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Adoption after recurrent loss

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Hi all,


Just wondering how those of you who adopted knew it was the right time to apply to adopt after recurrent pregnancy loss.


We had pretty much agreed that adoption was our route to becoming a family (I know it's not necessarily a 'cure' or a magic wand to fix the pain of our losses) when we were offered a different treatment to try to help me sustain a pregnancy. We decided to go ahead despite not expecting it to work so that we knew we'd tried every avenue available. Sadly my most recent pregnancy failed despite the treatment. Obviously we have to wait to start the application to adopt and in the meantime we're going to do the practical things to prepare as well as try to process the end of the ttc chapter of our lives.


Just wondered if there's any advice others can give or ideas on how to prepare and evidence that we have closed the door on ttc to social care. (And I guess to ourselves)


Thanks in advance


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We were in a similar position in that we did one cycle of IVF, not that we expected it to work, but that we felt we had to close that door before we could move on to adopt.


In terms of showing that you have moved on, be ready to explain your decision to try one more thing, and to discuss how you felt when it didn't work (I was relieved and excited about becoming a Mum through adoption). It might also be worth both of you getting some counselling just to talk through stuff and highlight if there are any remaining issues you need to work through (and SW will view that as a positive step).


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Thanks so much for your reply Bop. You summed up exactly how I've been feeling, like a huge weight's been lifted! I can honestly say after 7 pregnancy losses that I feel a relief at thought of not ttc again and excited at the prospect of adoption. I've worked with CLA and adopted children for 10 years in various roles so I have a reasonably realistic view of adoption but am also very aware that 'working with' and 'parenting' are very different things.


I also have the added complicating factor that I also work for the local authority children's services so not sure if that's going to prove to be a conflict of interest and also whether our confidentiality would be able to be protected. I guess these are things we'll have to speak to them about. Had planned to go to a neighbouring authority but it's just been announced that the local authorities in our county have all merged to be one big agency.


We have lots to be getting onwards in the meantime, our plans are to get the house sorted, have a bit of a financial overhaul and book a holiday!


I'm also planning to get some counselling as I think it will do me good to process the horrendous last three years as well as getting us in a position to think about our life moving in a different direction to the one we expected.


Sorry I'm rambling now! Smile


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I think a large percentage of people come to adoption after failed fertility treatment. I had various treatments and operations over the years and tried ivf which failed. We considered surrogacy but that didn't feel right for us. We then moved onto adoption about 6-12 months later. It was something which I had always felt I wanted to do, so it wasn't a hard decision for us. Only you will know if you are ready to move on and take this new avenue.


Do lots and lots of reading, try and meet up with local adopters etc. Adoption is not like having a birth child- adopted children very often have pretty complex needs - make sure that's what you want. I don't think I really appreciated that until we adopted! For us it has been very challenging, but also very positive and rewarding.


Good luck on your journey xx


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You sound like you will make a fab Mum....but one word of caution...nothing can ever prepare you for the reality of caring for a child whose start in life had been far from ideal...its nothing like the parenting that you will see most of your peers doing...


We were initially respite foster carers for our kids.....and even that was not really preparation for parenting them full time....


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Sorry our posts crossed- sounds like you know lots about adoption given your job. Wishing you all the best xx


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Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. It really is helpful to hear from people who've been there, done that and got the teeshirt.


I think that's my big worry Bop and Freddie! That I know a bit too much about it all from a professional perspective but not as a parent. Sometimes I think maybe ignorance is bliss! i guess it's better than expecting sunshine and unicorns though!


Xx


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Also, asking on behalf of DH...as he seems to be pondering and worrying about this...how do people explain to their children how they (parents) came to adopt? He's worried that he wouldn't want our future children to think they're 'plan B' or the second choice. It's probably not the biggest of concerns and a very long way off but it seems to be playing on his minds as he's mentioned it several times x


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I say to my kids we had to work much harder for them than birth parents have to work. Two years worth of work, plus two lots of 'training' (if you count prep group and home study, plus waiting to be matched). My kids really like the idea that we had to work hard for them. I have to admit that I was quite upfront early on about my own miscarriages - they were 4 and 9 when they arrived and absolutely full of (often really quite pertinent) questions. I was age appropriate ("I tried to have babies but it didn't work") - but my 9 year old didn't leave it there and we got into the babies dying territory - it was blooming hard and there was a bit of me that was sort of watching myself and thinking how weird it all was. One thing that kids do for you, adopted or otherwise, they really make you 'get over yourself!'.


So, going back to your earlier question, you have to know in yourself that you have dealt with trying to have birth children. I had some counselling because I wanted to be sure I was doing the right thing and not just trying to replace having birth children, which really helped and SWs seemed happy to hear about.

best of luck hx


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My children are aware that we adopted them because I had multiple miscarriages, a still birth and ectopic pregnancy. My oldest daughter has said it was good we could not have children and her birth parents where unable to care for her.

In some ways adoption is always going to be second best as in a perfect world everyone who wanted would be able to have children and parent them effectively. But the world is not perfect, and second best can sometimes workout better.


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Thanks for your replies, I was conceived after a still birth and I cringe when I think about how as a kid I sometimes told my mum 'I'm glad Thomas died so I could be born' must've been a real gut wrencher!


That's a good way to think about it 'second best can sometimes work out better'


Did you access counselling through the NHS Haven?


Thank you x


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One comment re working for the LA. it might be worth checking now so you can look into other options as I think that working for the LA children's services means you would not be able to adopt through them, so maybe consider a neighbouring authority or agency. I know a couple of sw's that adopted via neighbouring LA's for this reason.

and can also vouch for the benefits of counselling/therapy, has done me the power of good though the NHS brief therapy of 6-12 sessions wouldn't have done it for me, I've been at it considerably longer but have had to pay for that privilege, and its not cheap!


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Thanks loadsofbubs,


We've both agreed that some counselling (separately) would help us. I did a mindfulness course last year which really helped me to turn a corner and I attend retreats occasionally by the women who runs them. She's offered me some one to one sessions (she's also a clinical psychologist) but they're £100 a go! They could be an investment but at the same time we want to save incase DH has to stop working/go part time after adoption leave.


I had planned to approach a neighbouring authority but our county has merged all

the adoption teams from the various councils. We're hoping that we can get round this by them allocating a worker from a neighbouring town.


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I adopted because I never met Mr Right and at the time it was the "second best" to having birth children. Now, I would not change my history for anything as I cannot imagine life without her in it. Our circumstances may be second best, but not our children


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wow. £100 a go?! that's pretty expensive! I pay £40 and even that is a stretch sometimes, though she's worth every penny of that, but not sure I could run to £100! good luck.


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I love that...our circumstances may be second best but not our children.


I know! £100 is a lot...I can access counselling through occupational health at work so might go with that as a starting point and then reassess whether I need anything more specifically related to miscarriage/adoption/fertility. I did ask to see the NHS counsellor linked to the fertility clinic in our area but I'm not allowed because I'm not infertile!


DH has also wondered whether he would benefit from counselling too. Does anyone know of any male adopters who've done this? X


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I think quite a few male adopters have - either before they started or further down the line - DH has and found it really helpful


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Hi, sorry for the late reply. I didn't access counselling through the NHS (I couldn't have waited!). I looked for a counsellor who specialised in infertility issues. I only had 3 sessions. It was all I needed, I think just to clarify things for myself and make sure I was past wanting to go through all the infertility treatment. I think they were around £40.00. per session.


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Thanks bop. Will start looking for someone for DH too.


Haven, I agree, a friend has been on the waiting list for NHS counselling for nearly a year now. £40 seems a lot more reasonable.


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We say you grew in my heart as mummy couldn't have babies in her tummy


Hope that helps


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That's a lovely way to put it! I guess as well it's slightly different but looking back I knew I came after a loss but it's not something I thought of in great detail until I had my own losses. My mum always said 'we were so so sad we lost him and we were so so happy we had you after' and it never made me feel second best. I know it's slightly different but it's similar.


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As far as working within LA goes - I am assuming you are somewhere in Yorkshire as you talk about RAA. There is a lead authority within each sub-RAA (I live in West Yorkshire so lead is Leeds) but the agency is technically separate to the LA. In our sub-RAA we have three approval teams based in different parts of the county (rather than the 5 previously).


I know a local SW who has adopted from within authority she works for so that should not be seen as an issue. Depending on what sort of child you want have you considered the VAs that are part of the RAA? Worth looking on the website (http://www.oneadoption.co.uk) as there is more ifnromation there about the overall RAA, the three sub_RAAs and the VAs.


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Your detective skills are good Gilreth! (Or could be just the fact we live in the same area Wink )


Was the local SW you knew of in Leeds or a different area of W Yorkshire?


I'm more drawn to adoption with a VA. Partly because i know the local service but also because we would prefer to adopt an under 2 and we only have one spare room so would be unlikely to be approved for a sibling group.


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Sorry I mean LA not VA


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Different area to Leeds but still West Yorkshire. Worth remembering that the children's SWs and LAC are still part of LAs so you could easily be approved by One Adoption West and then have a child placed with you from one of the other authorities in West Yorkshire (or indeed across whole of Yorkshire & Humber as it is all one RAA). If you want to meet up or discuss matters PM me as I work in Leeds and am always happy to talk about adoption. Plus I know a fair number of other adopters locally.


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Sounds like we have a very similar background to be honest. Recurrent pregnancy losses including ectopic and surrogacy. For us, we just knew we were ready. Adoption after surrogacy felt less scary than adoption from failed fertility treatments and we knew that we were ready to move on. We had read a lot about adoption and spoken to friends who had adopted to understand how difficult (and rewarding) life can be so we didn't go into it lightly. Husband and I had counselling together which was very helpful and allowed us to Work through our losses and close that chapter. We also decided that no matter what happened with the adoption, fertility treatment is over, never to be seen again. We can evidence this by us instructing our remaining embryos to be destroyed and confirming we don't want the additions NHS ivf cycles being offered to us. its adoption or nothing and we are ok with this. For us, being comfortable with other people's pregnancies and babies is a massive "evidence" - and also proves this to friends and family too. Perhaps that's a more personal thing though.


I hope that helps x


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Gilreth, thanks so much for that info. It would be great to be in touch with some other local adopters. We actually bit the bullet and DH emailed the adoption team to ask what they'd advise over the weekend (think I'd been putting it off as I'm scared of a 'no')


The apples, that really does help, thank you. Really helped us to think about how we evidence we've moved on. Counselling seems the way for us to go to process this all and move forward. I think you're right on the pregnancies and babies thing too. That really resonated with me. Bumps and newborns can still be a bit of a 'sticky' point for us occasionally. Although since we've decided to let go of TTC I've found that easier to deal with...that's just not our path any more so maybe that's what's made it easier. Also, we're still not 6 months past our last MC so I hope that will ease with time. Funnily enough im fine with new babies and bumps at work.


How far are you through the adoption process?


S x


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Unless things have changed they will normally say you have to wait till 6 months after last fertility treatment or miscarriage. I have to say going for counselling - as advised during our initial SW visit was the best thing I did. I can now talk about my childhood issues (severe emotional bullying) and have also put to bed the grief over never becoming pregnant.


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Yes, it's still 6 months so we're using the time to get ourselves in the best position we can to start the process when it's time. I think the reason we already almost feel 'there' and ready to go is that we didn't expect our last pregnancy to work out but wanted to know that we've tried all the medications that might possibly help us rather than wondering if it might have helped. In fact our clinic then pulled some other possibilities of medications out of the bag but we feel no motivation to try these ones.


I think counselling is defo on the cards. I can access it through work and I think DH would benefit too so going to look for someone for him to see. He has a GP appointment this week so he's going to ask then. I expect that he'd be told to try IAPT which I don't think is quite what he needs and has a long wait in our area but it's worth an ask.


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We have finished stage 1 and (anxiously) waiting to get confirmation we are moving on to stage 2. Feedback at the preparation classes was positive so provided they are not unduly worried by our workbooks we should be fine.


During our prep classes, our social workers mentioned how they don't expect anyone to be completely "over" the miscarriage losses they've experienced and they expect that throughout life adopters may get pangs of "stickiness" as you put it which came as a welcome surprise to me. It made me feel less pressure to be absolutely ok with absolutely every "sticky" situation as apparently they can come as a surprise later on. They even mentioned your adopted children's pregnancies can be a trigger. But they advised that so long as you are aware of them and can deal with them it's normal. So hopefully that is some comfort to you too (although I'm sure social workers views on this will differ)


My husband and I counted down our 6 month wait (distracted with a major house renovation!) and amost to the date submitted our initial enquiry form. We found that we waited a couple more weeks before our LA called us to Arrange a social workers initial visit before being given our official application form. This is the form that you will likely not be able to submit until 6 months post miscarriage. Therefore, my advice will be to get the ball rolling a little earlier and have that initial chat with the SW who will soon tell you if you are too early. We wish we had have submitted a little earlier as we were so excited to get the process started! Clearly our inital chat with SW gave them comfort we were able to deal with our losses. I'm sure this will be a focus of the home study but a further 6 months have passed now. It's almost a year since our last surrogate miscarriage and we are just completing the first stage.


Go for it! X


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Eeeeep! How exciting for you. When do you expect to hear back?!


Our POA is to get the house ship shape, finances in order, dog super duper trained to within an inch of his life and we have a holiday booked for three weeks time. Oh and my BFF and I have booked in one fun and frivolous activity a month for the next year so we have things to look forward to and to break the time into chunks. (She's had a recent bereavement so it'll be great for both of us)


I'm excited to hear about your progress. It'd be lovely to keep in touch


S x


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Oh and just wanted to say how tough a surrogate miscarriage must have been for you. I'm amazed at the strength and resilience of so many couples (and a few singles) and I think I've learned so much about empathy through all of this


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Thank you that's really kind of you. None of it is easy as you know but we are excited to see what the future holds! I would agree with you, I have developed much more empathy and patience and have a greater understanding of others and difficult it is to keep going when in the midst of grief. It's not easy at all.


We don't know when we will hear now, hoping in the next week or two (fingers crossed) so the days are dragging whilst we wait! Eek


Your plan of action sounds great and just the tonic you and your friend need to keep you both busy. The time will pass quickly enough I hope, you will also be busy with your workbooks and any reading.


Defo let's keep up to date!


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Sounds really promising that you got great feedback from the prep group! Exciting times. I bet the hours feel like days waiting to hear back. Is it a phone call or a letter?


Keep me posted x


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They said it will be a letter but we haven't pushed the details


Clearly (im)patiently waiting


Hahahaha


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You must be on tenterhooks! I'm already making DH refresh his emails constantly just waiting for a response to an initial email Biggrin


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I too had a similar situation, which resulted me being unable to have children. I too have worked in Children's Services .


Just a little friendly word of warning.. You will know loads on theory, but it is oodles different ( and challenging, but wonderful) . Just be prepared for that to come up in your assessment.


Wishing you lots of luck.


Swimchic

xx


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Thank you so much! Yes I expect I'm going to find it all so much tougher than expected and that I'll beat myself up about it. Even switching into a different specialism at work (moved from ASB to trauma and substance use but working to same therapeutic model) really knocked my confidence but I guess (thinking on my feet as I'm typing) that's an example of a time I've a experienced similar situation that might be helpful to explore if it comes up in the assessment process; I felt completely de-skilled and all my theoretical knowledge and training didn't actually mean I was instantly as good at the job as I expected I would be! It was almost harder than going in new to it all xx


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This is all assuming we'll be accepted, i have an awful fear of being told we're not suitable.


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