Mental / physical health and adoption / fostering - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-25-2009, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
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HI - I have been lurking for a while and introduced myself on another thread. We were TTC for 18 months, but that did not work and now my DP and I are considering adoption. In Illinois we have to be certified as foster parents too - I understand - though haven't found out what that entails. We don't think we are in a position in our lives to foster at the moment, but we do want to adopt.
I have been hearing about what the home study is and I understand the importance of bringing a baby / child into a family that is financially stable ( not rich but stable) and where the adoptive parents are mentally and physically well.
It just occurred to me that we might not do too well on those two latter fronts. My partner has weight issues and she has diabetes, hypertension and hypothyroidism and related issues. She works and goes to school and is not physically hampered in any way by her ill health at this point. It is a constant battle with all that there is to do in life to lose weight which would have an positive impact on these health issues. And she is 51.
I am physically healthy and 41. I have a history of depression for over 20 years. I have never been hospitalized, I take medication ( not a boatload) go to therapy and have a very responsible if high stress job. I have never been on disability or been unable to work due to my depression. I have worked ever since I got out of school 13 years ago ( late starter!)
What are people's thoughts about how this will impact our abliity to adopt? I know these are the kinds of issues that a lot of people deal with on a daily basis -so it's not like we are especially unusual.
One of the reasons we wanted to TTC is that we did not want people vetting our abillities to raise a child which we think are just fine.
Also with the economy the way it is, my partner is really worried about her job.
We still really want to adopt - and we can afford to pay for the adoption itself - and have been dreaming of having a family for a long time.
Thoughts about our chances? How much to reveal to the agency? I don't want to lie but I also don't want them to think we are not good candidates either.
Thanks for any ideas and I hope I used the right language - please feel free to correct me - I did read the post about respectful language.
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#2 of 5 Old 03-26-2009, 01:58 AM
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Usually, part of the homestudy process is a medical form that you have your doctor fill out. If the doctor is willing to "sign off" that you are healthy enough to be reasonably expected to live until the child is an adult...then you are fine. I have read of some people's experiences, esp if they have a history of depression, of having to jump through additional hoops to satisfy the agency's requirements.

I dont have experience w/ private/newborn adoption, but adopted through foster care and what you described would not be a consideration as far as getting approved. And as far as finances, they want to make sure you have enough money coming in to cover your expenses. Thats about it.


Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
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#3 of 5 Old 03-26-2009, 01:22 PM
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Yeah, I have type I diabetes (and am healthy but on the heavy side...I don't have the type of diabetes caused by obesity). My endocrinologist was very enthusiastic to write a note saying that I would be a fantastic mom and that my prognosis is great.

My experience has been that for every health issue including mental health, they aren't looking for no problems as much as they are for confirmation that the problems are well-controled and won't have an impact on ability to parent. I think your homestudy worker is likely to be impressed by your commitment to your meds and therapy regimine, and I doubt this would be a barrier. And as long as your wife is seeing a doctor, taking her prescribed meds, working on her weight issues, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, her issues also should not be a barrier.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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#4 of 5 Old 03-28-2009, 12:07 AM
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It seems like it would probably be fine as long as your doctor could confirm that all conditions are well managed and don't impact your ability to parent. I can think of a mom I know who adopted recently with weight issues and some related health issues, and another mom who has adopted more than once who is bipolar. One adopted through foster care, and one privately. We are doing our home study now, and one of my big concerns was that I had breast cancer a couple of years ago. My prognosis is great, I have done everything possible to prevent recurrence. Our social worker certainly addressed it, but everything seems to be progressing fine. Our approach is to be totally upfront with things. If there is something that seems "not so great", my feeling is that it is better to get it out in the open from the beginning. Not doing so, and then having them find out about it down the road makes it seem worse - at least in my opinion. The more I have talked to others and read, it seems like every family has something that they would rather not have to reveal, but they do and it typically works out fine. Good luck as your start this journey!
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#5 of 5 Old 03-28-2009, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the feedback and suggestions. I agree that it is best to be upfront - and I know that is what I would advise someone else. I will keep you posted on how it goes - we are right at the beginning and looking at agencies right now.
It's not like there are many parents out there with perfect health and no problems at all!
good luck with the home study and congratulations on your recovery
I better go get cosy with my doctor so he can sign off that I am healthy. He did say last time that I am very healthy. My shrink is very supportive as is my therapist. I will talk to DP about getting her doctor on board.
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