Wednesday 8 April 2015

Rocking the Boat?

A guest post from Eva a prospective adopter............

How dare a SW judge the sincerity and communicational depth of my relatively short marriage when she claims to become an expert in knowing me in and out after meeting me only 6 times before her report (and my future happiness) is set in stone?
To be fair our SW is a well seasoned professional and a lovely person who is very able to assess me / us as a couple and write up a fair and true report, but my question is still valid...
In all honesty we are a V-E-R-Y unusual couple. Unusual is good – the SW said. Panel likes unusual – the SW said. 
But do they, really?
When they have to sit all day in a small room with familiar faces around the table; when they have to comment on each case for the minutes; when they have to read hundreds of pages to come prepared for the panel meeting; when they already know who will have a problem with which couple; when all they want is to approve a couple... do they really want unusual cases? Or do they rather wish for simple, straight forward, clean cut or (heaven forbid) textbook cases?
We could have children. We are 35+ young professionals from safe and stable families who C-H-O-S-E not to become birth parents themselves. We could fill pages (oh, wait, we did! On countless occasions!) with the reasons, but for now let’s just forget the many reasons and focus on the choice we made. If pro-choice is so widely popular; if abortion is so acceptable; if nobody is allowed to tell a young or old / drug addict or alcohol addict / severe mental health / abusive... etc or just simply a very nice ‘perfect’ person the sentence ‘you must not have birth children of your own’ or ‘ok, lady, you had enough, maybe a dozen will do’ and all these people and their choices are and should be respected then why do I feel I am the bad person here?
Why do I have to keep defending my view? Why am I labelled ‘unfit to be a parent’ if I am not desperate to become one (in other words: I need a child, any child would do really, just so that I can be a parent)? We have a happy marriage and life, we feel our family is complete, we do not yearn for a nonexistent hole to be filled by somebody else’s child. We simply put our own needs aside and choose to adopt siblings already in the system who do not have a safe and loving home where they can just be children and then grow up to be happy and supported adults. We could provide all that and much more for these children. Yet, somehow we find ourselves time and time again judged, questioned, condemned even for the choices we made in our lives.

Other that this we tick all the boxes. House, car, income, support network, stay home parent...whatever you need. Why would then our chances of being approved tripled if we said we C-O-U-L-D not have children? I fail to see how any of the above mentioned factors would change and still, somehow we would fit the ‘usual’ box and would be approved in no time...
But I do want to become a parent...
I do want to get approved...
I do want to bless those children...

So I don’t rock the boat. Just keep quiet. And I keep answering the same questions on and on again. With a smile. As usual.  


  1. Really enjoyed reading this. True account I think of how many of us feel being assessed and even when receiving support after the adoption has been completed. Fortunately for us we have a very understanding post adoption SW who we can open up to and be honest - but it has taken awhile for us to feel safe with her. She is also an adoptee and an adopter and I wonder if this is what enables her to understand and hold her empathy for us while wearing her SW hat.

    1. The skill and quality of the Social Worker makes all the difference. Generally we've had good ones that have made the process bearable. I confess that there have been a few exceptions! Thanks for commenting.

  2. Yes! Adoption was our first choice too and our social worker described us as 'unusual'. We felt the same way about it all. Just keep nodding and smiling and writing your name, address and date of birth on form after form... Thanks Al and Eva for sharing.

  3. I shall ensure that your encouraging words are passed along.

  4. It is a time of much scrutiny, adoption assessment. I think many of us have to bite our tongue along the way in order to get through. It was good to read someone's honest and open account of how this feels. Thanks for sharing on #WASO

    1. As always thanks for the comments and the #WASO.