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Rachel and Sarah

Sarah and I have been together for 12 years and two and a half years ago we had a civil partnership. We talked about having children and Sarah was keen to have our own by using artificial insemination. However I just didn’t feel that it was right as it wouldn’t seem equal, the baby would always be more one of ours than the other. We talked about adoption but weren’t sure whether we as a same sex couple would be accepted.

Someone had told us about the charity Families for Children so we phoned them. They were absolutely fantastic. Within one month we were on a 4 day prep assessment course with 8 other couples who were all at different stages of the adoption process. We learnt all about adoption, some of it was really quite shocking and we felt that it was our first test to see if you would walk away. Three weeks later our home visits from the Families for Children Social worker started. We went to Panel in June and although it was hard going it was definitely worth it. We were approved and then we were allowed to look at profiles of children. We were told that if there was one with an easy background they could have as many as 50 to 100 other couples interested in adopting them. We as adoptive parents were also on a database. Our social worker had 100 enquiries about us as potential parents from other social workers throughout the UK.

When we saw James’s profile we knew instantly that he was the one for us. It had a brief description and no photos but we fell in love with him. As he came from another part of the country, his social workers had to visit us. We then found out that there were another 50 couples interested in adopting James. It was a terrifying process. In the end we got down to the last 4 couples, we were interviewed and then 3 days later were told that we could adopt him. It was the worse 3 days of our lives. We had to wait another month before we went before the matching panel, who approved us and then another month before we could meet him. Then finally after 5 days of visiting James in his foster carer’s home, we were allowed to bring him home.

We brought him home a few days before his first birthday and he is now 2 and a half and he is the most incredible thing in the world.  We feel that he was 100% born for us. He is very funny and loving. He calls me Mamma and Sarah Mummy but we didn’t differentiate ourselves. We would love to adopt another baby and will try again over the next year or so.

James is supported with a very loving network of family and friends. His best friend is adopted. Although a majority of our friends are straight we do also have friends who are same sex couples. We don’t think that this has been an issue for James. Not once have we seen funny looks or received negative comments.

I think in order to encourage more people to adopt, potential parents should be made aware that the children really will be their own and that the birth parents won’t be able to be involved. Some of our friends spent 6 years doing IVF and they have now adopted a little girl and they say that if they only knew then, what they know now, they would have adopted years ago.

*Names and locations have been changed for privacy

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