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Will our medical history make it a non starter?

Starlight785 November 20, 2021 00:01

Hi there

Myself and my wife are very interested in trying to adopt, however I'm worried that my wifes medical history would make it a non starter to begin with. Would like to get some ideas about how likely our chances are before I put her through the process.

She was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal cancer over 7 years ago. The tumours are under control, but she is still classed as stage 4. Would this make it a non starter?


Lettice November 20, 2021 10:41

Medical history is a priority in adoption. None of us can provide a guarantee of keeping our health intact for the next 20 years. But, unfair as it may feel, agencies recruiting adopters will only consider those whose medical records imply the best possible statistics.

I think you will find that your worries are right and that it will be a non-starter.

But for something as important to you as this, don't be afraid to ring round a few agencies, including voluntary agencies, to confirm their policies. Most of them offer a medical review before proceeding any further, so you won't be forced to travel through any more of the process than necessary. You would need your own consultant to provide personalised statistics, based on your wife's individual good response to treatment so far. I think it's unlikely that you'll close the gap between a predicted health score for your wife and the bar set by agencies. But maybe it's better to enquire and be rejected, than to wonder "what if".

And maybe, if you are rejected it would create other opportunities; when one door closes another opens.

Safia November 20, 2021 11:12

The thing to remember is that agencies are looking for families for children - and they look at the best possible odds in considering each case. Children coming through the system have experienced considerable loss and often multiple losses and those placing them try to ensure - as far as possible - that there will be no potential major losses on the horizon - and the potential loss of their new mum after losing their mother figure at least once and probably multiple times (due to time in foster care) would be a major draw back for a match. Apart from this there would be the health risks to your wife from the incredible and ongoing stress of being an adoptive parent. As Lettice says it would be a good idea to ring round some agencies and get an idea yourselves - there may be some willing to consider you - and get an up to date report from your wife’s doctor as to her current health and likely prognosis. There are other things you could consider such as foster care or respite care and if you do progress onto adoption at a later stage this experience would be a real plus. Another thing that you could do which would also be viewed positively in any future application is if you as a couple or individually got some counselling to help you sort out your own losses and how this impacts your plans - this would be seen as beneficial when in the future you might be helping children deal with their losses. Good luck and keep an open mind

Donatella November 20, 2021 22:33

In the current covid climate, few of us really know what our longer term prognoses are .. I’ve lost friends to covid as I’m sure lots of us have. I say that as the wife of someone who has stage 4 cancer so I’m not being flippant. My husband was diagnosed 5 years ago, had immunotherapy, surgery and is now treated with drugs. He lives a normal life. Works full time in a stressful job. Three children (two teens, one now adult). Three monthly scans.

Oncologists have never described his cancer as terminal, rather it’s incurable but treatable.

How is your wife’s health currently? Would her oncologist be willing to provide a supporting letter? It may not be the ideal scenario but I’m sure there will be many different aspects to take into account. You’ve nothing to lose by asking.


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