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Any experiences of adopting while taking antidepressants?

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Hello, me again!


Just wondered if anyone has any experience of this. I've been on medication for a number of years which was initially for fairly low level stress and anxiety...was on a very low dose for a long time which kept me well...it wasn't anything I really thought much about, just took them with my daily vitamins, and got on with it...when we decided to ttc I decided to come off them which triggered a bout of really severe depression. I couldn't cope, was in a very dark place...literally felt pinned to the bed and paralysed with anxiety. I started back on the meds as well as really focussing on self care...mindfulness, cut out alcohol, exercise, diet etc as the GP advised the risk of stopping the meds outweighed any risk of staying on them as these were very mInimal. I went back on them an recovered relatively swiftly. Obviously put ttc on hold until I was well again.


I then went through seven pregnancy losses in 3 years...I'm actually amazed that despite the heartbreak of it all I coped far better than I ever would have expected and have come out of the other side of it. That hasn't just been fluke...I've worked bloody hard at it...the self care I mentioned above (apart from the odd G and T once in a blue moon and I have let the gym membership lapse!) as well as working hard to keep our relationship strong, making sure we still live a relatively happy and sociable life by cultivating the areas aside from building our family.


This is a very long winded way of asking but I think the context is important. I just wondered if being on the antidepressants would be an absolute deal breaker? I would try coming off them again if it was but Im absolutely terrified at the thought of it so would really rather not.


I expect it might vary by the agency but I wondered if anyone else had experienced this or similar. Happy for people to PM if they'd prefer.


TIA Smile


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7 users have supported this.

I think provided you can explain and also show how you learnt and improved form the experience it shouldn't be a deal breaker. I was (and still am) on a fair amount of medication due to chronic conditions (including low dose anti depressant but as migraine preventer) and other than not being allowed to go for more than one child it hasn't effected experience at all. It will something to discuss with SW and talk through but you are aware of it. Every SW is different but showing how something is a strength ratehr thana weakness is a good point to start.


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although I have no useful answers/experience I just wanted to say that it sounds like you are completely self aware and I think you're pretty awesome to come out the other side of your experiences. Im not sure there's any fluke to keeping yourself well, your relationship(s) strong and cultivating other interest/social life - I agree with gilreth, that it takes such strength, grit and determination. All great qualities for adoption I would say.


I agree - frame this as a positive. I understand how difficult it can be.


:o)


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Once again, thanks for your lovely and also really helpful replies! They've set my mind at ease a little. I think my brain is just working overtime to identify and troubleshoot anything that could lead to a no! It's a new and daunting prospect so I guess that's natural.


Thanks for taking the time to reply to both my posts.


S x


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I think the important thing is to be open and honest with SWs during the process. You have had good reason to be on anti-depressants as a result of all you have been through. You have shown that you can seek the help you need when you need it. There are many positives there and the whole story demonstrates many strengths and great resilience. The worst they could do is ask you to try to do without. You have tried to do without already but were not able to at that time - if you try again (if necessary / asked) maybe the GP could help you by lowering the dose gradually or changing to a different medication then gradually lowering / withdrawing this. Many people are on medication for many different things - there are no black and white answers


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Thanks Safia...when I did try and come off the meds before I did wean veeeeery gradually. However I was so determined to have a medication free pregnancy (oh how little I knew back then!) I pushed on for longer despite the warning signs I wasn't coping.


Would it be something they might speak to my GP about? I think he'd really back me up as he's been so supportive over the last few horrid years


S x


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You have to do a medical as part of the process and this can be done through your GP - if they are worried they can ask for it early on - and your GP can always write or offer to talk to your SW once allocated. But if your GP does the medical (they charge for this) then it can all be included in that - I'm sure it will be fine - good luck!


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Great, i knew there would be a medical but wasn't sure if it was my GP or an independent person who does it.


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I just like to wish you all the best I'm currently waiting to be assessed so I can adopt a family members child. I'm also a bit anxious as I take 30mg citolopram for anxiety from years ago. and also have arthritis However I'm in a place where everything's managed. I'm really hoping g for a good result so that this child doesn't have to go into care! I hope everything works out for you, you sound like you have everything handled and hopefully they'll see that xxxx


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Thanks Zodiacstar...after posting this I went to an adoption open evening and asked about it. Initially they said they may ask me to try coming off them. I explained that the reason I found out I struggled without them was through trying to stop them before. They said they assess each case individually and that they couldn't give me a yes or no there and then but did say that the fact I've managed to get through 7 pregnancy losses and stay relatively well despite having dealt with mental illness in the past is a massive strength. They also pointed out we're assessed as a couple so would also look at how we cope with things as a couple not just me as an individual.


Obviously it's a case by case basis but I'm currently working with a family on my caseload where a family member has an SGO for a child so they could stay in the family. They have a disability as well as a diagnosed mental illness and this didn't stop them getting an SGO. They have their difficulties (I wouldn't be involved if they didn't) but I couldn't think of a better parent for the child. They're such a loving family who want to do the best they can and if I was unprofessional enough to have favourites these guys would be up there!


Wishing you all the best and lots of luck. You're doing a wonderful thing to offer take care of a child so they can stay within their birth family x


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Hello Wishmeluck, I just wondered how you got on and whether you were able to continue through the adoption process?


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Hi Kashew!


Funnily enough we had our initial home visit yesterday and so we’re nervously waiting to see if we’re going to be sent out a ROI form. I asked if they saw the my MH history as a barrier and they said that it was something they’d need to explore but that there were lots of positives to balance it out.


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That's really great. We have submitted our ROI, we picked one up from an information evening and just sent it in when we were ready so we haven't had a home visit yet. I think the unknown is making me nervous but it's reassuring to know that they don't just turn people down automatically! We did write the medical 'problems' on the ROI form, and they're still coming for a home visit so I guess that's a positive.


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Fingers crossed for you. It seems to work differently in different areas. We had to fill out a request for home visit form which was in the info pack from the open evening. Then they send out a ROI form if they feel we’re suitable. I’ve heard of other places having people fill out the ROI at an earlier stage.


Good luck with it all! Smile


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Good luck to you too! Smile


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Baby is now with us he's doing great! He got to spend his first Christmas with us so was very special. We have bonded fantastically and I'm so extremely happy xxx sending love to you all xxx


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Oh how lovely! That’s made me teary!


Can I ask whether your mental health was an issue during the assessment and what sort of checks they did and questions they asked? Is LO with you on an SGO or are you adopting them?


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So glad to hear your positive update Zodiacstar xx


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