Seriously thinking about adoption

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Hi all,

I've been a lurker on these forums for a while, I find all of this fascinating and very interesting. I'm hoping you can give me some advice.

My partner and I have been talking on and off abut adoption for a few months now. I'm 28 and he is 36. We're not yet married and rent our home, but are planning to buy early next year.

I have endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome, I also have other issues with hormone imbalance.

We haven't been using protection for quite a while now and nothing has happened. My period comes every month and I've never been pregnant. I've been told that even if I manage to get pregnant, there's a high chance of miscarriage.

We're both very drawn to the idea of adoption, as we've been at the forefront, throughout our working lives.

He supports and teaches in a secondary school and has been doing that over ten years, he's had lots of first hand experience with looked after children, SEN children and extreme behavioural issues from ages 11-16.

I support in primary schools, I've had over five years experience in one to one teaching, especially in SEN (currently supporting SAL, behavioural issues with epilepsy issues too). I've worked in a variety of classrooms, including early years, so my experience is with age 2/3-10. So, between us, we both have experience with all age ranges and most behavioural/special needs issues.

I've been directly involved in assessing and completing IEPs and educational statements. Always involved with outside agencies such as SALT, Ed Psych and Cahms.

We feel that we can offer a child a stable, loving home. We've both had experience of mental health, which incidentally, we're both over for the most part now, we took positive steps to help ourselves, including local support groups, NHS and private counselling and taking medication. Neither of us take meds anymore (or need them) and neither of us need counselling at the moment. We managed to realise what we needed and used our incentive to help ourselves.

One thing that is worrying us, is that we are both in low paid jobs, we support and teach one to one in classrooms but the pay is awful and is term time only.

Between us we are on about £20k which is reasonably okay to live on up here (we live in Yorkshire) we have over £10,000 in savings but are using that to put down as a deposit for a house next year, hopefully. So we won't have much in the way of savings after that.

We don't have any debt and both have excellent credit scores though. Due to being on a low income, I think we are entitled to universal credit if and when we have a child placed with us. I've done the 'entitled to' calculator online and currently as two people without dependants, we are entitled to nothing but when you add one dependent into the equation, we are entitled to something. Plus child benefit too of course.

We don't want being on a low income to go against us, as we both feel this is something we really want and can manage our finances perfectly well, so that we have a little spare at the end of the month.

We also both have very supportive and financially comfortable parents, who would be willing to help out if we were ever in need (and have done so before).

Would I be entitled to a year off (the same as when you have a baby naturally and arson mat leave) with an adopted child? And he would be entitled to the two weeks paternity leave too I assume?

Lastly, when it gets to that stage, are you able to specify the gender and age of the child you would like?

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Hello and a big welcome.

You and your partners experiences are excellent and I would think that social services would be very keen to meet you.

Regarding adoption leave. If you work for a local authority, you will be entitled to adoption leave. As far as I am aware, it is line with maternity leave, but you would have to check your workplaces policy. Have you looked on first4adoption web site?

Regarding finances, this is where you will have to do the sums. SS like you to take a year off and believe me, you will need to! If you are planning to buy a home, you need an emergency fund for if anything breaks down/ needs replacing. Also what happens if your car breaks down and any emergencies that may crop up. You certainly don't need the stress of finances on top of a newly placed child who is very scared and vulnerable.

You can still rent and adopt. Obviously you will need your landlords permission and a contract to show that everything is above board. Could you put your move on hold for a while?

Regarding gender and age, as you go through the process, you may change your mind. My Husband and I were very open minded about age and gender. Although, we were very honest in what we could deal with and what we couldn't. This doesn't mean that your child won't guarantee any issues, it may not of been diagnosed. Our daughter , on paper was happy, healthy with no medical issues. We are about to see a paediatrician as we think she may have addh.

I wish you luck and please pm me if you have any questions.


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We had a similar income when we started out ( and some debts!!) and it was never a problem, we just told them we would need to keep working as we couldn't afford to stop. II had quite decent adoption leave through work ( likely to be similar to yours if you are working for a local authority ), and they knew that we were intending to adopt a school age child, so perhaps that may have been why they seemed OK with our circumstances, but we were honest and they were fine with us.

Actually we did both end up changing jobs and taking early redundancy but that's another story.

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I was working as a teacher when I adopted, dropped down my hours and eventually gave up teaching and became a TA. I only took 6 months adoption leave (plus Christmas and summer holidays = 8 months) but adopted a school age child. I am single so only have my income. The advantage I have now is I only have to have childcare on the inset days. I have a mortgage, get tax credits and a small adoption allowance - it's tough financially but having working hours the same as school hours is fantastic.

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Thanks so much for all your help and advice. It's really valued.

I'm glad to see that some of my fears are just me overthinking things. But obviously I don't expect an easy ride at all and I can see how difficult and rocky it's going to be on the journey. x

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