Would I be accepted?

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Hi there,

I have recently turned 21 and I know this is the age where you can start adopting children.

When I was 17, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer which resulted in me getting a hysterectomy which meant I couldn't have children of my own. I have always wanted children of my own but I have always wanted to adopt also because I think it's fair to give children a chance.

I am single and still live with my parents.

Would I get accepted for adoption or do you think they would tell me to get a partner and stable home first?

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Something similar cropped up recently - think this was the one. Might help to read these replies.

21 is young to adopt. Children in the care system come with a huge range of different issues and aren't easy to parent. Plus they're very expensive so think about how you'd afford a child, spare bedroom, how would your parents feel about being part of the assessment process?


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Im sorry but no I don't think you would be accepted at the moment. Firstly I know that technically you can adopt at 21, but I think in reality the 21 year old adopter is a rare, if not mythical, creature. You have a very clear reason for wanting to adopt. I can't imagine how devastating it must have been for you to go through that at such a young age, as with all people unable to have birth children, SWs will want to be sure you have come to terms with that loss. Yes living with parents is an issue, how independent are you, do you work, are you financially secure, who will look after the child when you are at work. what experience do you have with children? What do your parents think, are they prepared to be assessed as well as they would have to be. There's a lot to consider.

To be honest I'd also say what's the rush? 21 is still very young. I wonder how much you understand about the children who are looking for adoptive families and how difficult and challenging they can be. If you haven't do some research on how trauma and abuse/neglect impact on children. You don't need a partner to adopt, lots of single people do, but yes you do need a stable home, financial stability and good support. Personally, I'd go off, enjoy my 20s, get some life experience, get established, it will stand you in good stead and mean you are much better prepared to be an adoptive parent.

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Without wanting to cause any offense, IF you could have had a birth child, would you want to do that at 21? I always wanted a family but at 21 I wanted to enjoy my life a bit. Any child is a huge commitment, an adopted child that has suffered neglect/abuse, even 'just' the trauma of being removed at birth brings a whole package of difficulties that needs far more commitment and strength.

Even at 41 I question whether I am grown up enough to make the decisions I am having to make for one of my children, whether I will get it right, whether what I think is best right now really will be best for him. I am lucky that I have a good support network and many years of research and courses behind me to help but the responsibility of getting the right support/therapy etc can still be overwhelming at times.

Turning 21 today is very different from turning 21 30/40 years ago when most people married younger and council housing was more readily available. Today if you can afford to buy or rent a home at 21 you are lucky, like you the majority will be living at home still and adopting in that situation brings a whole load of other issues to consider, some of which have already been mentioned.

Its great that you want to adopt and, yes, many single people do, but SWs do want to see some life experience as well and I think you'd find it hard to get an agency to take you on at this time, even more so as there are a lot of prospective adopters waiting right now and fewer children coming through the courts.

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Hi me and my husband are thinking about adoapting as we can;t have kids ourselves. we currently live in a housing association house but with only the one bedroom. i was just wondering if anyone knew if this may stop the process until we had the right space for a child.

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Yes it would prevent you from adopting, you do need to have sufficient space for a child, not to mention all their stuff!

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Adopted children have to have their own bedroom so you would need to look at moving. When agencies were desperate for adopters you would probably have been able to start the process and move during it but with the number of waiting approved adopters and lower numbers of children with placement orders it is unlikely an agency would even let you start.

I would look at moving and getting settled and then approach agencies.

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We started the adoption process whilst in a 1 bedroomed property, but it was some years ago when process was much longer and it was always the intention that we would sell and buy a bigger house. I'm not sure if it's the same now, but when we were going through the preparation we had to show we had experience with children other than our families eg. helping at youth groups, cubs etc. We did this even when we took a break from the process to move house. Just thinking that this is something that op and ff1 could be looking at doing regardless of their current circumstances - it'll stand you in good stead.


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hi thanks for all your comments i am already a beaver leader anyway so work with children and my husband. does aswell. I think we will wait and see if we can move

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Amy H- I think it's great that you are thinking about adoption- however, I would echo the views that 21 is extremely young. I have always wanted to adopt from a young age and am doing so now as a single person at 32! I am so glad I waited! It is an extremely difficult process and the SW will want to see that you've considered everything, and have everything in place to make it a success. It helped me to see my younger years as perfect time to prep. You know you want to adopt so why not use this time to read everything you can, get some childcare experience (in you've not already) save money is a biggie! You're in the perfect position to do all this and the more prepared you are the better! No one can take away your desire to parent... And that dream can become reality! However, you've got years ahead to do that. Best of luck x

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Hi Amy, I agree to as certain degree but everyone is different. I think it would be a lot better for you to have a stable home on your own with finances to support you but in regards to adoption I don't know how much research you have done already, you might be more prepared than people realise. I adopted at 27 and I felt ready and mature enough to deal with everything.

I would recommend you do some volunteering to get more experience with the age of child you would like to adopt. Our LO was 5 so we volunteered at a local beaver group during our process. I wish you all the luck in your journey

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Hi Amy,

I think I'd see how life pans out for you over the next five years or so. Focus on making a life for yourself, set yourself some achieve able personal goals and put the idea of adoption on the back burner until your late twenties. Life has a habit of going in directions we hadn't planned - see where yours takes you for a few years.

I was a mum at just 22, bio child not adopted, I personally feel I was a better mum in my 20s than I am in my 40s. I had a lot more energy, determination and knew exactly how I wanted to bring my kids up. My oldest three are now grown up, I have my adopted one still at school.

Until the last 20 years becoming a mum in your 20s not 40s was the norm, and I think we often forget this. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be a mum now, but you've had to manage a lot in a very few years of adulthood which has been beyond your control. Now you have the time and opportunity to take control and move your life forward with a long term goal of parenthood by adoption, either as a singleton or a couple if you meet your life partner in the next few years.

I agree with planning in some volunteering - these opportunities often give you new perspectives, my older lads volunteer with a homeless charity and feel they've grown personally as a result. They don't have to do it, but they enjoy meeting the people, feeling like they make a small difference and are using some of their free time for the benefit of others. They initiated it all themselves and I'm very proud of them. The volunteering website 'do-it.org' has lots of opportunities, many involving working with children or families, and this experience will be asked of you when you come to apply to adopt, regardless of what you do for a job (even teachers and nursery nurses get asked).

Do some saving for the future, but get some life experiences that help you grow, and put adoption aside for now. Good luck.

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