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My wife was diagnosed with Diplopia (double vision) and we've been put on hold by our adoption agency.

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My wife had to have major surgery to remove a cavernoma from her cerebellum back in May 17 and had further surgery in June but has since been on a steady road to recovery. In September she had an appointment with her consultant to review her case and was given the all clear (a cavernoma is not cancerous by the way). The consultant referred my wife for an eye examination (mild double vision) so she could get her driving license back from DVLA. He also referred her for physiotherapy (some mild balance issues) and speech and language because she had some trouble with a couple of words.

Now to the issue of the adoption agency, once they were made aware of her surgery we were put on hold pending the consultants report, a medical and the agency's medical advisors assessment (we were approved in Sep 16). Because the referrals are mentioned in the consultants' report, which also stated he saw no reason for any further delay to the adoption process, the adoption agency are refusing to take us off hold until the eye examination has been conducted! My wife is back at work, driving and functioning at the level she did before her surgery. We have spent nearly 20 months on hold altogether since starting our adoption journey and feel like every hurdle that can be found is being placed in our way, we're close to giving up on ever having children completely and losing faith in the adoption process.

Surely if my wife can work and drive and do all the things she did before she can parent a child????


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Your post is a little confusing. Are you still waiting for the eye examination? If so, your wife shouldn't be driving. I think it's reasonable after having major surgery to wait until you get the all clear from everybody, including opthalmology.

The surgeries were only may/June this year so why have you been held back for 20 months?


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As I understand it your wife had surgery in May and June this year - quite serious surgery as on the brain? Since then the consultant has asked for further tests to be done due to remaining symptoms - sight for double vision, physiotherapy and speech and language - very sensible and I presume she and you would not have been happy if he / she had not done so and something significant was missed. Your adoption journey so far has taken 20mths and the original medicals were fine but the agency wants to wait until these further tests are completed. Whilst frustrating this seems entirely sensible and presumably once these tests are completed if everything is fine then you will be ready to go ahead. Unless there are other things it does not sound like they are putting one hurdle after another in your way and that the delays are all related to the same (presumably unpredictable) medical condition. I don't know why you might lose faith in the process - if you look at it from any agency wanting to place children with you it is entirely sensible - but don't give up - you are almost there and hopefully once the further tests show there is nothing major and your wife starts the therapies and begins to make improvements in these remaining small areas you can go ahead and start your family. Good luck!


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We were on hold for a year after my wife's former employer gave her a less than favourable reference. In total our journey has taken almost four years. My wife is able to drive under sect 88 of the road traffic act 1988 (look it up), the consultant had originally told her to hand in her license but on the follow up appointment told us that her condition had no risk of blackouts or seizures so she could have kept it. She works, she drives and she functions normally day in, day out. We just can't understand why, after a specialist in neurosurgery has given us the all clear an agency medical advisor is holding us up.


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Because the medical advisor will be considering the impact on any child placed with you rather than what you and your wife feel she is capable of right now. The neuro bod isn’t an expert in adoptive parenting presumably? The medical advisor and sws will have more of an idea of the impact a traumatised child may well have on you as a family.


It’s rare I think - not come across it before - for the process that he halted because of an employer’s reference. Presumably whatever the issue was has now been completely resolved to everyone’s satisfaction?


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Ps - if these are your real names you may want to consider changing them to make yourself less identifiable?


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Neurosurgeons are incredibly amazing bods at fishing around in people's heads but are not always the best to comment on things outside of their sphere. Rarely a week goes by that I don't find myself mitigating something theyve told a parent or family or asked them not to speak in absolutes to families who are desperate for reassurance.

Your wife has probably been cleared to resume normal life by the neurosurgeons. The LAs medical advisor has a very different agenda; finding fit, healthy, and hopefully long-term fit and well, people to be able to cope with the very real demands of adoptive parenting. I think with that agenda it would be an unusual agency which didnt want a year to pass from such serious surgery to be sure rehabilitation was secure. Brains take a fair bit of time to recover from insults and invasive interventions.

If you've stuck with it this far then why now pull back? You have shown resilience so far, why break that now? This is the sort of dogged resilience youll need when you're battling in the education, health or mental health services on behalf of your future children.

It sounds like your wife is doing great in her rehab, hopefully the word-finding issues, balance and diplopia will continue to improve. Have you asked how long ophthalmology appointment will be - they should be able to give you a ball park timescale; hopefully not too far into next year.

Id stick with it and grow your patience and resilience, it will stand you in good stead for managing your future children's needs.


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you know sometimes things happen for a reason. It took me four years to get through, my amazing young man wasn't ready for adoption until shortly before I was finally approved. Its felt unfair and incredibly frustrating at the time, but I believe our paths crossed when they were meant to. It might sound a bit fanciful but having come out the other side its how I feel.

Why give up now when you have come so far ?


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I stand by what I said before - your wife shouldn't be driving. I work in a neurosurgical unit that carry out op's like this all the time and we would always say it's not safe to drive with double vision. Legally you can continue to drive under that section of the road traffic act but only if you're fit and how can she be with double vision??

Hopefully your ophthalmology appt won't be too long. You could try ringing the secretaries to ask for cancellations if you've been waiting a while.

Lots of people have encountered delays for various reasons on their adoption journey and it is a very difficult, frustrating time. Stick with it though as it is all worth it in the end xx


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