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Savings and support network

Sil December 21, 2020 21:53

Hi everyone! I've been wanting to adopt since I was 16 and u think now it's the time for me to get serious about it. I'm 30 years old and single, and I'm planning to start the process in about a year. This would give me the time to get settled in a two bedroom flat and to get a better adoption leve agreement from my employer.

I wanted to get advice on a couple of points:

How much savings would you advice me to have ready? And, if there are any single adopters reading this, what kind of benefits did you manage to get, if any?

Support network: my family all live abroad. I have some friends here and I consider my support network to be amazing. Does anyone have any experience with adopting while leaving away from their family? Have agencies been difficult about it?

Many thanks everyone and I hope you're enjoying this Christmas as much as it's humanly possible, given the circumstances!

Serrakunda27 December 22, 2020 23:37

Hi

I’m a single adopter. Finances can be tricky.

How much savings you should have depends on your outgoings and how you are funding your adoption leave. If my mortgage is £600 a month and yours is £300 then you would less savings than I would for example. I only had a few thousand in savings because I had a great adoption leave package.

I would work backwards from your outgoings, set a budget for what you need to live, look at what you will get from adoption pay and that should give you a figure to aim for. Not having debt, apart from say a mortgage/car loan, is as important as having savings.

Benefits are a difficult area. The only one you are guaranteed is child benefit which is £80 a month so not much. I don’t know how universal credit works I’m afraid but you may qualify for some. I do get some tax credits which are enhanced because my son is in receipt of Disability Allowance. If you rent then you may get the housing benefit element of universal credit. Some local authorities give adoption allowances but these are rare and entirely discretionary - you would probably only get one now if you adopt a child with significant needs or a sibling group.

My advice is if you can, try and arrange your finances so that you are not reliant on benefits, they don’t give you a good standard of living and you can lose them.

I do receive some benefits but I’m not reliant on them, I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments in the last year or so as I’m not convinced that he will qualify for PIP (what you get at 16 instead of DLA). If he doesnt get PIP, I will lose the tax credits - its a big hole in my finances, I’ve increased my hours at work, saved a bit and fortunately I’ve only got 18 months left on my mortagage so we will be OK but may have a very tight 6 months next year.

My family are not local to us so not much use on a practical level, they think my son is the bees knees and make it up in other ways. It wasnt a problem for assessment. Think about different scenarios - who could help if you were ill, what would happen if fell over and broke a leg, needed a hospital stay, babysit, do an emergency pick up from school.

Its also good to show that you are open to new friendships and will seek out support

Edited 22/12/20
BeckyAUK December 23, 2020 09:54

Hi Sil - I adopted as a single person, and also have all my family living abroad. Serrakunda has given some great advice there and I don't have much to add except our experiences prove that it is possible to do what you're hoping to do! For me, a great local network of friends, many of whom already had children, was accepted as a suitable support network (and they have always been great!). The finances were more tricky as I was self-employed at the time so not entitled to any adoption leave or pay. The first time, I did get some adoption allowances but the purse strings seem to have tightened considerably since then - 4 years later when I adopted again, there was no possibility of any allowances and it was a tight time. I think you need also to be prepared that you may need to take a whole year of adoption leave, and plan accordingly. It seems as though you are really thinking it through and planning ahead, which is great. My children's needs mean that I now work part time from home, so thinking into the future, be prepared for your working pattern to be affected by being a parent. At various times we have benefitted from working tax credit and child tax credit, which has been a big help.

Change Future December 23, 2020 14:57

Hi,

Previous two posts covered what you asked for but I would like to outline what I believe is important and is not widely discussed. While you preparing for the adoption you need to consider that the process is quite lengthy so many circumstances can change on the way. On our example, we did all we could to reduce the approval process but it still took over 2 years as its very bureaucratic (that was before Covid). Another point is the matching process, You said that the family lives abroad but you do not say whether You are British what has a significant impact. We are Polish family with 2 birth children born in the UK and fully embraced in British culture but were told on a couple of occasions that we can't get matched with English child as we wouldn't be able to maintain the child heritage. Talking to other foreign adopters we learned that we are not alone in this. Hence we are already waiting to be matched for over 15 months making the whole process 3.5 years long so far.

Good luck

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