Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Let's Talk Babies: The Adoption Process

I thought today that I'd be sharing some amazing news. You see, after much discussion, my husband and I had finally decided to adopt. We set the wheels in motion, registering our interest, and we were invited to attend the adoption information session. It all went downhill from there. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I didn't expect the adoption process to be a walk in the park. I knew it'd be a long hard slog, with lots of hoops to jump through. But damn, I did not expect it to be this difficult. So difficult, it's impossible for us to continue with the process.

I can understand now why they have a shortage of adopters. We were not the only ones to attend the adoption information session. There were a number of other couples and a few single individuals too. And I would say all of them expressed shock/amazement at just how much was required of the potential adoptive parents both before and after adoption.

One thing that makes adopting impossible for my husband and I, as well as many other couples, is the requirement that you both volunteer for 2-3 hours a week, every week for 6-9 months. Preferably in a deprived area - "push yourself out of your comfort zone," they said. My husband works full-time. To do this, he'd have to take, at least, a 1/2 day off work every week for 6-9 months. Which would mean a pay cut we can't afford. Which would mean we couldn't financially support a child. See the problem here?

The whole adoption process, now that I know about it in it's entirety, has really annoyed me. Children needing homes are tarred with the same brush. We were told you can't parent them in the traditional, 'reward based system,' because they don't respond to that. Really? None of the many, many children looking for homes respond to a 'reward based system?' Contact with the birth family is encouraged after adoption, either via letterbox or direct contact. Apparently, this is in the child's best interests. But I cannot see how being shuttled back and forth between two families, and only having limited access to one, can be in the child's best interests. Surely this is damaging to the child's sense of identity?!

You don't have a choice over telling your child he/she is adopted. Which isn't a problem for me, as I would always have told them anyway, but there seems to be a distinct amount of control retained by social services post-adoption.

I'm still so angry. I'm disappointed that we can't go through the adoption process and offer a child a loving home. But I'm more so angry on behalf of the children. The children are what it is all about, after all. And all those children out there looking for a loving family, a safe home, are missing out because of the ridiculous and impossible adoption process. I intend to write a letter to my MP about this, as someone has to speak for these children who don't have a voice.

So no, we won't be adopting. And yes, I am really cut up about this. It always felt like, if nothing else, we had adoption open to us. But now that avenue has been closed. But I'm determined now, more than ever, to lose some weight and get some fertility treatment from the NHS. And hopefully we can conceive naturally. I'll be sure to update you as soon as I have more news!

Tell me about your adoption experience in the comments section below!

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