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Christianity - is it a problem when adopting?

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Hi. My husband and I went to our first adoption open evening last night. We asked lots of questions but forgot one - does being a Christian (practising) affect the process of adoption at all?


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57 users have supported this.

It shouldn't do, but in practice it can. I am happy to chat via PM if you want (I am also a practising Christian---Foster Carer)


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37 users have supported this.

As prospective foster carer i was pretty much grilled about my faith to make sure i wouldn't indoctrinate any of my potential fosterlings, i am approved for 0-2's (soon to be a little older than that but this was my original approval). the fear was (from the sw) that taking the children to church would somehow brainwash them! she has over time relaxed a lot but in the early days she always made a point of telling BP's or their sw's that i attend church regularly jus tin case it was a problem. it never has been for any of the BP's bar one who said i couldn't be a 'proper' Christian as i only attended church once on sundays! but he had no objection to me taking the LO on the one occasion i did go! i think a lot depends on the sw you get to be honest. my fsw, bless her, is clueless about Christianity becoz she wasn't raise din a faith household so has little to no understanding of how a faith household might operate and so her own preconceived prejudices were very obvious. but as said, she has mellowed over time and now no longer raises it every time i get a new placement!

ironically a foster carer on a training course i once attended, who proclaimed her self an atheist, and openly said she told her children that categorically there is no god and had never allowed them to attend a church of any shape or form or allowed them to explore other faiths either, she was not able to see that in fact she was the one indoctrinating her children! apparently the only kind of indoctrination you can do is to indoctrinate into a faith, you cannot indoctrinate into atheism!

when i was adopting my youngest (albeit abroad) there was no concern at all that he would be brought up as in a christian home even though his own birth family background is Taoist. but am confident it might well have been an issue had i adopted him in the UK.


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5Be the first user to support this

It depends on your lifestyle. I have friends who are very deeply involved in the church - he is the pastor of one of those quite evangelical churches. I doubt they would be approved as adopters because of their attitudes to things like homosexuality, corporal punishment, role of women, attitudes to people who 'sin'... They are not very positive about other religions either. They are very black and white in their attitudes and social workers can find that difficult to work with. Flexibility is key. Basically it's not their Christianity which would be a problem per se but their extreme interpretation of it and how it impacts their lives and how this would in turn affect any children placed. I think you have to think about how your faith impacts your life and how you will be able to explain this to social workers.


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49 users have supported this.

Funnily enough after expecting to be asked a lot about it, we weren't really. It probably came up as a 'sideline' question about how we would instil values into our children, whether we would allow them to make their own choices/decisions with regard to religion, sexuality etc.


It didn't come up at the approval panel at all, except in the context of support network. It didn't come up at the first meeting with siblings' SW either.


I believe that SWs will take the birth family's preferences into consideration, so if they are dead set against a child being placed in a religious family, that is noted (though of course, their concerns are not given huge priority in the grand scheme of things).


I know three Christian couples who have successfully adopted, and I am sure there are countless more. It will depend on how beliefs are worked out in day-to-day life.


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58 users have supported this.

We've been approved but do not have a child placed with us yet. Our sw was quite supportive of our faith. We were asked at panel what would we do if our teenage child didn't want to go to church, but others were also asked the same about camping etc so it didn't appear to be anti faith. After panel the panel chair told us her day job was as a vicar & the medical advisor came to give us a hug & tell us she was also a christian. She liked how our faith shone through the whole of our PAR. So I agree with welshblue it just depends how your faith works on a day to day basis.


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54 users have supported this.

That's great that some of you have had positive experiences, but please don't think that is so for everyone.

It really does depend on the individuals concerned and their attitudes, on both sides (and yes, I am a practicing Christian)


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42 users have supported this.

I'm not sure anyone did say it was the same for anyone. Sorry, but I'm feeling a bit worn down by some of the discussions on these boards - we can only share experiences as there is no 100% matter-of-fact answer on many of these issues - they're open to interpretation and the discretion of the professionals involved. Not trying to have a go, or say that we shouldn't look from all angles, but all we can do is share our own experiences or just stay silent.


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4Be the first user to support this

Welshblue, not getting at anyone, just balancing the ----excellent---positive experiences. I have also had lots of positive, but also lots of negative attitudes in my 27 years as a FC, so, as I say, just trying to balance,


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63 users have supported this.

BTW, birth parents ARE allowed to specify religion - it's the one area where they are allowed to do this and they often do, just to have some control. My girls' bps said they were not to go to a Catholic family for example, even though they were not remotely religious. And we got the girls because we are not Catholic.


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6Be the first user to support this

Indeed. I believe the thinking behind it is about what happens when the child(ren) reach adulthood, and possibly look to reconnect. There have been instances of families disowning birth children because of the religion they were brought up in. Mind you, that doesn't account much for a child choosing (or rejecting) a faith on their own, which is precisely how we will parent anyway.


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4Be the first user to support this

Yeah I get that. Sorry, being oversensitive :)


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53 users have supported this.

Have you heard of "Home For Good". It's a project by a group of Christian charities to encourage more people from faith communities to adopt or foster. Part of the project is to support prospective carers negotiate the prejudices against Christian carers. Generally speaking, I think social work departments welcome them, but many people are put off for exactly the reasons you mention.


Home for Good has just put in place regional support co-ordinators (I'm the Scottish one) to support people considering adopting/fostering and supporting those who already do.


Please look at www.homeforgood.org.uk and if you get in touch with them they could maybe point you to someone local to help answer your questions.

Bx


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58 users have supported this.

there are some Christian based adoption agencies still....


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43 users have supported this.

Our experience was that social workers can have quite stereotyped ideas about what a Christian is. So they can be concerned that you will be intolerant of other faiths, lifestyles, especially about sexuality and so on. On the other hand SW do see that some churches provide a good support network which can be a great help to adopters.


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49 users have supported this.

Our experience was that social workers can have quite stereotyped ideas about what a Christian is. So they can be concerned that you will be intolerant of other faiths, lifestyles, especially about sexuality and so on. On the other hand SW do see that some churches provide a good support network which can be a great help to adopters.


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52 users have supported this.

We were lucky to have a fantastic SW who really took time to understand 'what kind' of Christians we are and what are views are about various things, then carefully prepared us for the questions we might get at panel eg. If we're against homosexuality etc. We did get asked about 'what if they don't want to go to church' and we said they'd be coming with us just as they'd be coming shopping with us etc... then when they get to the age when they may be able to stay at home we'd negotiate it depending on circumstances. We pushed home the fact that we believe it's a personal choice anyway, rather than something you are/have automatically from your upbringing., but that we'd love the child no matter what.

There are certain LA's that are more militant about political correctness than others... and we were anecdotally advised by friends to avoid one LA in particular as we'd be put to bottom of list. We went to a VA.


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38 users have supported this.

We are a mixed couple here I am practising Christian involved in our local church and community and my husband is an atheist, our SW wanted to know how our relationship worked and how we would bring our child up. We explained that whilst they were young they would go to church with me or stay at home with hubby if he was around and when older would be allowed to choose. As my church already has adopters from the agency there they say it as a good support.


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49 users have supported this.

We had a positive experience.

I have PMed you


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42 users have supported this.

We're not a religious family so I can't comment on the process for a Christian family. But can give an example of how it affected us when matching. We were one of two families considered for a child by our LA (ie the one who had assessed us - in fact the only child that came up from our LA during almost two years post approval)


There was mention in the birth family of being church goers, so naturally we pointed this out and were assured that it was NOT a matching consideration (since I don't think ss was convinced by the bf's claim). There were issues we worried over re the child - one being that the bf family lived very close to us - but ss felt that that was workable. Anyway we decided we would go ahead if we could - only to be turned down as the other prospective family ' went to church'!!?!


You just can't predict what will and won't affect a match.


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5Be the first user to support this

Does anyone have any experience, or views, about adopting as a single Christian? It's just a door I'm vaguely pushing at the moment; I strongly feel that I have a role to fill as a mother, but I'm not in a relationship and do not have any children of my own.


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54 users have supported this.

What's your concern? Lots of singlys adopt, lots of people of all faiths adopt, so can't see there is a particular problem in being a single Christian. What I would say to everyone is to approach a number of agencies and find one you are comfortable with. SWs are human, they have their own views on life, some still aren't quite on board with the single thing, but like most prejudices I think this is becoming less so. Do a lot of research into the children in the care system. Go to the single adopters board, there are a number of good threads there. Be honest with yourself about what you can handle. There are some very challenging children out there. I'm a single adopter and do believe that some children, need a two parent family, sometimes if only for the fact that their needs are so great that someone has to be at home full time and someone needs to earn an income. For others like my son, there is a good reason why a single female adopter was the best option. It's not that he doesn't have any issues, he has ASD and moderate learning difficulties, and I can manage to work part time but it is hard. At the moment I am in dispute with the LEA about two issues affecting his education. I really could do with a month off work to focus in it and get it sorted but that's not going to happen. But my son is happy and thriving and we have a good life together


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52 users have supported this.

There are lots of christian sw locally so definitely not a problem round here as church is seen as a real positive support network for fc and adopters. Our church is supportive of the Home for Good organisationand we recently did a promotion for our la adopter / foster carers.


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