Yesterday morning we had our 6th Stage Two session with our social worker. This was a 9am meeting. I regretted scheduling the meeting for 9 o’clock on a Monday during our summer holiday! Oh, well, at least we didn’t have any time pressure.
We topic of this session was the children we want to adopt; our experience of caring for children and how we’ll parent; and our identity.
We had to identify the demographic (although they never use that word) of the child or children we want to adopt. This was easy, as we’ve discussed this in-depth over the past 6 months. We would like to adopt either a boy or a sibling group of a boy and girl. In terms of age, we’re interested in a child between the ages of 5 and 10. We really aren’t interested in a toddler or near toddler, which seem to be the most ‘popular’ children with adopters. We are 50 and 52, and by adopting a child who is now 8 or 9, we’ll still be working when they finish school.
We needed to explore the types of disability that we’d consider. Again, this was really an easy question for us as we’ve talked about this before. Our overriding thought is that we’d like to adopt a child who is expected to be able to live independently as an adult. This is partly due to our age — if we adopted a child who would have to be cared for when they’re adults, due to our advanced ages we won’t be around for much of their life.
Attitudes toward race, sexual preference, religion, and disabilities was another topic of conversation. Although we’re a straight white married couple, we’re pretty open about other people’s right to live their lives they way they see fit. Interestingly, it was brought up that often children in care have come from families where the attitude is much less than tolerant, and that we’d have to be prepared to deal with the child’s attitude (along with everything else involved in therapeutic parenting!).
One other question that was asked was if we’d consider adopting a child from a black or minority ethnic background. We didn’t think that we would be considered for a non-white child, and said as much. Our social worker did say that there are plenty of children who ‘look’ like us so it wouldn’t be an issue. The town in which we live has a large Polish population, so we could be considered for a Polish child even though we’re not Polish, as we’d be able to ‘encourage their cultural background’.
The difficult bit was saying that we’d be able to consider adopting a child who have a history of sexual abuse. It isn’t something that I’d want, but you can never be sure that a child hasn’t been sexually abused even if they hadn’t ever brought it up before and it wasn’t in their background information. So our social worker is going to send us an extra book to read about how to therapeutically parent children who have been sexually abused.
We ended the meeting by giving the social worker a quick tour of our back garden, now that we’ve replaced the missing fence panels (ok, we still have two partial sections to fill). Hubby cut some rhubarb for the social worker to take back to the people in the office!
We have a 3 week break until our next meeting. However, the s/w is planning to post us some more homework as well as the book mentioned earlier.