test_contentimg

Very new to this, single, 48 (as from tomorrow!), work full time - can I adopt?

Report content

Hi


Just as the title says really


Am very interested in adopting but worried I have left it too late. Also worried about work, I need to work full time


Would love it to hear from any single lady adopters, particularly any that did it at a later (my) age


Many thanks


up
2 users have supported this.

I did !


I was 42 when I applied, 47 when my son came home, I had numerous delays, long story which I won't bore you with, but I got there is the end.

My son was older, nearly 8, when he arrived. He is 13 now. I thought a school age child would work best for me, partly because of my age, being single, the need to work, child care costing a fortune.


We manage, he has some additional needs, but many adoptive children do. I work part time three days a week. If I had to I would work full time but life is much easier for both of us because I don't.


You do need to think seriously about work and how flexible you can be. Some single adopters work full time, some don't. A lot of factors come into it, many of which you won't know until you have a child home with you. I've been very lucky. Despite his extra needs my son loves school, behaves well, is very healthy and goes to after school clubs etc. But he is quite challenging in other wats and by not working full time, I can usually manage to arrange any appointments, therapy etc on my non working days so it doesnt interfere too much with work when I there. It also gives me some precious time to myself, to recharge.


I will be honest, today I have done nothing apart from nip to the shops and cook my son dinner, he gets his own breakfast. Thats because we have had a tough few weeks, I'm tired so I went back to bed after I'd seen him off to school. Didnt wake up until 11.30. I did go out for a run and we ended up first aiding an elderly lady who had fallen in the park and waited with her for an ambulance so I at least I did something useful. But mostly its been a lazy day. I just needed it. Tomorrow I will go to my ASD support group and see our family counsellor on my own.


So things you need to think about

support network

finances, particularly how would you fund adoption leave

childcare, even with a school age child you have to cover 13 weeks of school holidays, 5 teacher days, snow days etc etc


You do need to be flexible and have alternative plans about work. You may be able to work full time, you may not. If you can't what are your options. Don't forget that you may be eligible for tax credits, DLA if the child has extra needs, child benefit so that will make a difference to your finances.


Its hard work, but I have an amazing son. He is happy and thriving, I am knackered ! But we are a family and we have great adventures together. So I have no regrets.


up
1Be the first user to support this

Welcome cawley I'm single 35 and I am too on my adoption jorney good luck


up
2 users have supported this.

Not too late at all... ! I'm another single adopter, and was 46 when my AD arrived. Similar to Serrakunda, she was school age - 6 years old. AD turned out to be very challenging at home and at school, and eventually moved to a specialist school where she is happy and maybe even learning something (my ideas about what matters have been turned upside down by AD).


I don't know how I would have survived the early years if I'd been working full time. Aside from recovery time for myself (which really is essential), I had to devote enormous time to negotiating the support AD and her school needed, meetings with the head teacher (there were many), therapy sessions, battling about funding etc etc.... and that's before you add in time spent cleaning, shopping, and general house administration. Having a day at home during the week has meant that I can enjoy time at the weekends with my daughter and not be stressed and grumpy (ok, I am occasionally) - and we have had lots of fun. Picnics, board games, swimming, camping trips, etc etc. There have been some really difficult times but both our lives have been transformed for the better. My life is certainly very different now, and I certainly don't regret adopting AD.


up
5 users have supported this.

I was 44 when I applied and 45 when my AD arrived. She was nearly 5 years old. I was accepted even though I initially said I would not cut down my hours but when I started reading up and going on training realised I needed to cut my hours down. I have found it gets harder to manage childcare as my daughter has got older as it's difficult to find suitable daytime care for over 12s and she will not be left in the house on her own. Since I started working school hours only she has been much less anxious as she needs that one to one time.


up
3 users have supported this.

PS Happy Birthday for tomorrow


up
3 users have supported this.

Oh thank you so much all of you for taking the time to send me such detailed and informative responses.


Well done to you both on your successes. It is great to hear that you have no regrets.


You have both kind of confirmed my suspicions though about work. I have a really good job, which would enable me to provide financially, but it isn't the sort of job I could do part time, not even sure how I would be able to do anything like take the 9 months off adoption leave etc.


Also, am still worried about age. If I am just turning 48 now and haven't even started the process, then god knows what age I would be when I was matched (if I was successful). Obviously I appreciate it would need to be a school age child but I still think am I too old now?


I guess I need to contact an agency and speak to them? I feel that I would regret it if I didn't do at least that. Gosh I wish I had done this a few years ago


Thanks again so much for your replies, they have been extremely helpful


Thanks x


up
3 users have supported this.

Hevenscent - I x posted with you.


Thanks for you helpful reply and for the birthday wishes! xx


up
2 users have supported this.

no I don't think you are too old.


About work, if you really want to do this then make changes. Thats what I did. I used to have a job that I really loved, it involved travelling, not far in the grand scheme of things, but being at the other side of the region for an 8.30 start wasnt going to work with getting a child to school. Also very occasional overnights and if we had a big event on weeks of early starts and very late finishes, a few weekends. Statutory adoption pay only, I would have struggled to take 6 months adoption leave. Just not workable.

I now have a job which I can do, flexible working, more or less fixed hours, no weekends or bank holidays. Its not very interesting, I'm a bit bored to be honest but I can hack it for three days a week. I wanted to be a mum more than have the interesting job.


Parenthood, adoptive or otherwise, is about compromise, being resourceful, looking for solutions.


So I will leave you with a question to ponder on your birthday.


What do you want more - to be a mum or to keep the job? What could you do to make it work?


Happy Birthday !


up
2 users have supported this.

will pm you


up
2 users have supported this.

I was about 48 when we started the process, hubby was 50 Eldest (10) came 2 years later and youngest ( almost seven at placement) came to is when we were 52 and 54

It's not too late , and some do have younger children placed with them, but you need to start soon and leave your choices as open as you feel you can manage.


up
2 users have supported this.

My husband and i adopted our 3 yr old foster child last year. We are 52 and 53 . Obviously a bit different but he was placed at ll months and the arrangement was always that we would adopt him if he was given a placement order at the end of care proceedings. So you are not too old but have no time to waste either i would say.


up
2 users have supported this.

I am a single lady (I'm not Beyonce) clinging onto my 40s! Am just in the process of doing foster to adopt with my second child so it is possible. The main thing is how badly you want to be a mum/parent. That was what drove me and whilst I constantly worry about my age, that is the one thing I can't do anything about but I can control the rest of it so, if you really want to be a mum then don't let your age stop you. I think that we worry about our age more than anyone else does. Go for it! Good luck x


up
4 users have supported this.

I just want to say thank you all so much for replying.


All of your messages have been very useful and given me lots to think about


I have researched my local area and am actually going to attend an info evening on the 19th!


I may well come back here after that for more advice if you don't mind


Thanks x


up
5 users have supported this.

Good luck. It was a long time ago now, but I took a friend with me. It's a lot to take in and they didn't mince their words about the issues children have and the problems you may face as a single adopter. It was useful to have someone to talk it through with afterwards. If you have chance, it's worth reading around a bit beforehand.


up
2 users have supported this.

You'll need to prove that you have a good support network in the here and now but you should also be able to prove how well you can drum up support when the child comes along. You'll fid that everything changes and you'll need to move on quickly if some people don't step up.

You'll almost certainly have a child with SEND. I found Contact a Family a fantastic support service, they are now called Contact.


up
1 user has supported this.

Hi Cawley,

I am in the same position as you as I am 45 and only joined the forum on Sunday to 'dip my toe in the water.'

I have to agree that you have had some fantastic and positive responses and everyone wants the best for each other but being honest about what to expect.

I am going to my first meeting with LA (the only acronym I've learned) in Jan '18 so I will start the year with a new purpose.

I hope it works out well for us both and I look forward to reading about how you are getting on.


up
1 user has supported this.

My best friend has adopted sibling girls this year aged 52 and she is a full time primary headteacher. She has taken parental leave for this year but is planning to work 4 days after Xmas. The girls came to her aged 5 and 7. She has a large extended family who are very supportive. A few months in she is happy and learning quickly how to manage her time and their needs. After school club and lots of activities seem to help a great deal. She has had a good summer school break and feels ok about starting back to work. She shares experiences with me because we adopted 14 yrs ago, one girl aged 5 but seems to be managing well so far. She was aware of potential difficulties as one of her sisters had adopted sibling girls a number of years ago so she was not naive. Good luck on your journey!


up
1 user has supported this.

Hi all. Just joined forum and my questions were almost similar to above. I didn't make it through stage 1 and am hoping to reapply and go back through. I am a headteacher and hope to return to work 4 days a week. My child would need to go into childcare from 7.30 to about 5.30 4 days a week. Is this too much and how do you all manage financially. I have no immediate family so my friends are my support network. I am currently 46. Thanks in advance. Xxx


up
Be the first user to support this

Hi feebeegeebee, can I ask what feedback you received about not making it through stage 1 and what changes you had to make (if any)? thank you


up
Be the first user to support this

Hi Yetidriver. There were a few reasons and I have just met with the lead social worker after 4 months to go through it. I had handed my notice in on my job which I quickly rescinded and they felt I was not able to reflect enough. Looking back I did not come across how I had wanted to when they first met me and there were issues I needed to resolve. What it seems to be is that I am going in as a single adopter and have to show much more than a couple in terms of readiness. They have questioned me being a head and an adopter, the amount of childcare my child would need to have and how financially I would manage. I want to know how you all manage in every way as single adopters. I don't have family but have good friends. I know it will be hard but amazing as well. I didn't meet the right person to have kids with and adoption is really the only option left to start a family. But it is hard going and being not taken through stage 1 was devastating. However I am determined to get back on track but need to go back at it armed with every option covered and thought through so that I can prove I am ready. Which is where I hope you can help me with advice. This site has already given me advice before I posted and an understanding of issues as a single adopter. X


up
1 user has supported this.

I am really struck at the moment by the number of posters recently who say 'my child will have to......' Above all you need flexibility, a plan A, B and C.


Does 7.30 to 5.30 include travelling time to and from childcare? Potentially a 10 to 12 hour day for a small child. Thats a heck of a long day, even for a child without an adoption background. I don't even do that. What if the child can't cope with that? You may have more flexibility as a headteacher but what if your child has lots of appointments, how will you fit those in to the working day, what about going to the nativity play or special assemblies?


I'm a single adopter, yes its great to have good friends and family but ultimately it comes down to you. If you are part of a couple, you are sharing the emotional load, the decision making. You have more options if your child can't do child care, or has complex needs, one of you can give up work or go part time and you will still have income coming in. So yes I think as a single adopter you do need to have a much greater state of readiness as you put it.


You will find that adopters can and do make all sorts of arrangements work. But it depends on the child which is the unknown factor. Which is why you need flexibiity.


My son has ASD, a mild learning difficulty, a few extra quirks. He does pretty much what most 13 year old boys do. But he needs a lot more support for him to give off the apprearance of normality. He is hard work.

I manage by working part time three days a week, I don't run a car and I live in a creaky, wobbly, Victorian terrace. My job is boring, but doesnt over stress me, I don't do what I trained to do, or what I enjoy doing. Its a job, not a career, which pays what I need it to pay and doesnt need me thinking about it in the evening or at weekend. Work is my big compromise.


I think many adopters, particularly single adopters neglect themselves. I make sure I go to the gym, meet friends on my day off work, my standards of housekeeping have declined! But my own mental health is important as well.


I had to make a lot of changes over several years before I was ready to adopt, finances, house, job. Compromises and sacrifices need to be made. What compromises and sacrifices depend on your own personal situation, but they do need to be made.


up
2 users have supported this.

Thank you for being candid. I think it will be tough for me as I am moving location, which means making new friendships and establishing myself in my new environment. I will go to the open evening on 8th Jan, put on by the LA so that I can get a feel for what lies ahead and hopefully get direction about what I need to achieve to get to stage 1. I imagine it will be a good 12 months in the making so I am not expecting anything to happen straight away.

I am also looking forward to being in the company of like-minded people. I wish you the best of luck and hope that you sail through Stage 1 next time.


up
2 users have supported this.

IIRC Serrakunda completely changed her job to be ready for adoption to one with less pay and less demands.

I think similar things affect many of us. We fostered our son before we adopted him. I had to give up fostering for a minimum 2 years from adoption. As it was I never went back to it but was lucky enough to be able to go to uni to retrain for a new career as he started school.

Im lucky in that my son has few issues. He has mild social communication difficulties and is quirky and eccentric. BUT, my life revolves to a certain extent around keeping things steady in his life; keeping his routines the same, being around as much as I can. A possibility of a job came up recently which would be a real passion for me but would have greater demands and longer hours. My current job gives me great flexibility - for example this week and next is half term, I can start at 7am each day, finish at 1pm so my son (high school age) is only on his own a few hours after his older brother goes out to work. I had to say to myself that pursuing the opportunity would be wrong for us as a family; my personal fulfillment might trigger instability for my son. My priority for the next 3.5 years till he leaves high school is being available for him.

I am also incredibly lucky in that we are 2 parents and I have 3 birth sons in their 20s, the older 2 are particularly helpful caring for him if we want to go away etc. Bringing our AS up is very much a whole-family affair.


up
2 users have supported this.

Thanks for the advice. My job is my big think about. Over the next few months I need to reassess my outgoings, and look st what other work is available. I hope to save like mad so I can have as much income as possible post adoption. Ideally I would be able to change jobs to something less demanding but whilst preparing and going through, I need the higher income to save. I do get that the needs of the child will have to come first but just wondered how you all make ends meet when you are on your own with just the one income.


up
2 users have supported this.

Yetidriver the best of luck for you moving forward too. And hopefully you will settle into a new area quickly and make friends. I have read through some of the posts which talk about your new support network coming in as you adopt and once you meet other parents.


up
1 user has supported this.

ok Finances, rip them up and start again.


Big ticket items - mortgage - are you on the best deal, can you remortgage over a longer term to reduce outgoings, could you run a cheaper car

Look at all your outgoings, what can you get rid of, subscriptions, memberships etc


Don't forget your life is going to change radically. What do you do in your spare time? I used to go to the theatre, cinema, gigs a lot. Easily £150 - 200 a month on tickets etc. Well there is £150 a month saved.

Clothes and shoes -.I've just bought my first pair of 'non utilty' shoes for 6 years. Burgandy suede chelsea boots with a heel, totally frivolous but very nice. I usually buy stuff that does the job.

What can you spend to save money - my £65 3 year rail card saved me over £700 on rail fare last year alone. English Heritage/National Trust memberships can save you a lot on entertainment.

Income - if you earn less you pay less tax and keep more of your earned income. You may be eligible for tax credits, child benefit. Your child may qualify for DLA.

I used to have a job and an earned income. Now I have earned income + child benefit+ tax credits+DLA+ (very fortunately ) adoption allowance.


I think its hard when you have been a working person that state benefits become part of your life. But thats the reality.


I would also make sure that you have any work on your house thats might be needed in the next few years done now while you can pay for it. I replaced the kitchen, had some electrics and plastering done, none of which was desparate at the time but would be a problem now. Look at your white goods and boiler, is it worth replacing them.


Nearer to the point of matching there is a lot you can do to cushion the first year or so. I made sure I had a decent winter coat and shoes, enough undies to last me two years, some basic 'mum' clothes - I was either is smart clothes for work, or outside work I lived in Monsoon. I didnt own a pair of jeans or leggings, now I live in them and buy a lot of clothes from Sainsburys.

I also stockpiled non perishable food items, cleaning/washing stuff and toiletries. I had a good 6 months worth of everything from loo roll to tins of beans, tomatoes and pasta/rice, plus cat food ( and a few bottles of wine - just in case for medicinal purposes ) Made a huge difference to the monthly food shop. I think you do become a much more careful shopper, I save vouchers, collect points, use them for Christmas, birthday presents etc.


Its not always easy, I worry irrationally about unexpected things happening like the roof blowing off in a gale. Last year my boiler broke down and I ended up having to remortgage to pay for a new one. I keep on top of switching utilities to get the best deals.

I have a weekly housekeeping allowance which I take out in cash to manage it better. Then I have my slush funds - collection of tins for whatever I need to save for - Christmas, holidays, birthday, and try and put a tenner in each one out of the weekly money. I don't always manage it, sometimes I have to pinch it back. But this year I have managed to save £400 for Christmas and I had £350 in the summer for our holiday.


But you manage. It just takes a bit of work and constant juggling.


up
5 users have supported this.

Thank you. ilove the idea of stock piling. Would never have thought about that. I am about to review all my outgoings to see what can be cut back on. I have a while yet as may have to repeat stage one. Still under the 6 months currently. I get life will be very different without the luxuries I am used to. And so worth it.


up
1 user has supported this.

Thank you. ilove the idea of stock piling. Would never have thought about that. I am about to review all my outgoings to see what can be cut back on. I have a while yet as may have to repeat stage one. Still under the 6 months currently. I get life will be very different without the luxuries I am used to. And so worth it.


up
1 user has supported this.

Sorry seem to have posted that twice!


up
1 user has supported this.

Thank you for your comments, Serrakunda. Great advice! How many adopters on here fostered first? If so, are there pros and cons to this?


up
2 users have supported this.

Yeti,

There's regular fostering and the newer 'foster to adopt'.

The former should not be regarded as an easy route to adoption. For starters you'd almost certainly have to give up work completely. There would be no guarantee that any child placed with you would ever be available for adoption least of all to you. Many of us who have fostered then adopted have done so because our children were deemed 'hard to place' due to age, disability, medical uncertainty etc. My son was advertised nationally at 20m old and received TWO phone enquiries neither of which came to fruition. He was only 6m out of treatment for leukaemia and unsurprisingly not many childless folk want a child who could still relapse and die. We had a fair amount of 'encouragement' to adopt from SS, many foster carers face the complete opposite, in fact during our adoption assessment we had to backtrack our fostering Form F assessment in which we had confidently said our family was complete with our 3 BS.


up
1 user has supported this.

Thank you for your response, Midge. Forgive me but I don't understand your short-cut 'BS' or your reference to Form F assessment as this is all so new to me. Do I understand that you adopted your foster child but also have children of your own?


up
2 users have supported this.

BS - birth son or if in another context bull.... also BD birth daughter or BC birth children

Yes 3 BS aged 8, 12 and 16 years older than my AS (adopted son). They are all now in their 20s


up
3 users have supported this.

Thank you for clarifying, Midge.


up
1 user has supported this.

I’m 48 and about to go to panel. You can do it just be prepared that every inch of your life will be looked into.


You will need a good support network around you. I know of adoptive parents who have done it as older parents.


up
Be the first user to support this

I wish you the very best of luck, Diverchick x


up
1 user has supported this.

Thanks.


up
1 user has supported this.