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What sort of child are you looking for?

The homestudy is conducted very much in align with the child that you wish to adopt.

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The one area of flexibility that one what when it comes to adoption is the 'choice' of child that you can adopt. (I put 'choice' in inverted commas because although you are at liberty to state age/sex/nationality etc you should be prepared for any changes in the adoption journey and you may end up adopting a child very different to your original request).

I had a daughter in mind when I began my adoption. I thought that as a single parent I would be able to understand and help a girl better then a boy. However, that was not what was planned for me, and I am now the very proud parent of a very talented little boy!

Areas that you can select:

Age range - eg. 18 months to 3 years.  Be careful not to limit this too much as you may find yourself waiting unnecessarily long as countries try to match you. A two to three-year gap is ideal.

Number of children:   Realistically it is highly unlikely that you will be approved for more than two children at a time - and in most cases you may be only be approved for one child.  This is because of the concept that adopted children will need extra care and attention when they come home. Sibling groups are an option and it is possible to adopt 'virtual siblings', two unrelated children to make a family group.

Ruby and Peter wanted to adopted two children at the same time and they fought with their agency for them to be approved for two. However, they waited a very long time to be matched in Russia and so decided to only adopt one child now and follow-up in  a couple of years time for a sibling. However, when their little son Anatolya came home, they were so completely happy with him that they have not gone forward to adopt another child.


Gender :  You may select Male/Female or Either  If you are looking at a family group you may consider only boys/ only girls or mixed. If you are not phased by the gender of your child it might make the adoption process as little quicker, as countries will try to match your preferences with the next available child which may be either gender.


You will be assessed on your ability to care for a child that is:

Ethnically different from your own

Whose religion is different to your own


At the end of your assessment, you and the social worker will work through some Specific Matching Considerations.   These are more than just your wishes.  They should reflect an 'agreed position' between you and your agency as to the type of child, or situation considered appropriate for your family, based on the in-depth discussions in the preparation course and Homestudy.

 Many people find this section very difficult as it makes you feel  sort of 'mean'.  Do not feel this way - of course we all would like to belive that we can adopt any child and that to be 'fussy' goes against the grain, but in reality adoption is for life and you have to be very certain that you are choosing the right child for your family. It is not in anyone's interest for you to adopt a child that you are not 100% happy with. In fact you should never adopt a child that you are not 100% happy with.

Several countries will also have a similar list of medial conditions, which they will ask you if you are willing to accept. Often children with 'special needs' are on a faster track for adoption and sometimes  these 'special needs' are simple correctable conditions, such as cleft palate. Some people may be happy to accept a child that has a physical condition but not mental, others are happy to adopt a child who has had contact with AIDs but not one who has six toes. It is a very personal choice and one that you must be comfortable with.

Please note that with many children who come into the adoption system, not much information is know about them, or their families. The information may be limited and in some cases  non-existent, for example in the case of children who have being abandoned.  It is very much a 'leap of faith' as to the histories of these children but their current medical status should be up to date. I advise that you do as much research as you can about the implications of the various conditions that adopted children may have and examine if you are prepared to take that on board.

It is also imperative that you realise that some medical conditions do not manifest until children are a little older. Between 18 months and 2 years most conditions will have presented themselves.

You will mark this list of specific matching considerations with a positively interested, interested with limitations and a not interested.  Here is the list.

You will accept a Child who:

Has Down's Syndrome
Has Cerebral Palsy
Is blind/has visual impairment
Is deaf/with hearing impairment
Has mobility difficulties
Has speech and language difficulties
Has specific medical needs eg. Thyroid medication
Has an unclear medical prognosis   
Has limited life expectancy
Has a high risk of developing a life-threatening infection/condition
Has facial disfigurement
Has foetal alcohol effects
May need special education
Has sever learning difficulties
Developmental progress is uncertain
May have been physically abused
May have been sexually abused        
Has been neglected
Has been abandoned     
Has been emotionally abused
Is unlikely to form relationships easily
Is likely to have difficulty in bonding
Displays overt behavioural difficulties
Displays sexualized behaviour to adults and other children
Needs to be in control and may reject authority
Has been relinquished by parents still living together
Was born as a result of rape/incest
Parents have sever mental illness
Parents have criminal records
Parents have abused drugs or alcohol
Parents who have a pattern of domestic violence
Medical history is unknown
Ethnicity different
Religion is different
Is at risk of developing an inherited condition
Has Asperger's Syndrome/Autism

Any other relevent issues


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