Chris and his partner adopted in 2018. They have two beautiful girls, now aged four and five. However, before they adopted they had a great fear of not being approved or having some hurdle that might stop them. Once they spoke to a friendly social worker, they soon realised there are very few things that would stop people adopting.
Chris shares his family adoption journey:
“We discussed different options including IVF and ultimately decided on adoption. We also considered foster to adopt but decided to adopt children that were slightly older than foster to adopt age; the girls were two and three years old when they came to live with us.
“They are only 10 months apart so are very similar in terms of what they are in to, like hobbies, but personality-wise they are different in several ways! They are biological siblings (and also have a brother that we keep in touch with regularly) and that was very important to us. This is a bond they will always have and is so special. We feel this will get even more important as they get older and explore their past in more detail.”
What was your biggest concern before adopting?
“The fear of not being approved or having some hurdle that might stop us. Our social worker was excellent, both in terms of preparing us for panels and actually adopting children but also allaying any worries we had.”
What are the main challenges?
“During the process we felt there weren’t really many challenges. We were both supported really well by our social worker and our employers (time off for training etc). Now we experience the same challenges as any other parents and we wouldn’t say there are any additional challenges. In some ways we were more prepared than birth parents because the adoption training you get is far more than you get when you have your own biological family; many of our friends with children have made this comment to us. We are both very aware that in the future as the girls get older and learn more about their background there will be some difficult questions but we embrace their history and talk openly about it regularly.
The support we had from day one was exceptional!
“We felt supported and everything was tailored to help us learn about ourselves and adoption to prepare us for one day having adopted children. Any issues we had were resolved with the support of our social workers.”
Is there anything you would have done differently?
What impact has adoption had on your life?
“Massive positive change. The laughter, love and happiness they have brought to us, our family and friends is immeasurable. We feel blessed every day to have a wonderful family of four! There is not a day that goes by without them making us smile, laugh and feel loved.”
What is the most rewarding aspect of adoption?
“The fact that you are able to provide a loving home to children in need. We have loved the fact that we were able to give the girls a home together and therefore preserving their biological bond.
“The energy and fun they bring to our life every day makes us smile. They constantly say and do funny things. They really are hilarious and full of energy.”
What’s your advice to prospective adopters?
“No matter the questions or worries you may have don’t hesitate to speak to a social work or adoption agency like Adopt South West. They will give you honest support and advice.
There are very few things that would stop you adopting.
“Things from years gone by that prevented people adopting are no longer in place. You will be providing the child/ren with a loving home and they will enrich your lives beyond measure. Also, when you start exploring it you will find out there will likely be people in your social circle that you know who have knowledge or experience of adoption. Speaking to these people first hand will give you invaluable advice and experience.”