So you have finally decided to do something! Not an easy decision is it?
How do you feel? Heart rate beating just a little fast? Fearful that someonewill laugh at you? Worried that you might thought... well... a little peculiar?
All these emotions and a lot more are absolutely normal. In fact if you don't feel anything perhaps you should be looking to 'adopt' a tree, or something!
So who do you tell about this wonderful idea of yours? You have a partner or a friend in whom you can really can confide? Do so! It really is surprising how they will listen... and listen..... and listen!
You finally let them get a word in. You will listen to words of real, unadulterated wisdom.
"Who you? You must be joking!"
"Are you seeeerious?"
You crawl away, shattered... yet somehow... elated. You have finally broken the ice. For the moment you have done enough. Perhaps you would like to talk to another friend. (It's just a little easier this time). Perhaps you will talk to another friend. To yet another friend and another and another. By now it seems that your friends know all about this strange idea - even if you haven't said anything!
What now? Should you get in touch with an Adoption Agency or something? You think about this one. They may not want you. What really do you have to offer? They must have hundreds of people, all much more qualified than you.
You pick up the 'phone... and put it down again. Maybe tomorrow, when the cat, dog, hamster, plant doesn't need feeding. You think of writing a letter but can't think of anything to say.
You wait... weeks pass!
You pick up the 'phone, again, for the umpteenth time... You dial the number and someone answers.......
Too late, you have to say something....
Anything you like!
Most Adoption Agencies are well used to the emotional stress that you are under in even contacting them. They will be very gentle. They will try to give you general details. They will try to put you in contact with one of their Professionals who can help.
Don't be surprised if there is no-one immediately available to talk to you. Like all busy people - and they are! - time is at a premium for them, as for you. Most Agencies will, if they are not able to talk to you immediately, try to get back in touch with you. They may ask that you get back in touch with them.
Sometimes the messages don't get through as they should, or people forget. Don't take this personally.
(After all, if you give up at the first hurdle, could you really take on the care of a child?)
Social workers are human. (At least they would like you to think they are). They are people just like you. Always pressured with never quite enough time or money to do the job as they would wish.
Being well-mannered is not a luxury! You are attempting to get the social worker on your side. This is important. Most social workers are well used to dealing with particular elements of Society - not necessarily the most pleasant. Don't be surprised if they appear to think you are the same. You must 'prove' that you are not!
Before any agency can place a child in your care they will want to talk to you about adoption. They will want to get all the information that they can about you as a person, where you live, how you live, what your expectations are and a great deal more besides.
As important, they will want to know about the things you dislike, that which you can't tolerate, the things that really upset you.
This information is needed so that your quest for a particular child is made easier.
Don't worry. Be honest. Most people are capable of adopting. If you are right for a particular child and that child is right for you, then you have nothing to be afraid of.
A child who may be placed with you also has to have a medical.
..and you have problems?
The medical is not to ensure that you are in absolute perfect health. (Although most agencies would like to think that your expected life-span will be a little longer than a few months - but even this may not be insurmountable!)
The medical gives you a chance to discuss confidentially with your Doctor the pro's and con's of your intentions. It also gives the Panel information that will assist them in deciding if a you are the right family for a particular child.
Usually, the medical is about the last legality completed. By this stage you should be pretty aware of what you are doing. So, unless you have reason to suspect, there should be no difficulties. (If there are difficulties, the chance is that you will already know and have discussed this with the agency in your home study.)
Yes it does! It may cost many thousands. It may cost many tens of thousands! The point is not how much it costs - but how the cost is paid.
In the UK few people are now disbarred from adoption merely because of the cost. It is illegal to 'pay for a child'. This also includes paying other people's expenses, no matter who they are.
Local Authorities do understand that most people don't have a lot of spare cash. They will try to re-imburse all your necessary expenses. The only thing they will not pay for is your medical. This, legally, is your responsibility.
As for on-going costs, all Local Authorities have schemes that can help you. Such adoption allowances, (as they are generally known), are there to assist families to adopt who otherwise would find it financially difficult or impossible.
Well, you may think that you are important in the equation. Indeed you are very important! - but there is an even more important factor.
Adoption is, in most countries as in the UK, not undertaken lightly. It is, after all, a permanent and final legal state. Above all, it MUST be undertaken in
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