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Dealing with agencies

Ashuk July 2, 2018 21:30

Hi All,

Dealing with agencies has been a very trying.

It seems if they believe you are not useful to them they make it very clear to get lost.

My wife had a very tough childhood which included physical mental and sexual abuse from her parents for most of her childhood. The fact that she is still here is a testament to her spirit and determination not to let her parents action to define who she is and what she can do and is one of the reasons I love her very much. Needless to say she has no relationship with them. Her life has been tough so being told being infertile although difficult to hear wasn't going to stop us trying to be parents.

With her childhood history we thought it might be impossible but initial contact with Coram suggested this was not the case. We attended there open evening which was really informative about what to expect from adoption. It was let down by the fact that we found them rude when speaking to them 1to1 as my wife BMI was higher than their acceptance threshold and was quite dismissive and eye rolling. Practically told don't bother filling in the registration of interest form. Maybe Coram wasn't for us.

Although disappointed, we persevered. We rang various agencies. Like I said above, agencies make it very clear you are no use to them. This is especially for prospective adopters who have had traumatic childhood themselves. They may just hang up on you mid-sentence or say they will call you back without taking your number.

So it was with surprise when we contacted Barnado's who on our initial contact were friendly, listened and said that my wife's childhood wasn't a hinderance but a positive as she has first hand experience of what some of these children have been through and how to help them. They were very keen for us to register our interest but we decided to attend their open evening to see whether it was for us. Again the evening was warm and friendly. Different to Coram as the lady running the evening was an adoptive parent herself so we go more of a personal feel. The lady was really friendly and down to earth. She stayed and talked for hours with prospective adopters. Again my wife gave an overview of her childhood and was reassured that again it would be seen as benefit. After the meeting we felt that Barnado's was the right fit for us.

We filled in their registration of interest form and Barnado's sent someone to interview us. The interview, we felt, went well. The interviewer was friendly and listened. My wife again told them about her childhood and again the interviewer Barnado's was pleased with everything we said and from everything we had told him he was pretty confident that we would be accepted. He said, we would someone would contact this afternoon and would we be available for some courses in a couple of weeks. We knew it's only the beginning but so far so good.

So we get the phone call and lady told my wife we would not be taking us on because of her childhood. My wife explained that she has been upfront about her past from the beginning. She told my wife that it was a mistake to send someone round to do an interview. Had she known the full details we would have been rejected on our registration of interest form. Apparently all she was told was my wife had a difficult childhood. She was completely unsympathetic despite her best attempts to sound it. She was shocked to say the least given how supportive everyone else had been. She seemed more concerned about her holiday she was going on As with sexual abuse in the family it's complex and she was very judgemental and accusatory of certain decision she made without having the complete facts. This obviously would have been explored in further detail if we had reached the next stage. My wife is pretty gutted at the moment.

Although we knew it wouldn't be plain sailing. I though being cut off on the phone wasn't nice being rejected this was pretty brutal.

Is this what it's going to be like all the time?

pingu123 July 12, 2018 23:30

I am sorry nobody has replied to you. I do not have any relevant experience but didn't want you to feel totally ignored. Just wondered if you have tried the local LA and if so what sort of response they gave. The other thing you might want to investigate is fostering and again that could be a local authority contact.

createamum July 13, 2018 06:05

I've only just seen this, I know they have said it was the sexual abuse that means you are not suitable to adopt, did they say what if anything you and your wife could do to address this. Agencies want to see that you have addressed your stressers and that you can cope with the additional stress a child with this background might bring, has your wife had any therapy to help her come to terms with her past. As you have no contact with her family do you have a strong support network, I don't have much to do with my family due to my past but I do have close friends who's parent are like parents to me and who have been invaluable in the process, with emotional support and advice.

Agencies want to know you can care for the child without their trauma triggering your past.

Haven July 13, 2018 12:45

Hi there. I am so so sorry that this has happened to you and your wife. And cross for her - it's like being made a victim all over again. As others have said, it's not what has happened to anyone in life, but how they have responded to it that is the real marker of whether they could make good adoptive parents. I would also encourage you both to ask whether there are things you can do to address the issues agencies see. If they think your wife needs therapy to come to terms with her past, it will be viewed as positive to address this. If she is able to do anything about her BMI, they will see that as a strength. We are given so many hoops to jump through on the road to adoption and sometimes they make no sense, but we just have to do it, because they hold all the cards. Good luck - and don't give up yet! xx

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