Advice from people that have adopted siblings with disabilities

Report content


We're a little over a week away from approval panel and have a date for matching panel already lined up and would be interested to hear from people that have successfully adopted siblings (both with SEN - global delay/communication difficulties/possible ASD), or any experience adopting a child with a high chance of having a life limiting genetic condition?

I get that questions will be about showing we can meet the children's needs. Is there anything we should do to prepare for panel questions...the wait is just excruciating so I'm trying to fill it by doing adoption related things! Are the questions likely to be in relation to our vulnerabilites. We have loads of information about the children now having just met the children's FCs (a lot of the stuff we'd been given to read about them was out of date and it was great to see their current home environment).

Also has anybody made a welcome DVD for their LOs and if so, how did you grab their attention? Any ideas from anybody that has had experience of this would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers in advance,

K x

Be the first user to support this

Pm'd you

Be the first user to support this

My twins (single adopter) are 6. They were 4 1/2 when placed.

Both have global development delay, one with significant speech and language delay.

Like you’ve said. Panel just wanted to know how I could meet their needs and how I’d get support/ look after myself considering their additional known challenges.

I made a DVD, photo book and a customised jigsaw- one of the wooden insert ones and put my photo behind each peice.

For the DVD. I filmed me doing things they’d enjoy-

Walking the dog and throwing the ball.

Playing on the local park.

Driving the car listening to their favourite song.

And reading a bedtime story at the end.

They still talk about it now.

Happy for you to pm me with any questions.

Good luck

1 user has supported this.

We adopted siblings with what turned out to be SEN. I would say that we had to really get our head around keeping things simple. In that our children liked simple things to do - going to the park, the beach, the pool, or just running around in the garden. We had to keep things small - things like soft play areas had to be when it was very quiet. Kept away from busy noisy places and gave up completely with any idea of taking them with me shopping! Keep things like Xmas small, we didn't do a 'count down' to Xmas they just got a big surprise when they came down one morning! Don't expect friends and family to step up, they will find it very challenging.

I would suggest show you are getting involved with adopted children/parents groups and or SEN groups as they will be supportive and a great sounding board.

Do make sure you are getting as much support as possible from post adoption and insist on an adoption allowance. Ours are now 15 and 13 and I have never been able to return to work at all.

Good luck with it all.

1 user has supported this.

Last year we adopted out fc who has a rare genetic condition that causes severe epilepsy and we also have a long term foster child who also has complex needs. Neither one is officially categorised as life limited but rather as having a life threatening condition that means they are on a knife edge health wise and could deteriorate at any point in the future. Their long term outlook is v uncertain on the whole.

We had to show that we were prepared to accept the uncertainty this presented and would be able to cope if things went horribly wrong. We handle it by not thinking too much about the future and try to take it as it comes as much as possible.

I agree that your support network might quickly evaporate and it is hard to find babysitters who are able to cope with the medical and other needs so that can be a big issue. It can feel isolating if you dont have friends who understand so support groups etc are a great help.

And yes ,yes to an adoption allowance. Get it written into the adoption order if you possibly can and agreed until they are adults . They will take up all of your time and energy so you may well never be able to return to work .

How exciting for you though! Hope all goes well with approval and matching. X

2 users have supported this.

We're lucky in the sense that through my sister (who has complex needs) we are already in contact with lots of local support groups and have a lot of friends that "get it".

Our SW is currently fighting our corner wrt the adoption allowance with the children's local authority (trying to increase the amount etc.) and it is definitely moving in the right direction.

1 user has supported this.