Looking for some advice

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I'm still relatively young (only now turning 21) but I allways wanted to be a parent. I think it comes from babysitting my nieces and nephews. My friends and family are also very supportive. Im single but I don't smoke or even drink alcohol and I'm rarely if ever sick. I am employed and I have family who live really close to me that could watch the child while im at work at least untill school comes along. I live in rented accommodation but tge rent is easily affordable for me. Ive put alot of thought into this but im worried my age might make people not take me seriously. I'm just wondering if its realistic for me to consider adoption?

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In theory you can adopt at 21. In reality adopters tend to be older so I imagine you may well find it difficult to be assessed right now. Fewer children in the system means it's very competitive at the moment.

Think about space. Do you have a spare bedroom?

Age of child?

What additional needs would you be prepared to consider?

Adoption leave- how much time off are you able to take? 6 months? 12 months?

Childcare experience - what experience other than babysitting family do you have?

Future relationships? Would you be prepared to not have any for a long time?

Social life - will be non existent for quite some time!

Financial security? Savings?

How much do you understand about adoption and the children in the system? Trauma? Their complexities?

Why now?!!

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I do have a spare room. And ive spoken to my employer and she says I would be entitled to leave as ive worked there for two years now. I also have some savings in the range of £2-3000 atm. Ive no immediate intention of finding a partner anytime soon and as for a social life, aside from a few close friends I dont really have much of one.

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Ring around. Go to some information evenings. Find out more about the process and the children who need families. Think about the sort of children you feel you could parent, what abilities or disabilities, and get some childcare experience. It's likely you will be asked to do that - babysitting nieces and nephews is often not considered enough. Think schools, cubs, special needs clubs, contact centres, nurseries etc etc.

Good luck

8 users have supported this.

I think Donatella has given you some excellent advice - keep researching and getting relavant experience and build your safety net (support network, finances etc)

I'd recommend reading posts by adopters on here, especially older adopters, to get a better understanding of some of the issues you could be facing - it will turn your life upside down....

One other avenue that might be worth exploring is fostering - we did respite fostering to begin with taking kids for weekends and it gave us great experience and was something we knew we could easily walk away from if we decided it wasn't for us longer term - and it wasn't, we chose to adopt!

Good luck!

PS If your username is your real name, I'd recommend changing it via Admin - these posts are open for all to see.....

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just to add to Donatella's advice and writing as a singly

Ok your employer has confirmed that you can have adoption leave, but what about pay? Do they offer an enhanced package? Statutory pay is peanuts and will no where near cover your costs. You would need significant savings.

Support network, you say you have family but are you absolutely sure that they could provide full time childcare?

Being a single adopter is hard. For me, its not about the practicalities of parenting, the cooking, cleaning etc. Its the weight of responsibility. All the decisions fall to me. At the end of the day, literally, you close the door and its just you and them.

Be prepared for Social workers to question your motivations. Its perfectly natural to want to be a parent, but being an adoptive parent is completely different. They are likeky to question why you dont want to have a child with a partner.

Personally I'd say whats the rush? You have plenty of time. I'm glad I'd lived a bit before I adopted, travelled, estsblished a career and so on. Theres lots you can do over the next few years that will make you more attractive to social workers so waiting a bit wouldnt be time wasted.

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Thanks for all the great advice. I'm definitely researching this alot and looking at the information evenings. Ive only recently started considering this as an option. having one with a partner isnt really an option for me though.

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