What’s your top piece of advice?

These are extracts from a recent conversation on our message board:

“Be honest throughout the process, it makes life a lot easier.”

“Make sure your social worker outlines the adoption process for you and what you will be expected to do.”

“Be prepared to challenge any homophobia if it occurs but don’t look for it where there isn’t any.”

“Try not to get too frustrated with the length of the process. I did, but as the months went by I realised just how much there was to learn, take on board and discuss. My own feelings about adoption and the children I was hoping for were evolving all the time”.

“Go on a fantastic, adult, luxury holiday while you still can.”

“It is now legal, so don’t feel you are being done a favour, your rights are as any couple! Don’t be afraid to raise concerns or complain if the system is not working for you! Challenge any views from social workers you are concerned about or question the relevance and whether these issues are relevant to all couples! Be patient with slow beaurocratic processes; see it as a 1-2 year project. The end product is well worth it, we have had our son for 3 years now!”

“Listen to your doubts and listen to your partner’s doubts.”

“Try to be as open-minded as possible about the child/children you wish to adopt, but also stick to your preferences when you know you have to.”

“Allow for the fact that nothing much happens in August and December.”

“Be prepared to put all the other large decisions in your life on hold until you have been approved and have got the family you have always wanted – it can be frustrating at times but it will be worth it. Don’t underestimate how hard emotionally the process will be so don’t take on anything else unnecessarily during this time”

“Stay focused on the family you want – don’t let others distract you from what is right for you as a couple”

“Be prepared for delays and cancellations.”

“Don’t rush into looking at profiles of children too soon before approval panel.”

“Don’t be intimidated by children’s social workers – don’t be fobbed off when they gloss over details of a profile – these are the very aspects of the child that will be the most challenging. Read between the lines of the profile.”

“Be honest with your adoption social worker – she/he is on your side. You owe it to your child to have presented the fairest picture of yourselves that you can during the home study.”

“When friends and family say they will be supportive – ask them how often, and in what way?”

“Look for a potential industrial strength babysitter.”

Published in From our message board on September 23, 2008