Mental health

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My wife and I are prospective adopters and have our initial home visit from our LA SW in a couple of weeks.

I have been reading and researching as much as possible about the process, and heard something today (from a colleague who adopted four years ago) that has me worried. I have a history of depression associated with the illness and death of my father and was told that I would need to be free from anti-depressant medication for at least a year before I would be considered as an adopter?

Does anyone know if this is definitely the case? I am still taking medication daily but my mental health has been stable for the last 2 and a half years. In fact, thanks to counselling and a lots of self help I'm the healthiest physically and mentally I have ever been in my life! Do you think I will be given a chance to explain this or will I be automatically discounted?

Incidentally, my wife and I have been together for 14 years and have 2 wonderful children aged 21 and 18.

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated Smile

11 users have supported this.

A friend of mine was strongly encouraged to stop taking anti-depressants before going through Panel. She then suffered from very serious post adoption depression and has been told that she should probably stay on anti depressants for life.

I think that social workers need to be better informed about mental health than they are. That doesn't much help you, though.

Don't try and hide your mental health issues but show them how you can that you have support systems in place and how you manage your mental health. Be willing to have an independent assessment.

13 users have supported this.

The fact you manage your medical heal well and are actively using the support avaliable can be seen as a positive. We turn the question on it head at approval panel and made it clear we believe a person should take whatever support they can when dealing with a condition whether it be medical health or physical disability. Most children who have been in care will need some support in the future.

Social Workers will have different views on medical conditions and if you do not feel the LA understood your position I would strongly suggest talking with other agencies or LAs.

7 users have supported this.

I don't think anyone is automatically discounted and the fact that you have recognised the problem and what brought it on - and have had counselling to deal with it will go a long way. The fact you are on anti-depressants may be an issue for discussion - and they will also be aware that if you have experienced problems before you might be susceptible again as adoption is a high risk activity and will make you (or anyone) vulnerable. If you can show that you are aware of when you will need to seek help and will do so again and also what you could do to deal with problems before you reach this stage I think you will be ok. The important thing is to be open and honest and able to reflect on your life experiences - not to be perfect - and if one agency doesn't seem keen try another!

7 users have supported this.

Thank you all for your advice and positive comments, it's very much appreciated Smile

I had a lovely chat the other day with the manager of a VA who explained that the 'free of medication for a year' rule was no longer applicable, and that (as some of you had rightly said) assessment is done on an individual basis.

With this in mind, I'm now even more positive about next week's visit from the SW.

Thank you again Smile

4 users have supported this.

I am currently on anti-depressants too, also since the death and long illness of my father and even though I was told that I should look into coming off them before being placed, I didn't and my husband and I have adopted 2 boys.

I think as long as you can show that you can still function normally and that being on the anti-depressants help you then all should be fine.

Be careful of post-adoption depression though, as this is also common if you suffer from depression, but like post-natal depression, there are health professionals that can help with this.

3 users have supported this.