Pre-assesment assesment

So youve made the phone call, youve taken the big step – well almost!

The next step was for a social worker, im going to call her Ash, to come and visit me at home.

Ash arrived promptly, and throwing me totally off stride refused a drink. Gone was my opportunity to wow with my tea making skills.

We spoke for about 2 hours. Sommetimes the samequestions were being asked in slightly different ways:-

‘do you own the house’

‘would you be better off waiting until you owned the house’

‘do you plan to move’

‘do you have seciurity in your tennancy’

‘would you have more security if you owned the home’

and obviously a lot of questions in regards to being a single adoptor. Why now, why not wait, why aren’t you in a relationship, why did you last relationship end, what if you meet someone, wouldn’t you rather wait and meet someone to name but a few.I guess that this is just making sure that you are the right person to adopt, and that asoption is the right thing for you. There was then a lot of talk about support network, and this is something I would advise preparing some thought over in advance. Who would be there in the middle of the night? Who can you ask that stuid question too? Who can you call if you just need a break for an hour / evening etc?

As I discussed in the about me post I am lucky to have not only a sizeable, but also a very supportive family. Family who have children of similar ages, a child with SENs and a mum who has worked most of her working life with looked after children. However, I have a much smaller, allbeit tight, friendship group. Of those only one has a child, so my experience, and also my safety net in that area is more limited somewhat.

 

The conversation also went into a lot more detail in regards to thhe next steps, the expectations, and also some time frames – this just got very real! There is a lot of opportunity for questions, to go over things again, and also to get a lot of one on one time with the social worker. Whilst obviously they are also observing you, there arre certainly no points lost for asking questions, if anything its points gained for questioning and gaining understanding.

There was a brief tour of the house,although that was not the purpose of the visit, some helpful hints and tips, for when the main inspection will happen are priceless and have really allowed me to get a head start. Things like moving the glasses to a higher cupboard, the cats being fed somwhere less accessible for little hands and mouths and gettiing some of the safety equipment (like plug protectors) in advance of the safety visit. Writing this I have not yet had the safety visit so I may be jumping the gun slightly on thinking it has definately helped 🙂

I was left with a form to fill in to confirm interest and a DBS form. Its a good idea to get your passport and driving license out and ready for this as you will need them for the DBS and any previous addresses for 3 years – complete with post codes! If you have got anything that may flag on the DBS be open and honest. If its not violence, sexual, or involving children, the chances are that you will be fine! However if you try and hide it the chances are that it won’t be.

 

On writing this I have sent back my form – and so have started in stage 1! The clock has started ticking 🙂

Taster Evening

Before writing this I have had t think long andd hard about whether to say with whom I am adopting. Would it be seen as being a breach of orivacy, could it even lead to potentially issues for the future child. However I have now learned that this is not the case, and I am already doing everything to remove identity.

So I can say that I am applying with Bexley Council, who co-operate and co-run a lot of the process with Medway council.

The first thing you have to do when looking into adoption, before you can even express an interest, is attend a ‘taster evening.’ Essentially what this is is a weeding out process for those who have a paradise image of adoption, unrealistic expectations, or those who are not quite yet suitable.

We heard from previous adoptors, with some success stories, but also some reality checks. There was a brief outlinning of what the process would be, and there was quite a lot of talk. I must confess that my taster evening was with Keny Council, and at times came across as slightly judgy. Despite a large number of same sex female couples, every time same sex was mentioned one of the presenting social workers made efforts to make eye contact with the solo gay couple in the room.

I went to this evening with my Mum, and I would really reccomend going with someone. There were 2 other what I suspected to be single adoptors (both female) and both had taken someone with them, one their teenage son and another had taken what appeared to be a parent too. These evenings are a bit emotional, and there is a lot to think about afterwards, its good to have someone to discuss that with. Plus it stops any fear of that ‘theyll all be looking at me’ thought which I know for sure I had.

At the end of the meeting they ask you, if you want to, express an interest. Again I highly reccomend skipping this invitation and instead sleeping on the decision again, talking to whomever you takw with you, and then calling the next day. They will see you attended and it gives you not only one on one, but also private time to ask any questions. Again it also stops those stares across the room from having any impact.

Walkign out from the event I knew this was for me. If anything I was more certain. Yes it was going to be harder than I thought, yes that hardship went way beyond the adoption process, and yes it would be more than just emotional stresses but this was for me.

From speaking to other (couples) going through the adoption process this was how they felt too. My closing piece of advice at this stage would be that if you are not sure, or not sure beyond some questions that you need answering then right now its not for you. Come back in 6 months. Trust me – you need to be certain. It gets harder from here.

A Little Background

I guess it’s inportnat at this stage to provide a little background information on me.

I am 30, and live in the UK. I come from what would be labelled a ‘broken home’ in that my parents are divorced. However in this day and age I think that’s now more the norm than the exception and certainly not something that ever held me back.

A few years after the sepertion of my parents my dad, who for the purposes of this blog will be called Neil, moved abroad. Now 15 years on from this I am able to reflect on this as a moment in my life where i realised that you have to keep fighting – always!

For the last 5 years, with my best friend, Judd, I have run a business, which is now looking after not just the two of us, but also our 16 other full time staff.

My family is not a large one, but, with a few exceptions, are very close. I have my mums (Katy) family, of 2 sisters and numerous cousins, and whatever you call cousins children. Then on my Dads side there are 2 sisters, and one brother.

 

I am single, and I have been single for a long time. Bar one long term and for the most part long distance relationship that has been my adult life since I left University. Maybe more focussed on career and pogression, sometime on supporting others, but i have woken up and am 30 years old!

I do however have 2 cats, and live in a house with a large garden, and am, and it does sound like a soundbite, but am settled, happy, and, and I suppose this is the most important thing, ready to be a Dad!

Having founnd no support for single Dads, and after some encouragement from several quarters, please join me on what is without a doubt the most nerveracking, exciting, scary and (hopefully) fulfilling journey I (and you) will ever go on.

Hi

Hey,

Thank you for taking the time to come and read my blog.

i recently made the decision to adopt, as a single parent, and single man.

What I have noticed though is how little help, support or guidance there is for men going through this process, and how much suspicion there is of a man who would want to go through this process.

So I thought that I would start a blog to chart my experiences, so as that hopefully on the future there will be something for other men to see and know that you are not on your own!

im starting this right at that start of the process. I have no idea of whether my application will be successful or not at this stage.