Sunday, 27 October 2013

The next steps - planning for placement

We are booked in to see the placement coordinator on November 11th to discuss what our preferences are for placement. We have been emailed two forms to read over before the meeting to help us decide what will and wont work for us in a placement.

The first form is mainly about birth parents contact and adoption plans. How often do we want contact, what type of contact (email/phone etc), and what would be no-go's for us e.g. violence, partner in jail etc. This is something I've thought a bit about and we feel relatively comfortable that we could provide an open adoption with a reasonable amount of contact as long as it was safe for our child. We would also be happy to provide extended birth family members with contact with our child, once again on the proviso that it is a safe environment.

The second form we received is a little trickier for us to work through. As we have been approved for moderate special needs, we need to complete a checklist of different health issues that we will and wont be prepared to work with. This includes the parents alcohol/drug history while pregnant, through to intellectual and physical disabilities the child might have.

At this point, we sat down separately to do our lists so that we wouldn't influence each other. Our lists for the most part were very similar, although mine was slightly more inclusive whereas Murray made some strong arguments on some of the health conditions that I hadn't thought of.

It's terribly hard. A friend of mine recently had a baby with Down Syndrome, which was unknown prior to birth. I admire her for how she is handling everything, and I am hopeful that we would cope as well if we were to give birth to a child with DS, but if you had a choice, would you actively choose a child to parent with DS if you knew that in advance? Or Spinal Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy or Cerebral Palsy? Those are four of the conditions we have chosen not to be eligible for, however I doubt they would be considered 'moderate' special care needs anyhow.

Some of the things we have included in our special needs list include health conditions like Asthma, Albinism, physical birth defects eg missing a limb or cleft palate, hearing loss, global development delay, Hepatitis B Carrier, sleep apnoea, or at risk of childhood cancer.

We are lucky in the sense that if we adopt, this will be our only child, and we will be able to invest time and resources into getting our child the best assistance possible. Regardless of our child's health, we can't wait to be a part of it!

Monday, 21 October 2013

The legal side of things

52 . Prerequisites for CEO placing child for adoption
To place a child for adoption, we need to:
• Show that our marriage is stable
• recognises the value of, and need for, cultural and ethnic continuity for the child
• show a desire and ability to continue the child’s established cultural, ethnic, religious or educational arrangements
• can meet the wishes of the birth parents in relation to the child’s upbringing and the preferred attributes of the adoptive family

Another really interesting section is schedule 2 of of the act:
• A significant feature of the infancy stage is that the child needs to be able to trust others to care for and nurture the child. The child has the right to be cared for and nurtured; and to develop attachment to the adoptive family without undue disruption by the birth parents.
• Before consenting to the child’s adoption, the child’s birth parents have the right to make an informed and unpressured decision about the child’s future. After consenting to the child’s adoption, the child’s birth parents have the right to negotiate as to the provision of information and the extent of any contact between the parties.
• There is no right to adopt a child. The adoptive or prospective adoptive parent with whom the child is placed with a view to the child’s adoption has the right to bond to the child.

If you are interested in how adoption in works in Western Australia, you can read the
Adoption Act 1994 which has all the details.

Sunday, 20 October 2013


So we are approved. Basically that means we can become prospective adoptive parents for:

  • One child or a sibling group of no more than two children
  • A child or children up to 36 months (3years) of age
  • A child or children with normal or moderate care needs
  • A child or children born locally in Western Australia
So what does the normal and moderate care needs mean?
  • An adopted child with normal care needs is defined as a child who requires a level of personal, emotional and physical care needs consistent with which would be expected for their age group and experiences.
  • An adopted child with moderate care needs is defined as a child who because of disabilities or medical and/or psychological problems, requires a level of personal, emotional and physical care beyond which would be expected for his or her age group and experiences.
What happens now? Well we wait to hear from adoption services to work on our profile. I don't know if there is other paperwork or anything else that we need to do, but I guess we will find out.

We also need to tell adoption services if there are any changes to our situation that might impact on the care of an adopted child. That includes changing jobs, moving house, other people living in our house, health issues, changes to financial circumstances and major changes to our extended family. Here's hoping for none of those things happening!

Saturday, 19 October 2013


We were expecting to hear back from the panel early this week- they like to get the letters out within two weeks of the committee meeting. We were so nervous, I asked my friend who lives next door to check the mail each day and let me know, so I could prepare for coming home on the day we got the news. Each day came and went without any news, and the coordinator had said the letters would be sent in Tuesdays mail so when Friday lunchtime they hadn't arrived, I rang up the department.

Our usual coordinator doesn't work on Friday's so I spoke to the duty officer and practically begged to find out the result. I even offered to drive over there so that I could pick up the letter directly from them if that was what they needed. He told me he would call me back in half an hour. I was sitting in a training course on a new software program when the call came through, and so I ran out to a free meeting room to await the news.

First he made me verify my identity to confirm it really was us. Then, very casually, he said "Well, you're approved". I burst into tears, sobbing down the phone, unable to get a word out. The guy on the other end seemed really surprised by my reaction and asked if we didn't think we would be approved. I explained between sobs that we had to present to the committee and there were six different points that they were considering not approving us on. He then said that we must have done very well with our presentation because the committee doesn't often change their minds. I thanked him, and he said he would email through a copy of the letter for our peace of mind.

I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't stop crying, I was overwhelmed with so many emotions all at once: relief that we could stop trying to prove ourselves, joy that we might actually become parents, and utter amazement that this was happening, despite everything that we had gone through. Te only way I can compare the joy is that I felt as happy as the moment we got our positive pregnancy test. That moment of knowing that you are going to be parents. It's amazing.

Murray was in class teaching at the time so the only way I could contact him was to send an email and hope he looked at it during class, as he can't check his phone.

I simply wrote APPROVED!!!!!!!!

It seemed like an age before I could talk to him, but in reality it was only 20 minutes. I cried on the phone to him, and he had his workmates all around him cheering. It was such a precious moment. I also got to speak to my Mum and Dad who were thrilled to bits and overwhelmed with the news as well. I also told my friends at work and the whole department are so excited for me. Lets just say I spent a fair chunk of my afternoon with tears in my eyes!

We feel completely blessed, our prayers have been answered.  There is still a long road ahead. Being approved doesn't guarantee that we will be placed with a child. Unlike international adoption where you are on a waiting list and eventually it will be your turn, local adoption is more like a pool of applicants. Then when a child is placed for adoption, the birth parents get input as to what environment they want their child brought up. For example they could say they want a young married couple who can't have kids - hey that's us! From that, the department decide on a couple of applicants to put forward and their profiles get shown to the birth parents who make the decision.

So although we are approved, we don't know if or when we will have a child placed with us. It could be six weeks away, or three years, or possibly never if there isn't a good fit for us. But equally, it could be any day. That thought fills me with joy. Our child could have been born today! Or even already to be alive and in foster care. I offer up silent prayers for the children, of which one may end up being our son or daughter.

Today is a joyous day.

Friday, 18 October 2013


I have so much to write and I'm headed to bed so this will be brief. It has been such an amazing day. We have been officially approved as prospective adoptive parents! I broke down in tears when we finally got told. After going through this process for so long, coming on four years now, I can't be that this could actually come to reality.
So much to say, but today we feel truly blessed. We might finally get to be parents!

Sunday, 13 October 2013


I've been keeping things low key around here lately. The days are slowly getting longer and the weather warmer as we move closer to the end of another year.

I have been busy completing all of the tests requested by the public IVF clinic before we meet with them in November. As expected I still have textbook PCOS ovaries, but my insulin levels are now perfect which is great news. Unfortunately Murray's sperm has degraded further with motility of only 2% and reduced count and morphology as well, which puts paid to any ideas of not using a donor. And finally, something called SHBG which is Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin is quite high, which is actually the opposite of what happens in PCOS, and increased levels can be as a result of long term calorie restrictions, which surprise surprise is from my weight loss surgery. In terms of impact on IVF, I believe this lowers testosterone and estrogen, which obviously would impact on fertility. I will have to wait and see what the doctor has to say before I get too concerned about it.
In adoption news, we presented to the adoption applications committee on October 1 and now we are just waiting for the official word as to whether or not we are approved applicants or not. We went well over our assigned 20 minute slot and talked to most of the points in our report. I still am not sure one way or the other as to if we will get approved, but I can honestly say that we have done everything possible in this process. If we don't get approved, then that is what happens and I will try my best to accept that decision.