You need a strong support structure for your adoption
You need to have a very stong support structure to embark on the international adoption journey. The social services in their Home Study ask you to draw a 'support tree' where you emphasis what support you will have as new adoptive parents.
The importance of this issue is dependant on your social worker. Some social workers will like to see that you have a very on-hands support structure right from the beginning of the adoption process, where as others have the understanding that once your child comes home, you are thrust into the world of parenthood and support will come from your new community. It is generally considered that adopted children come with issues and therefore it is in everyone's best interests to ensure that the child (and his or her new parents) are supported in as many was as they can.
In retrospect, I appreciate how important support is, especially if you are a single parent. The stronger your network the better for everyone. It is really important that you are able to demonstrate that you have this support network in place. Rebecca and Ian had problems moving forward with their adoption because the social worker felt that their family were too far away to offer them the support that they need - and they were only in the next village!
For those potential parents who are not from the United Kingdom and whose families are not on these shores it is important to show that you have support in other areas. It is a good idea to look around your area and see if there are any mother toddler groups, church communities, neighbours with children that you could call upon for support when you need it. This is mostly emotional support, as well as being able to have someone else to come in and look after the children in the event of an emergency or just to give you a break. Of course this will all feel pretty surreal as you are not even sure at this stage if your will ever become parens and the idea that you could one day be bringing you child to this other toddler group seems a far off fantasy, but the experience will hold you in good stead. Those running mother/toddler groups have a wealth of experience and have probably seen it all, so they won't at all be surprised to chat to you about your ideas for creating a family. They also have been in the community for some time and are well connected. They will welcome you and there is every chance that they might even introduce you to someone in the room who has adopted!
In my experience I have found, that once you are home with your child and begin integrating in this new world, you find friends and acquaintances everywhere, from playgrounds to activity groups. My friends now are very different to those I had pre adoption but this was something that I never conceived during the process. So, seek out the support you will have when you are home with your child, and this will hold you in good stead and give you confidence when you pick up the phone to make that all important call.
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