You are allowed to adopt if you have birth children
Many people have been fortunate to have their own birth children and come to adoption as a choice for completing their family.
How wonderful that you have your own birth children and are looking to give a home to a child in need.
Some people have always wanted to adopt and have planned this as part of their family, and others have found that they have had a child or two and would like more and adoption seems to be a good option. Others have new relationships and would like to seal that relationship with a child, and some have had difficulty conceiving the first child, and it is medically inadvisable to become pregnant again. No matter how you come to it, as adoptive parents with birth children, you are eligible to adopt.
The process, in fact, may be a little less fraught, as you will be occupied with your children throughout the whole process and there may not be as much weight given to the adoption as for childless couples.
The Adoption Agency does have particular criteria with regard to birth children. They will not consider you for adoption until your youngest child is two years of age.
This can be problematic considering that adoptions take approximately 3 years and you would like to space your children, but they are adamant.
I would suggest, if you have a little one and want a small age gap, that you do all your research and make your decisions so that you are ready to go when your child turns two. It is worth talking to your local authorities and see what their stance on it is and if you can begin to plan to do the preparation course and start the home study.
Some countries have restrictions on the number of children that can be in a family, so it is worth checking the criteria for your chosen country. It is though, usually not an issue, and in many cases work in your favour, as you already have experience with bringing up a child.
If your birth child is poorly or has some issues, you will need to convince the social workers that you will not only be able to serve his or her needs but that you have the capacity for fulfilling the needs of an adopted child. Adoption agencies always consider that adopted children are special or high needs and they want to ensure that the adopted childs needs will not be neglected in preference to your birth children's needs.
Also adoption agencies will not allow you to adopt out of birth order. Thus you will have to adopt a child that is younger than your youngest. This is unfortunate for older children waiting to be adopted, as it is possible that one 'slotted into' your birth order may have work very well.
Laura and Peter were working in Central America and Laura occupied her time by helping out at the local orphanage. Before long she had met a young lad that was the same age as her son. Many a happy hour was spent with the two boys who started to see each other as brothers. Home stays were frequent and the lad was considered as part of the family. Unexpectedly, Peter was transferred back to the UK and so the couple decided to start the adoption process. They were not anticipating any problems as it was a named child, a relationship had already developed between the child and the family and they were familiar with the country and its laws....however, the local social services would not allow them to adopt. The reasons that they gave were because the children were the same age. Laura herself is a twin and knew all there is about same age siblings. No they were adamant and the social worker said 'They may have competition problems when they are older' (!). They are still battling to get the adoption to go ahead and are making some progress but a year has already passed.
In your Home Study you will also be asked about introducing an adopted child into the family and if your children are old enough they will be interviewed by the social worker as their opinion.
(I have, for convenience, throughout the website, used the terms 'childless couples' or 'infertile couples' as this is the majority of those coming to international adoption. Please do not take offence. My intention is to include all Potential Adoptive Parent and as we get into the Adoption Process part of the website this is the term that is used to refer to all those adopting)
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