Adoption prep part 2 and 3

I have now finished my adoption prep training, and I must say there was a lot of useful stuff in there. I mean, don’t get me wrong, not all of the social workers were natural facilitators, and one of them in particular had a tendency to read aloud the text on every single powerpoint screen, and speak in a very patronising tone (I suspect she is so used to speaking in a cheery, slow voice to children that she’s forgotten how to address functional adults).

However, I got some real insight into the adopted child’s perspective of the world, and how I might need to adapt my parenting style to their needs. Continue reading

Reflections and Preparation

The Reflections Workshop

The Reflections Training in the end wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.

It was interesting to learn the reasons people adopt, beyond the obvious failed IVF/Infertility. For example, I discovered that some couples had already had a child, and an difficult birth/emergency hysterectomy meant they couldn’t have any more. Some couples had tried surrogacy instead of IVF, and some hadn’t bothered with IVF at all, just tried naturally for a while and then decided to adopt.

I was the only single adopter there, which rather threw off the groups a bit (“get into pairs and….. oh, also one of you will be a three….”), but it was fine. I quickly realised there are things I will have to consider that other people won’t, as all of the couples will have each other in the house for support during a crisis. I’m going to have to get friendlier with my neighbours instead, as I don’t have many close friends or family living nearby for help in an emergency. Most of the couples blew past this, assuming if there is a crisis one of them can support while the other deals with it, etc. It’s making me realise how lucky couples are to have someone else always there to help, to give each other breaks, and how much harder it will be for me, to be on my own all of the time coping with each disaster as it comes along. Continue reading

How much does it cost to adopt in the UK?

In theory, nothing.

Except that of course that’s not really the case.

There are no official fees to pay, but there are some other related costs, which I thought I would keep track of here, more for my own curiosity than anything else, and in case anyone out there thinking of adopting is curious. Obviously if you were adopting overseas there are often lots of costs and fees (I don’t know what they are, I have merely heard this on the grapevine). Therefore this summary is merely based on my experience of an adoption process in the UK, and I should stress that these costs so far are very low and relatively minor. Continue reading

Reality Check…

Well, I have had my official Stage 1 meeting (in December), and I have been given a long list of homework to do in the next 2 months, including:

  • Read at least 3 books from the reading list
  • Complete a family tree
  • Create a chronology of my life (including every address I have ever lived at….)
  • Fill in the DBS forms for a criminal records/background check
  • Complete some e-learning courses
  • Create an Ecomap of my support network
  • Complete a household safety checklist
  • Obtain criminal records checks from any country I have lived in for over 6 months (THAT could take a while…)
  • Get 3 references
  • Have a full medical

The more reading and e-learning I am doing, the more I am starting to more deeply reflect on the process, what is involved, and the impact of adoption is starting to sink in.

It’s almost like they’ve done this before. (No seriously, I must say well done to the Local Authority for such a well-planned process so far, and it really feels like it is all very logical and well-thought out etc).

What is interesting is that starting out on this adventure, it was really, frankly, all about me. I want a family, I want a child/children, I want to adopt siblings, I’m busy fantasising about how lovely it will be, and whether or not they will be white, black, Asian or mixed race etc. Continue reading

The stage before the stage before the 1st Stage…

So, as many of you will have read about in my first adoption post (Day 1….), I have officially started my journey to becoming a parent, and yes, I plan to document it all here for you, my lovely readers.

I have initially thought that there was a 3-step process, based on my research. The first stage takes about 2 months, and involves some initial interviews, a bit of basic training, and criminal records checks etc. Then the second stage, the home study, takes around 6-8 months and involves extensively poking around into every conceivable part of my life to look for holes or skeletons, talking to my friends, neighbours, employers, bank, mortgage lenders, etc. Then if you make it past that stage, you are “approved for matching” – and matching is the 3rd stage, where you and social workers try to match up approved adopters with children needing families.

So having spoken to the adoption team on the phone, attending an information day, and doing lots of reading, I assumed that my initial interview was the official start of Stage 1.

Turns out, it wasn’t. Continue reading

Day 1…

This week I took my first official step to becoming a parent.

First, a little background for those of you not in the know…..

I’ve always known that I wanted to have kids. Having a family and being a mum is something I’ve always known that I wanted – even when I was 16. As a teenager planning my potential/future career I even looked for jobs that related to working with kids, such as social worker, teacher, etc, and did a lot of summer jobs working with kids in summer camps, or with my mum’s research with children. I always took it for granted that by the time I was in my late twenties, I’d be married with kids.

By the time I was 29, I realised that wasn’t likely to happen – I’ve been pretty much single for my whole life, and I realised that waiting around for Mr Right might mean I miss out on being a mum, and having a family, and for me, that’s too important. I realised that if I wake up one day and I’m 50, and I never had kids, it would be my single biggest regret. So I started thinking about doing it alone instead. Continue reading