Thinking about adoption?

This is a non-exhaustive list so I may be adding more in the future. Please note that this is my opinion only and it’s best to look at other places for a more varied perspective on things. I’ve also categorised some posts that may be helpful to people thinking about adoption. You can find this on the right-hand side of the screen.

  1. There are no guarantees about the children. Nearly all the children in care have been taken away due to neglect, abuse or drug problems during pregnancy. As such, there are no guarantees that the child will not have any problems. Equally a biological child also doesn’t have guarantees but this is something to think about.
  2. Be prepared to look deep within yourself. During the assessment process, you will be asked about your upbringing and how it affected you. If you have skeletons in your cupboard, maybe now is the time to deal with them.
  3. Think about the children and the matching process – your idea of a ‘perfect’ child can change when you start the matching process. You will be looking at real children who could potentially be your son or daughter. Don’t be so rigid and be open-minded. Be careful of what you write down what kinds of children you don’t want. What you write down at the beginning of the process may end up being very different from when you start matching and can end up in a child’s social worker’s hands.
  4. Think about what kind of agency you want to go with. Do you want local authority or voluntary? Voluntary organisations don’t have their own children to match you with but they focus more on the adopter and may support you better than a Local authority. Local authorities have children on their books who they could potentially match you with. However, ask the local authority what kinds of children they usually have as you may end up not being a match for their children.
  5. Stand up for yourself – don’t let social workers bully or force you into having a child you don’t necessarily think would be a good match. Equally during the assessment process, ensure that the social worker understands you and don’t get the wrong picture of you. If they do, correct them.
  6. Be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions. I know this is said a load of times and I’ve read this but I couldn’t really fully appreciate the reality of it until it happened to me. One moment, you are elated and then the next you are heart-broken.
  7. Be prepared to feel out of control. You can be proactive in this process, you can read lots of stuff about adoption, talk to lots of people, attend training courses, do your homework for your assessment and sign up to all of the family finding magazines and websites. However, ultimately, this process is down to the social workers and how fast they work. There will be very frustrating times when you are waiting to hear about a child and there is no news. It is up to the family finder and/or child’s social worker to see if they think you would be a good match for a child. The only thing you could do is to ensure that the PAR is a good representation of yourself.
  8. Be prepared to wait. The matching process is torturous. It’s horrible waiting to find your son or daughter. Some lucky people may already have a match waiting for them whilst they are being assessed and some people have matches turned down. The average time between a child entering care and moving in with an adopted family is 19 months. I can’t find an average figure of how long adopters wait from time of enquiry to a child being placed in their home but that is something to think about.
  9. Be prepared for your family, friends or work colleagues. These people care about you and want to hear what is going on. However, be prepared to feel their anger and frustration for you but more importantly, but prepared to hear this statement (or a variation) again and again: “It’s so annoying that you have to go through this as anyone else can just get pregnant”!
  10. No one tells you how much shredding there is! No one has told us that we should shred but I don’t feel right about putting children’s profiles into the recycling bin for anyone to see.

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