We always knew that having birth children was highly unlikely for us due to infertility problems - on both sides as it happens! But, both of us had a lot of positive experience of adoption within our families and so it was for us a very natural way to have a family.
We got married and immediately applied to be accepted as adoptive parents. We had been together for five years by then. The social worker explained the process and helped us through it.
There is no getting away from it – Adoption can at times feel a little intrusive. They have to make sure that they are placing a child/children with a family that will suit them and vice versa. However, we don’t think it can be any worse than going through fertility treatments – and you have a lot more control!
It is normal to be a little anxious about the process. We had some worries, namely our lack of experience with children and a health concern. However, you have nothing to be anxious about with regards to the process. In fact, we found it to be an enlightening experience.
We think about the assessment process as being in two phases. There is the first phase, where the social worker is looking at you and finding out what sort of people you are. This consists of a number of visits to your home where the social worker gets to know you. You will also have to have a medical.
Don’t get distressed about any of this. They are not looking for the perfect couple/person. They don’t expect the house to be immaculate and you to drink only water and jog 12 miles a day!! They are looking for real, loving parents for kids who have had a rocky start to life.
The second phase is where your social worker helps you to make the right decision about the type of family you can cope with – age of child/children, number of children and their background. After this they produce a report on you with their recommendations in terms of what family would suit you. This is taken to the Adoption Panel where they accept you as perspective adoptive parents.
We were accepted as adoptive parents just before Christmas. Then we waited. Out of the blue, we got a call – they had a little boy for us. We met with the child’s social worker who gave us very detailed information about the child in question. We then planned the introduction visits where you basically take over from the foster carer in taking care of the child. As our son was very young, this was only a week of visits. However, for older children, this can take a little longer.
Six years on, we have two adopted children. A very active seven year old for whom we are a taxi service and a wonderfully sweet younger son who uses us as a tissue most of the time! This, from two people who had absolutely no experience of children! We have a very busy fun filled life. It is not perfect, but it is close!
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