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Who Can Adopt ?

September 6, 2019

People are often shocked when they hear I’m Adopting as a single person …

Can you do that ? …… well yes you can …

Heres some great resources from first4adoption

PEOPLE WHO ADOPT A CHILD CAN BE

  • Single , Married or Unmarried
  • From any ethnic or religious background
  • Heterosexual or LGBT
  • A homeowner or living in rented accommodation
  • Employed or on benefits
  • Those who might have existing children or whom have none

10 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS QUASHED

1. I’M SINGLE, SO I CAN’T ADOPT

Single people can adopt, whatever their gender. Many single people and unmarried couples have successfully adopted children.

2. I’M TOO OLD TO ADOPT

Adopters need to be over 21 but there is no upper age limit. Agencies will expect you to have the health and vitality to see your children through to an age of independence. Consideration will be given to your age comparative to the age of the child you want to adopt; younger children are more likely to be placed with younger parents.

3. I CAN’T ADOPT BECAUSE I’M GAY

Whether you are heterosexual, lesbian or gay is not a factor in your right to adopt.

4. I WORK FULL TIME SO I’M NOT ALLOWED TO ADOPT/I’M UNEMPLOYED OR TOO POOR TO ADOPT

Your financial circumstances and employment status will always be considered as part of an adoption assessment, but low income, being unemployed or employed do not automatically rule you out. You can be an adoptive parent while on benefits.

The agency will want to discuss how the responsibility of caring for a child would be managed. Some agencies want a child to have their own bedroom but this is not a requirement and in some circumstances sharing can be considered.

Your local authority may provide support, especially for adopters of sibling groups or of children with a disability or special need of some kind.

You would also be encouraged to look into what benefits or Tac Credits you may be entitled to. A number of other allowances are available for children with disabilities.

5. I CAN’T ADOPT BECAUSE I HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD

If you have a criminal caution or conviction for offences against children or certain sexual offences against adults then you will not be able to adopt but, with the exception of these specified offences, a criminal record will not necessarily rule you out. The key is to be totally honest in your application.

Agencies will give consideration to the type of offence, when it was committed, the extent to which it has a bearing on being a parent and whether it was revealed at the time of application and how you have reflected on your past actions.

You cannot apply to become an adoptive parent if you or anyone living in your household has a criminal conviction or has been cautioned for specified criminal offences against children and/or some sexual offences against adults.

Checks are taken up through the Disclosure and Barring Service, local authorities and other agencies. Agencies will discuss with you any convictions that are recorded against you.

6. I HAVE CHILDREN LIVING AT HOME, SO I WON’T BE ABLE TO ADOPT

Not true. Having children of your own (of any age) will certainly not exclude you from adopting, whether they are living at home with you or have grown up. Consideration will, however, be given to the age gap between your own children and the age of the child(ren) you wish to adopt and the position of each child within the family in accordance with the child(ren)s’ needs.

Children over 18 will usually be DBS Checked, as will any other adult member of your household.

7. IT IS A BIG RISK TO ADOPT A CHILD BECAUSE SO MANY ADOPTIONS BREAK DOWN.

Not true. The vast majority of adoptions are successful and the experience of ordinary family life gives children the opportunity to rebuild their trust in adults.  Some adopted children have more complex needs, but the commitment of adoptive parents is remarkable in gaining support for their children. Professor Julie Selwyn, an experienced adoption researcher, found that in more than 37,000 adoptions she studied over recent years, there was a breakdown rate of only 3%.

Many of the adoptive parents in this group whose children were no longer living in the family, continued to be involved it their children’s lives, although no longer living together.

8. I CAN’T ADOPT BECAUSE I SMOKE

Smoking will not necessarily rule you out from adopting. Consideration will be given to this and to all health- and lifestyle-related issues, and the agency will want to know of any specific health risks to you or to the children who may be placed in your care .

There is no single national policy on smoking, but all agencies will apply some restrictions. According to national medical advice children under five and those with particular medical conditions should not be placed in smoking households. You will usually need to be smoke-free for at least six months before adoption from these groups can be considered.

9. I AM DISABLED SO WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ADOPT

Being disabled should not automatically exclude anyone from becoming an adopter and it is widely recognised that disabled people can often provide a very loving home for a child.
Disability is only one of the many issues that will be considered by an adoption agency so don’t rule yourself out before you have had a conversation with your agency of choice.
Even if you believe that you might need some additional assistance to adopt a young person, social services may be able to provide this support.
It is recognised that the life experiences of disabled people can give them a unique insight into the lives of children in care, who often have a sense of themselves as ‘different’ or who may also have a disability. Living alongside disability in the context of positive relationships can teach children the importance of inclusivity and how to value difference.
The Medical Adviser will assess the information provided through a medical on a disabled applicant and an assessing social worker will also explore with you any potential impact this may have on parenting and how these would be managed.

10. I CAN’T ADOPT A CHILD FROM A DIFFERENT ETHNIC BACKGROUND

Not true. You can be matched with a child with whom you do not share the same ethnicity, provided you can meet the most important of the child’s identified needs. All families should be able to get support to help their adopted child to understand and appreciate the important cultural, religious or linguistic values of their birth community.

The following questions will prompt you to contemplate the important issues that you and the child would need to face:

  • Do you live in an area where there is a diverse population? Would there be other children in the nursery or school that reflect a range of ethnicities?
  • Do you have people in your network of different backgrounds that could help you support a child to develop knowledge and understanding about their ethnic and cultural background?
  • How would you support a child to be confident about feeling different from other family members because of their ethnic and cultural background?
  • How would you help a child to understand and connect to their ethnic heritage?
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Why Adoption ….

July 27, 2019
why adoption

Why did I decide to Adopt ? and that Adoption was the right path for me.

This is something I‘d thought about for a while.  I had often said that if I got to 45 and hadn’t met a partner , a family is something I like to consider in whatever shape or form I could ….

In early 2018 I had some friends getting married abroad,  I spent 5 weeks on a trip to Australasia . I’d visited there a few times before. And it was amazing to have such a nice long clear holiday , not being a tourist and generally relaxing and contemplating life. 

In fact I’d visited Australia back in 2006 after leaving my full time job to be self employed  with the view of looking to go out and work , whilst on the trip I decided that I didn’t want to move but that actually if I came back and worked hard every year I could spend 6 ish weeks or more a year traveling. Of course the reality of going home starting a new business and building that meant I didn’t really achieve that for a while. 

Whilst I had an amazing time on holiday, I think part of me was wandering that whilst it was an amazing experience  – finding a travel partner had been hard, not everyone can take a 6 week gap or has the funds to be able to do it. Did I really want to travel alone everytime I took a holiday  ?

So I came back thinking that whilst it had been amazing , I’d worked super hard all year and been able to take an amazing break … Did I really want to do that for the next 15 /20 years. Whilst on one hand the answer was ok , yes  … the other more dominant answer lead me to think there was something missing from my life. 

I remember reflecting and thinking what if  I died tomorrow what would be my biggest regret … and there it was not having children .So I came back thinking its something I really had to pursue.

Maybe this will be another blog , but I’d become very disillusioned with Modern dating.  Mostly via apps. Seemingly ploughing so much energy and time into something with little or no reward! Also Meeting people as an adult is super hard!  ( maybe also another blog hahah ) The type of people I was coming across didn’t seem to fit where I was in my life etc etc.

After the break up of my last relationship , it took me a while to get back on my feet, and a lot changed in me  . I went from being quite outgoing to be much more introverted.  I didn’t really enjoy going out like I once did , didn’t really enjoy large groups and so on . 

Tried Meet up groups , again not much success here either. 

So then where do you go ! 

I’m a hard working guy , a lot of my focus is on my work . I don’t have a normal job , my job involves a lot of odd hours, travels, days of prep before actual work , work to do at home after a days work and so on . I think for your average worker this is hard to comprehend. Oh your not working today but you can’t just sit around doing nothing. 

Again this lead me to think that  I should channel my energy and the time I did have into something  more rewarding. I could wait years to meet a partner, the last thing we’d want to do if it was a new partner is adopt straight away , and also with a new relationship we wouldn’t be able to apply .

So that then puts me at probably being 50 before We look at it again , and that’s if I met someone right this second.  So that set me thinking …. ‘ in hindsight I now believe that if I go on this journey maybe I’ll meet someone who’s more in tune with where I am in my life right now anyway … however thats not for right now ‘

A few other things pushed me forward …  in a nutshell

There was a conversation with a friend , I was saying I wanted to adopt and was considering it when  I was 45 ; their response was life’s too short why not do it now if you want to do it .

There was a friends birthday party ( currently adopters already ) the room was filled with adoptive families, a few conversations that night pushed me on too . They had just made things more realistic. 

I told a few friends about my thoughts , they all seems so supportive saying how I really should do it . No one was saying it was a bad idea.

The more people I told it became clear I do have a really good support network around me ‘right now ‘ most with children of a young age and also some friends who are just ahead of me in the process, so if there’s a time this could work … now might be it .. 

One of my biggest problems being self employed is going to be adoption leave . I basically have to fund it myself!  It doesn’t seem fair, maybe someone has a counter argument for this … Anyway obviously that involves saving a significant portion of money to cover my time off.  I did consider that this money would be enough to pay for surrogacy … Again another thought process I had to go through . For me Adoption had always been my first thought when it came to Children , being able to give an opportunity to a little person who needed someone to support them . The many pitfalls of Surrogacy put me off, but Adoption had always been my prime thought.

Ultimately I decided that Adoption was the way forward I’ve been fully happy with the thought of adoption throughout , there’s so many kids that need a chance, support , love and a forever home … Helping one of them is going to mean more than attempting to bring a new child into the world.

So there we have it …. decision was made. 

I made contact with a couple of agencies, I think 4 in total but ultimately visited 2  I felt would be best for open days. One was independent and one was a County council . 

Ultimately after the open events  I chose to go with the independent as they seemed  to have a slightly better set up . Not that the CC one had anything wrong with it. 

Then in October 2018 I made a formal application for stage 1 of the process.

My own time line meant that I didn’t really want anything to happen until 2020 – this was for a number of reasons , personal and financial .

But I decided to get stage 1 under way , get it done take a break , do stage 2 and hopefully put me clearing panel late 2019 early 2020 to then start looking for matches. 

That time line hasn’t been quite as structured as that again due to some uncontrollable factors. But essentially now I’m onto stage 2 almost about the time I thought I would be so actually that time line has come back into play. I have a panel date in November 2019.

So there we have it that’s where I am now . Why Adoption ? because it feels like nows the time It will and can work!

ABOUT ME

About me

July 22, 2019

So who am I ?

My Names Rich , I’m a 44 year old single Guy Living in the East of England.

I’m currently in Stage 2 of the adoption process and have decided to go it alone ! I go to panel in November 2019

I work in Media .

I’m fairly active My hobbies include Music, Films, Gym, Cooking, Nutrition, Swimming.

I made this Blog because I wanted to share some of my adoption journey to becoming a Dad.

The statistics for Adoption in the UK were surprising low when I looked into it and particularly for Single Adopters and then even more when it came to males.

Singletons seems to be on the rise and the concept of a tradition 2 + 2 nuclear family seem to be on the decline.  So If this resources helps just one person decide they want to go ahead through the process . It will make me a really Happy Chap!

I think there other people blogging who are much more experienced and well trained than me but I’m hoping the blog evolves past just my journey so maybe someone somewhere will find a little ray of light to take away.

Through my journey so far I’ve found that other people experiences are far more valuable that pages in text books … So … let give this a go ! I love to hear from people so please don’t be afraid to get in touch whoever you are location and in terms of your journey.

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