Seriously thinking about adoption
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?