Adoption Hello Everybody, I hope you are all as well as can be today,

This is a difficult subject, that I hope someone has the necessary experience of to be able to advise.

When my girl was diagnosed earlier this year (at 31) we were starting to try for a family. We had been preparing ourselves over the last couple of years, buying a house near nice schools, in a quiet neighbourhood, family car etc.etc…

However, as you all know, diagnosis changes everything in your world. My girl had a mastectomy and has just finished chemo and is going to have a preventative mastectomy next year, with reconstruction. This is because she is in a very high risk group.

Previously (before dx) we had talked of adoption. We have decided that due to the high risk (she is the 4th in a line) of passing this down a generation, perhaps we shouldn’t have children. At first this was so hard to take in and I was quietly inconsolable about this, but I didn’t say anything as I couldn’t bear to do anything to upset my girl. I realised that as long as I had my girl, I really didn’t care if I had nothing else in the world.

She has decided that she really wants to adopt now, as we could give a child a good home. However, I have two reservations, namely;
Would an adoption agency approve us with her medical history?
I have made myself get used to the idea of just the two of us enjoying life together and making the most of every day.

Am I being selfish? I feel that I am. I don’t want a rejection to upset my girl as I don’t think that she needs that.

Sorry to put this out into the great void, but I am really not sure what to do for the best. I do love the idea of adoption, but I am aware that it is a very intrusive process that turns your life upside down.

Take care everyone.


hi hubby, i do not have any experience in this matter, so i can not say if they will hold the cancer against you.
not that she will now, but if she could have got pregnant by accident whilst going through treatment, i believe that you would be thrilled, so if you can adopt and you both want it, you have to try.

  1. getting used to being on our own.
    2 don’t want rejection to upset my girl.

are you saying that even before dx, you were not really keen on adoption but was going along with it to please your wife. obviously being brave not to have a baby due to the risks and trust me even though you were upset, if you had a child and they got cancer, you would not forgive yourself for putting them through it, knowing it could have been prevented.

this is serious stuff.
i know you don’t want to upset your wife and i can’t say what you should do.
can i ask, which one would you chose, number 1 or number 2, above?
i do believe your wife is stronger than you give her credit for, she has managed this, so going through adoption proccedures will be nothing in comparison.
i do hope i have not misunderstood your post and hope i have not upset you with my reply. I hoped it would be food for thought.
best wishes with what you decide to do.
sharon. x

Difficult questions! Ones to which there are no hard and fast ‘Yes / No’ answers, I‘m afraid.

The new Adoption and Children Act 2002, in force from 30 December 2005, puts the needs of children above everything else. Their welfare is paramount when the adoption agency or courts are making any decisions about them.

Applicants are not to be excluded automatically by an agency solely on the grounds of their age, health, disability, or other factors, except where they are ineligible as they have certain criminal convictions.

The key question an adoption agency will ask is: can you provide a stable home for a child until adulthood and beyond?

Adoptive parents need the energy to cope with family life and meet the needs of the child throughout childhood and into early adulthood. Health and well-being play a part in the assessment process, but you are not automatically disqualified for having a medical condition.

However, prospective adopters must agree to a health check-up and examination of their medical history.

The opinion of the adopter’s general practitioner and the agency’s medical adviser about the health status of prospective adopters needs to be given sufficient weight by adoption panels and agency decision makers. Mild chronic conditions are unlikely to preclude people from adopting provided that the condition does not place the child at risk through an inability to protect the child from commonplace hazards or limit them in providing children with a range of beneficial experiences and opportunities. More severe conditions must raise a question about the suitability of an applicant; in such cases the agency will need to give such factors very careful consideration in its decision to accept an application.

All of the above is ‘officialise’. You can garner it from any handbook or website.

As someone who, along with my wife, adopted a sibling group of 3 children, aged 5, 7 and 8, seventeen years ago, I can tell you that adoption isn’t easy!! In fact, it’s a bloody tough life!!!

Any parent would possibly say the same about raising a child. But with adopted children there are the added pressures of past history and experiences, birth family, social workers, legal processes etc¦¦.!

Endless meetings¦¦.forms to be filled¦…difficult questions to be answered¦¦.discussions with family, friends, employers¦¦.group meetings etc. All that before you have even seen a child!

Despite all of the preparation work, nothing prepares you for the fact that you have a child or children under your roof, who you have no REAL knowledge of. Your intention, from the outset, is to provide a loving and caring home. Wishing it doesn’t make it an instant reality. There are tears, fights, pangs of guilt, periods of intense joy, laughs, recriminations, silences¦¦the whole gamut of emotions. Added to that are sleepless nights, pressures of work, meetings at schools plus social workers, social workers ¦…and social workers!!!

Only you can make a judgement as to whether it’s a road down which you wish to travel.

Would I do it again??? If all things were equal, some days I’d say yes¦.others definitely no!

That’s putting the issue of breast cancer to one side.

7 years ago I contracted breast cancer and had the full treatment package - mastectomy, chemo, Tamoxifen ( the consequences of the treatment - I’m informed - totally buggered my body¦…severe degenerative arthritis¦osteoporosis¦2 replacement knee joints and a new hip).

Would my wife and I be able to cope with it all again from the start with the added issue of breast cancer? I can’t say.

In some respects we’ve had our successes¦¦in others we have failed.

2 of our kids still live with us¦…and we still have sleepless nights, laughs, tears, silences etc. etc.

There are lots of kids out there who need a loving and caring home in which to be given the chance to thrive, prosper and make a way for themselves.

But if you are looking for a stress free life…!!!

My advice is, think very hard¦¦.and then think some more…take off the rose tinted glasses and go into it with your eyes wide open!

Talk honestly and openly with your partner!

All the best


I had been to my first meeting with an adoption agency the day before i was diagnosed with BC. The general line from them is that they wouldn’t proceed with the adoption ‘application process’ whicle I was having treatment, but once it was finished, I could get back in touch and take it from there. There are the health checks to be done, and a report from your consultant on response to treatment and prognosis will be instrumental in whether they will proceed. There is a degree of interpretation in all things, so while, for example, a local authority may or may not decide to proceed, another - e.g. NCH or Barnardos - may may a different decision. i know of someone who successfully adoted after BC. However, you do have to be FULLY committed - you have to jump through may hoops to get there. Now my treatment is finished I am debating with myself whether to go for it now, or not. I would dearly love to give it a bit more time, but am feeling the pressure of advancing years in the decsion making process! Never an easy decision - you and your partner need to be 100% at one on this. I wish you well.

Thank you for your honesty Dear All,

Thank you for your views over the last few days. THere are lots of issues to discuss and consider I know, and as a couple we are discussing them.

Jim25, what can I say? You are obviously a man of experience in this matter and speak with the benefit of a great deal of hindsight.

I think that this shall be an issue that we shall work with together and reach a mutual, equal decision after due consideration.

I hope that you are all as well as you can be today.

Kindest wishes