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Realistic chances?

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In 6 months me and my husband are going to contact an adoption agency in regards to adoting a sibling group of two age 3 or under. I looked on loads of websites and decided on an adoption agency we like but I cant help but have a nagging feeling that it's all going to go wrong. What kind of problems have other couples gone through during the adoption process and does being a gay couple affect our chances?


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Hello,


I would strongly suggest reading some blogs by LGBTQ adopters which I am sure will settle some of your concern. The reality is that LGBTQ people can and do adopt and most I believe feel that we are treated the same way everyone else is.


Also a really really good community for support going throught the adoption process for LGBTQ people is New Family Social. We join about a year before offically starting the adoption process and it massively put our concerns at ease.


You may also want to explore personally why you feel things will go wrong and this may be picked up on by your Social Worker.


I can honestly say being gay had absolutely no negative effect on us being able to adopt a child. In some way i feel extra steps where taken to make up free more welcome.


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The agency we've chosen is a member of new family social and is one of the main reasons we decided to apply with them when the time comes. I've seen so much on the internet about couples told they have no children suitable for them and my sister recently told us she had been rejected to foster for the same reason.


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10% of UK adoptions in 2016 were by LGBT adopters. Gay and trans people can and DO adopt children.


Like me, there are LOTS of gay adopters on AUK and I would echo above, join New Family Social for extra support as same sex adopters.


There are many challenges along the journey to adoption but your sexuality shouldn't be one of them and it is illegal to discriminate on that basis. Good luck!


(Typing this while my one year old eats lunch!)


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The only thing I would add to the comments above is that you may have to be flexible about the children you look for. Two children under 3 is quite specific. You may well have to wait if that's what you want. So just be open to the children who are out there looking for a new family.


good luck


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We've gone with LA adopion and are a female same sex couple.


As you, very worried when we started out but honestly the things I worry about now are to do with being a good prospective parent and not to do with being LGBTQ.


On our prep course there were two other same sex couples (both male) and at no point did we ever feel discriminated against or 'less' than the other people in the room.


Of course it will come up and 'explored' (how the SW likes to put it!) but just be sure of yourselves and confident - even if perhaps you're not 100% there yet.


If you do find yourselves feeling like you're being singled out or told you will have longer to wait as heterosexual couples are chosen first (yep, I've heard that!) then that's discrimination and fight it.


All the best in your decision to adopt x


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Hi! When we were on our stage one training courses our LA said same sex male couples were viewed very positively. They specifically mentioned that gay men have already dealt with their fertility issues, many many moons ago which is a good thing. They said they don't have the same wistful thinking that might come with a diagnosis of infertility which usually comes as more of a surprise to heterosexual couples who anticipate having biological children. They were so positive in fact I wondered if myself (female) and husband might actually be disadvantaged haha. As an aside, there were two same sex male couples and 4 heterosexual couples on our course.


This is obviously just our experience and LA's view but I hope that gives you some comfort.


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Hi

We are a gay male married couple who adopted our kids 8 years ago, please don't show your reservations to sw re" does being a gay couple affect our chances?" they may raise an unnecessary issue with this as they may see the question as being you not totally accepting of your sexuality if that makes sense? Of course in all walks of life including social services their will be discrimination in all forms of the word but ss like to think they are above and beyond that so they may take umbrage to you showing concerns that their may be.We had it in the form from our children sw as she wanted to know "who will play the part of mum and who will be dad?" Be positive about yourselves,your life and all things affecting it.


Good luck


Westi x


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Thanks for the advice, also we are very much aware that many children in the care system come with complications and although we would prefer children without them we are more than prepared to take on a child with a disability to a degree. My husband has a friend that is deaf and after meeting him we discussed about whether we felt we could adopt a deaf child which then turned into a discussion about fetal alcohol syndrome, missing limbs and blindness. Iv'e worked as a carer for disabled adults and always felt that I couldn't adopt a child that had a condition which involved long term or permanant care as I have now met several individuals with serious conditions in there late 50's that still require full time care and have no family to provide it. In the end we decided that as long as the disability doesn't seriously affect the child's quality of life we would consider any disability the social worker presented us with and make decisions on a "case by case" basis


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Hi jackworth. I don't think being gay affects your chances at all - but as others have said, having a narrow age criteria might. I also wanted to say that we wanted our kids to be able to be independent adults - that was our benchmark. We adopted two amazing siblings and I suspect one of them has some form of FAS, probably mild Alcohol Related Neurological Disorder and we do wonder about her ability to live (well) independently. Mostly because she has dyscalculia and really poor executive functioning (organisational skills). Having really wanted kids who would be independent grown ups, we've adjusted our thinking a bit to feel that our eldest will may well live independently, but will probably need (and want) to be close to us for the odd bit of extra support. I'm very happy with that and will make sure she has the support she needs in place before I get too old (though I'm planning to live an extraordinarily long time!).


One thing about adopting older kids - especially ones who are already at school, is that you get a much clearer idea what their difficulties are. Many issues (especially alcohol related) really don't show up until they start formal schooling. Developmental delays can't really be gauged in the very early years either- a child may appear to be meeting their milestones, but things can change - or vice versa. Our girl's dyscalulia was diagnosed very late as she had a teaching assistant in foster care who felt sorry for her, so she used to prompt her far too much and it looked like our AD was much more able than she was. We adopted her the week after her 9th birthday and it was immediately obvious to me something was very wrong - there's a long story after that, but we got there in the end!


Best of luck. You sound like you're doing all the right thinking and you'll make great parents.

Hx


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I probably should have mentioned before hand, me and my husband are 24, I will be 25 when we apply with the agency, and that in itself is a major driving point for the age group we've chosen as neither of us feel we're at an appropriate age to parent an older child.


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Like others I would caution against setting out with a very narrow age criteria; it will hugely reduce matching opportunities when approved and even before that you may find an agency is less interested in you with a narrow age criteria. Realistically you are likely to be 27 before you are placed with children so setting out with a 0-5 criteria will give you much more appeal as a prospect and more flexibility in matching - think of it in terms of you not missing out on being shown a 4 yo and a 6 mo pair which might be a perfect match which wouldn't necessarily be shown to you if you are adamant about an upper age cut off.

In terms of abilities and disabilities, it would be reasonable to suggest that most children needing adoption have some degree of special need. Many are the invisible variety which are often every bit as challenging as those visible difficulties, and in terms of getting recognition and accessing supportive services, more so. Most adoptive parents find themselves thrust reluctantly into the role of advocate and counsellor to their adopted children and its a role that carries on into adulthood. Those adoptees from care who go on to do well socially and academically are out there but they are in the minority. Most of our children need a special brand of parenting which continues when those wiyh birth kids are drying their tears as their kids head off to uni. Our kids may be negotiating the world of adolescent mental health services, struggling to get invisible needs acknowledged and supported in high school and a fair few will be venturing into the world of youth justice. These ARE the realities you may have to face in your 40s as adoptive parents, so all of a sudden a child with a diagnosed disability doesnt look such a bad prospect. Most of us now need to face the fact that our adoptees are likely to be dependent to some degree (often emotionally and financially) well into their 20s and beyond; it will be a different trajectory from those friends you have with birth kids.


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I randomly came across this the other day while looking for something entirely different! It's Scottish, but I think it's a fair assessment of how things really are for adoptive parents and their children. And all credit to the LA for being so realistic!


https://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/support-for-childre...


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