we needed that time to learn about adoption properly and get to grips with the whole thing.

The next time it was less than 12 months from making the first phone call to DS moving in with us!!!! Crazy fast!

Do ring around different LAs. Where we live now (different area to when we first adopted) I was told by several LAs that they would not consider us until DD was at school. But then found another one (who turned out to be great and super fast) who are very happy with just a 2 yr age gap.

The first time I felt just like you do now, that all you hear is the bad stuff. And it is true you do, and you will keep on being told the worst case scenarios over and over again. And yes, they can happen to you. But they probably won't and they certainly won't ALL happen to you.

We have been very lucky and have 2 lovely kids who both came to us very young and don't (currently at least) have major issues, so I am very positive about adoption. But I know it is about luck because noone really knows how the experiences they have had are going to affect an individual child.

But you are right to take each step at a time, I felt just like that, and you always say no at any time. But good luck... :)

Please create an account

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