One of the regrets of my life is never having children and the reason for me not having children, I was abused by mental health professionals. They told me I would be a bad mother and as a result, I underwent tubal ligation. Thereby ending any chance of having children.
When I returned to my country, I explored IVF only to be rejected. I had thought about fighting the decision but in the end chose not to fight it. I also explored having the tubal ligation reversed. However, I was advised if I did then I will need to have additional microsurgery to remove any scarring and the scarring from the procedure might be too much for me to get pregnant. Then a few years ago, I had elevated levels suggesting I might have ovarian cancer and I underwent a hysterectomy, which finally ended any hope of having a child.
After having the procedure and coming to terms with my past, I began looking at adoption. As I began looking into adoption, I was shocked that members of the child’s birth family may still be in contact and the amount of screening you are subjected to before you are approved. Worst yet, when I speak with agencies that ask about pets. I am advised that I may need to get rid of my pets because the child may be allergic, may not like the pet, or if the pet is aggressive towards the child then the pet will be removed.
It is the latter issue I want to speak about now. If the agency is to be working in the best interest of the child and the child had allergies to pets then why place them with a family that loves pets? I would suspect, a family that had to give up their beloved dog or cat for a child might feel some animosity. Likewise, if the child had allergies to pets and was placed in a home where pet hair will remain, even after cleaning, is that family the best placement. How come the agency cannot provide an allergist to help the child cope with their pet allergies? Instead of requiring the family to give up their pet?
The trouble I have with the questioning about pets is, why do adoption agencies see pets as disposable? How come adoption agencies expect the pet to be removed instead of trying to find a workable solution? What about the pet and its care? What responsibility does the adoption agency has to that pet and to the family? Would that child be better placed elsewhere?
My questions may sound callous and heartless; however, there is a point. The point I am trying to make, pets are a part of the family and the family pet becomes a focal point of the identity of that family. If the family has to remove the pet because of adoption then the family loses a part of their identity. Likewise, the pet loses a caring and loving home that cares for it. The pet is put into the system that tries to find it another home. For some families losing their pet can be upsetting and troubling. I find, asking a family to remove a pet for adoption without providing support for the pet and support for the family, is callous. Is the adoption agency truly acting in the best interest of the child by finding them the best possible family or is the agency trying to unburden themselves?
For me, my pets are a part of my family identity and I could not give them up. Instead, I expect the adoption agency to work with me in finding a child that is compatible with my home life and provide the support necessary to make it the best situation for all (including pets). By working with my lifestyle and understanding my needs, I believe an adoption agency is truly working in the best interest of the child to ensure the best possible outcome for all involved.
In conclusion, trying to start the adoption process in the United Kingdom leaves me sad. I believe, it is probably in my husband’s best interest and mine to look outside of the United Kingdom to adopt. Unfortunately the cost to adopt abroad will most mean I will never be able to afford to adopt and also, it will mean a child in need of a loving home in the United Kingdom will either have to wait longer or never find it because of the bureaucracy of the process. Whilst I understand the term “in the best interest of the child,” I have to question if adoption agencies are truly acting in the best interest of the child or finding reasons to deny loving homes to children?