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Hello we are just wondering when they are talking about savings how much do they expect you to have ?


We have never had savings as such apart from when saving up for holidays weddings Christmas etc so just wanting to know we have a birth son that is 22 that is no longer living at home so understand the cost of having a child in general.


We understand that we have to be able to provide a stable and secure home which we have for our lad and would continue to do for any adoptive son or daughter.


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Usually questions around finances are trying to establish how you would manage if the needs of your child meant you had to reduce your income in some way - savings are one aspect of this.


Often adopted children have needs over and above those of birth children (for a number of reasons) and parents sometimes have to give up work, reduce hours or take on a less demanding job, so SW want to know how you would cope in such a scenario.


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just to add to Bops comments, they will want to know how you will fund one of you having a decent amount of adoption leave.


Aside from my mortgage, I had a home improvement loan and only a few thousand in savings. However I had extremely generous adoption leave, 6 months full pay and three months half pay, and as a single adopter, if I had to drop hours it would put me into tax credits, so having high savings wasnt so much of an issue


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We don't have a lot of savings either, I'm not sure many people do these days. Our social worker said we'd need thousands. Not sure how many thousands but she said it would need to be enough to cover my12 months adoption leave, which makes sense i suppose.


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We don't have a lot of savings either, I'm not sure many people do these days. Our social worker said we'd need thousands. Not sure how many thousands but she said it would need to be enough to cover my12 months adoption leave, which makes sense i suppose.


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We don't have a lot of savings either, I'm not sure many people do these days. Our social worker said we'd need thousands. Not sure how many thousands but she said it would need to be enough to cover my12 months adoption leave, which makes sense i suppose.


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We didn't have any savings, had quite a bit of debt on credit cards, but we did have a second property which had a lot of equity and could be sold if necessary. It was an issue and was noted on our PAR but it didn't cause a problem at approval panel.


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It’s surprising how much you need!

My wife had 11 months off work. And we had savings between 5/6k. With no debt. During this 11 months our boiler broke and storm Doris ruined a lot of fance panels. This meant 2k went within 4 months !

We spent to lot over the course of the 11 months. It’s surprising how much you spent! You will want to do things with your child which result in money especially later on. Also remember if your child is going to nursery at the end of leave you will have to pay up front for first month. We had a few nights away at the seaside. And bought a lot of xmas presents because my wife was going back to work on reduced hours. And we had to buy powdered milk becasue our daughter was quite young this and nappies aren’t cheap. The child benefit helps £80 a month but can take 3 months to kick in.

It’s hard to save in this day and age but you will never be as well of as you are now. So save save save. You don’t know what might happen whilst your off. Car maintenance household etc.


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The answer is that you do not need any savings. Just have enough money to support your child and yourselves in whatever circumstances you find yourself. I would say income is more important than savings.

Also, there is no shame in being a stay at home parent, not earning an income, if you have a means of support for you and the child such as a spouse. Savings are an odd way to support yourself and children because they only go in one direction, away! Income from work or investments is far better as it replenishes but what do I know? I don't have the steely eyed financial acumen of a Social Worker.


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ford, the point is though that the average adopter probably dosent have the income as you describe to get through an extended period of adoption leave.


I was, and am, very lucky, particularly as a single adopter. I am by no means a 'high' earner but I did earn slightly above average. I also had the massive advantage of having civil service terms and conditions, full pay for 6 months, half pay for 3. So I only needed savings to cover me for the last three months. I then had the good fortune to receive a very generous adoption allowance. So I had enough income.


But not many people have my terms and conditions, indeed if I adopted again, at the same workplace, the contract has changed and I would only get 4 months full pay, 2 months on half and 6 on staturory, which is still a lot more than many. It sounds like adoption allowances are like gold dust these days.


I get the impression that both you and your wife are high earners, and possibly have income from business investments, the abilty to down size lifestyles is a lot easier when you are starting from a higher level. For most people some level of savings is needed to get through adoption leave.


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Hello thank you for your comments myself and husband both work full and are on good wages I would be very lucky that I get 6 months full pay and 3 months at 90% and the last 3 month at half pay of my wage for adoption leave our social worker has said that our outgoings are fine but if we reduce our credit cards to 0 and have savings to cover the initial outlay it would be beneficial we would be want to contuine to work full time with our adoptive child going to a childminder full time obviously if things didn't go to plan and one of us had to reduce our hours we would have to get by we have lived on 1 wage before for 12 months when I was made redundant and survived so we would again they know what they are looking for and a figure they have to mind so why can't they say realistic you need to have an income of £??? Savings of £??? And if you need to reduce hours/give up work you can't go below £??? Feel like they only give you half the information if we save £5000 are thy going back and say well £10000 would be better we know the more the better but we could go on and on.

Thank you for any help.


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Ford Prefect - most SWs would expect a level of savings as a buffer, as what happens if the working partner loses their job/cannot work?


I was (am) a stay at home parent and our income is DHs earnings, but the needs of our children meant he had taken a much less well paid job with greater flexibility and has had a couple of periods of not working - savings have enabled us to get through the bare patches.


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I don't think its possible for them to give you absolute numbers though, because what you need depends on your outgoings.


Mortgages and rent vary enormously. If my mortgage is £1000 a month, my council tax £100 a month and say £200 for other bills, I would need £7,800 to cover my fixed costs for 6 months adoption leave, from income or savings. But if I have a mortgage of £500, council tax of £50 a month and £150 utilities, then I only need £5200.


I haven't included running a car in this because I don't have one and have no idea of costs.


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Bop.

Me too. I gave up a career, look after the children and live off my wife. I only went back to part time work two years in.

We didn’t have any savings at the point of adoption but had good incomes and good investments.

I guess what is going on in the back of my mind when I read these frequently recouring threads on finances is that this requirement to have thousands in savings and no debt seems to be getting traction with LAs and the advice they give prospects. The problem is that to truly be in that position at the point of adoption is not realistic for most families and is not necessary. It makes adoption a middle class pastime which should not be the reality in the U.K. where we do not pay for the children. This seems to be becoming a limiting factor for working class people as in other countries where a huge fee keeps the working class out of the game.


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Far from downsizing , we had to expand ( by converting an attic) when we adopted our second child. To get the first one we had to manage to get a two bedroom place ( one for us, one for child) We are still in debt to this day from adopting, thanks to this. It would have been nice to even have any other investments but our earning capacity was never more than enough to live off and maybe a thousand or so in savings by careful effort. Hubby was in a shared house down south, pre marriage to me, which was caught by the negative equity situation a few years back, and when prices eventually came up he just got what he paid for it. My first flat price flatlined and I only just covered costs of moving and paying the fees when I finally got it sold, due again to the market flattening out. Since our parents all came from council houses we never inhereted and did pretty well to get on the housing market when we did, thanks to a 100 per cent mortgage, and despite it never giving us any readies we do at least have security of the roof over our heads, if we can manage to keep paying it down. Younger folks now don't even have such mortgages as the banks are now more wary.

We just told the social workers we couldn't afford to stop for a long leave and they accepted that. We were adopting school age children so it was not a problem, I too got a fairly generous adoption leave from working in an educational establishment. But I still couldn't afford to go onto half pay so came back after full amount dropped.

If you have been working and providing for a son all these years I think you have proved your ability to provide a stable environment financially. For your own sake I would double check outgoing are as good as you can get them, and save a bit of money if you can, it's always useful for a rainy day, but I would be surprised if it would make any difference to your application to adopt.


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Serrakunda.


Or you could have paid adoption leave at 90% of salary for 1 year like my wife’s company and not have to worry about savings at all. This is the slant of my initial post of the advice being arbitrary and in lots of cases being unnecessary


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Thats just life though isnt it.


I know lots of people who have limited their ( birth ) children because they can't afford to have more. I come from a very working class family, I don't know if having degrees and being a civil servant elevates me to the middle classes, but I woudnt have another child now because it would severely limit the opportunities I could give to my existing child.


and adoption leave benefits on the level I had or 90% for 12 months are the exception. I used to work in the third sector where I would only have got statutory pay. No enhancements of any kind. I loved that job, I miss it desparately, I moved to the civil service soley for the adoption leave package, but I had been in the civil service for 18 years prior to my foray into the voluntary sector, so I had expreience. Again a great advantage.


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I wonder whether maybe this could be about them challenging your assumptions /expectations about what will happen post placement. You say you both intend to return to work full time and place your child with a childminder. That might be list fir a securely attached birth child but it’s not necessarily going to work with an adopted child. You’ve raised a birth child so you’re aware of his expensive they can be ... but if your return to work is delayed or even impossible then it’ll be a long term reduction or loss of a salary. Not a short term loss.


Can you work out a budget? One based on both incomes and including childcare costs and one based on one income, excluding childcare costs but including the additional expenditure you will have to make - food, heating, water, clothing etc.


I’d also bear in mind that if you have made it clear that you are both returning to full time work then they may not too favourably on it - and when it comes to matching, if one set of prospective parents have said they’ll be flexible and you’ve not made that clear, then all other things being equal, family finder may well opt for the other adopters.


It’s not straightforward but ultimately you have to make yourself as attractive an option as possible.


Just maybe something else to throw into the mix?


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Ford prefect - I don't think you read my second post?


I am talking about situations where you have no income for a while - when neither partner are able to work due to the needs of the child/ren... its good financial planning for all to have a buffer and since the risks are higher in adoption, it becomes even more important.


I am really glad to hear that your wife got 90% pay through her adoption leave and after a couple of years you were able to return to work part time - sadly that is now how it pans out for many adopters. You say you have no savings but have investments - surely investments are savings - money you could draw on/take an income from if you needed it?


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Yes I do fully understand what you are saying but the advice to have thousands saved and no debt is not necessary for everyone as I have demonstrated. It is however a cause of much anxiety to prospects when their SW announces they need to be in that position as the increasing number of threads on the subject identifies.

It is not the case that you need thousands in savings and no debt to adopt. It is the case that the advice from SWs suggests only the well off need apply.


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We did have a reasonable buffer in savings when we started as we knew that would cover the reduced income of me being off for up to a year - I had 6 weeks full, 20 weeks half + statutory & 13 week statutory - last 13 weeks were completely unpaid. However as it happened I did go back after 9 months (well I took 43 weeks of in total as crossed leave years so used 2 weeks form each year as I got my full entitlement) but we have in adoption terms an 'easy' child (not so much these days 4 years in but his issues did not emerge till school). We always had planned if Sqk needed one of us at home DH would locum and work evenings & weekends - as he in a profession that can do that.


Our buffer was considerably down when I went back - and we are still paying off the credit card debt we built up (been on 0% interest rate) 3.5 years after I went back to work. However we are living comfortably and have since we adopted changed both cars & brought a caravan (actually on second one) plus had some house work done. Our savings are getting back up to pre adoption levels. However I should say we do have a decent joint income and could have paid of credit card debt already - just decided to keep money in savings as it is costing us nothing in interest terms.


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I don't think that SWs are saying that you need to be well off. I wouldnt have called myself well off when I adopted, the wolf isnt at the door now, but only because I am still holding down a half decent job and get adoption allowance. If I lost my job for any reason I would be in trouble within months.

When I did decide to adopt, I waited for two years to find that job, to sort out debt, to make sure I could support a child without having to resort to credit card or payday loans to put food on the table.

Thats all they want, stable finances, no unmanable debt, the means to fund adoption leave, for most of us without investments and generous employment benefits, that means savings


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I have to say I don't see anywhere that I've said you need to be wealthy to adopt or thousands in savings? The finance questions in adoption assessment are about understanding how adopters would cope with a significantly reduced income if the needs of their children lead to that - be that adoption leave or later on - its about where you priorities lie, how you manage the money you do have, how you would cope with the unexpected...


If you are living life on the edge financially, then you might need to reassess and make changes, and its usually easier to make changes before a child arrives than when you are dealing with all that becoming an adoptive parent entails.


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Ok. No one is saying anyone on this forum is saying anything except what is being reported by OPs in several threads recently. They are being worried unnecessarily by SWs telling them that they need savings and in other threads that what appears to be small and manageable amounts of debt may be a problem.

This is simply not the case. This is also a phenomenon which seems to be reported more frequently by prospects, although I agree that there are some whose finances fall way short of what is required, for many it will not be a problem.

The implication is that only those who are better off can adopt, which is simply not true. The concentration on debt and savings should not be a factor, instead affordability and how you achieve that should be the main consideration.

The implication is clear. If you are debt free and have several thousand in savings, then you are at the better off end of the population.


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Or maybe it’s the case that social workers are recognising that the children in the care system now are rather complex and are highly likely to require an entirely different type of parenting. Parenting that may well cost both financially and emotionally? The ASF is available to some, not to others. In my experience children often become more complex as they get older and their needs become more apparent. Maybe what sws are doing is trying to encourage adopters to think about long term implications of adoption


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its obvious if you are debt free and have some savings you are better off financially than someone who has thousands of pounds of debt and no savings


I don't think prospective adopters are being uneccessarily about financial issues. Prospective adopters worry full stop. If its not money, its BMI, or an ex partner, or mental health problems or any number of things.


Surely its only prudent to ensure as far as possible that prospective adopters can actually afford a child. Its stressful enough without money worries. I don't see why that should be seen as a problem


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Not if it makes adoption accessible to the better off only, that just seems wrong.


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so you would be happy for already vulnerable children to be placed with financially unstable families which cannot afford them,


you seem to be equating being financially stable with being 'better off' and middle class. There are many families who manage on low incomes, without racking up huge debts. They cut their cloth, don't run cars, live in small houses, don't have foreign holidays, but can still provide a good home for children.


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I agree on your second point Serrakunda, no one should be discriminated against based on wealth but that is exactly what is being reported.


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OP - this is not aimed at you


No-one has a god given right to have a child and most people would ensure they’re financially in a position to have a baby. My sister waited for 9 years before having her first because they couldn’t afford it before then - and even then she went back to work, very part time, within a couple of months. Luckily she had two sets of hands on grandparents and a securely attached baby.


I really don’t see that this is about adoption being a middle class option. I know lots of adopters across the spectrum and ultimately the majority of them have had to adjust their expectations in all sorts of ways. Children are expensive. Why wouldn’t you - birth or adoptive parent - want not to have financial worries on top of an already very stressful process? As far as I can see it’s just basic commonsense. Nothing to do with class.


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They aren't being discriminated against. Its a solvable problem.


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The focus on 'some savings and no debts' (except things like mortgages) seems quite sensible for anyone planning a child. If you can't manage financially without a child, how are you going to manage with one? And if you're managing financially then you don't have credit card debt and no savings.


The solution isn't necessarily to earn more, but to spend less. If you can't cut down anything, anywhere, and are still in debt then how can you take on a child?


I am now on a low income because my daughter's needs are such that I work part time and on a far less responsible job. In fact, I lost my last senior/well paid job because I couldn't give it the time and focus due to a traumatised child crisis. I survived without too much upheaval (though it was incredibly stressful) because of savings and a low mortgage. It gave me a breathing space and time to try Plan A - get a job - before Plan B - sell an investment property. Just as I was going to move to Plan B I got my current job. If I had credit card debt I would have been in deep trouble very quickly. As it is, earning 1/4 of my previous salary pays the essential bills, and the rest we adjust accordingly, and I still have the longer-term investment.


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And to echo donatella, OP, this isn't aimed at you!


Financial advice is usually to have 3-6 months living expenses saved and fairly accessible.


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When we adopted we had no savings at all and an eye watering debt. This did not stop us adopting as we could demonstrate that the debt was affordable and the lack of savings was not an issue as my wife's income was sufficient on its own. There is no requirement to have savings at all and no requirement to be debt free. You have only to be able to demonstrate in your financial statement that you are able to afford children.

In this day and age, I would suggest that it is very unusual to have either thousands saved and no credit card debt at all.

I guess from the reaction from many on here feel that this requirement is justified. I don't.


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But as you’ve said, your debt was manageable abd affordable and that your wife’s income was sufficient in itself to support a family. That’s great - you could afford it. But not everyone is in your financial position. Not everyone can convince a sw that eye watering debt is not going to cripple you financially or have long term repercussions for the whole family. Frankly, for me personally, the idea of having huge debts and with no easy means of overcoming paying them off, would worry me enormously. But, as you’ve said already, you have sufficient joint income to seemingly not have been too concerned. Not everyone is in that fortunate position though


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Most young people will have £27,000 in student loans and probably a chunk on their credit cards, should they not be allowed to adopt? It is the norm nowadays to have debt, heaven knows that is how the government runs the country's finances.

I think my position is closer to the norm than the debt free one. The Prime Minister calls us the "Just Managing" and we are the majority.

The whole point of this is that there are a growing number of prospects on here who seem put off by the financial requirements which their SW's tell them about, when in most cases I would wager that their SW is in no better a position themselves, like most of us.


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But so what? The sw isn’t applying to adopt so I’m not sure I see the relevance. And fwiw I have no credit card debt, no student loans and our only debt is our manageable mortgage.


But equally if a sw is applying to adopt - a few here - they will have been subject to the same financial scrutiny


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Because we are typical adopters, we are not typical people and that is the problem.


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I dont think there is a requirement to be debt free. Planned affordable debt such as mortgages, student loans, car finance etc is entirely different to being in a situation where you have racked up debt on credit cards or pay day loans for basic living costs or funding a lifestyle beyond their means


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Ford Prefect - I'm confused - you say you had no savings and high debt, yet also said you had investments - that would be included in your assessment as "savings"....


I do worry about your posts on this as I don't see you thinking about the longer term - this is nothing to do with levels of income, but about how you manage money. Good financial planning includes being able to survive with no income for a short time - and that applies whatever your income level. It might include insurance policies that pay out on sudden death or illness, it might include savings, it might include investments....


Adoption is stressful enough without adding money worries.


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Yes Bop, I had no cash savings at the point of being approved and investments are in property and a business so no liquid investments but generating income. I would not at the time have been able to satisfy the criteria of having savings and no debt.


Please don’t worry about our future financial position, you have to speculate to accumulate, we have no money worries at all but that is not the point, I don’t think that a lack of savings and carrying a little debt on your credit cards should preclude you from adopting.


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So you do/did have money you could draw on if your circumstances change and you need to.....not immediately liquid, but nevertheless a backstop.


I am not worried about your financial situation, but I am concerned about the misleading picture you are painting for prospective adopters. Income per se is not important, but how you manage your money and having a plan to cope with a drop in income is, although that can take many forms.


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I don’t think I am the best example here and it has probably become a red herring. In the interests of forum decorum I’ll let it this one be.


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I think probably what the SWs want to see is an ability to plan financially for different eventualities that may be unpredictable - many adopters have not had to do that before due to the relative freedom of youth, employment and childlessness - so maybe look at it in those terms rather than specifics around savings / debt?


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