Rachel was adopted by her family in 2007. Here she tells us about what it was like when she first met her new parents.
Rachel said: “When I was told by my foster carer that I was going to be adopted, I felt a little scared, because I didn’t know what would happen. She showed me a book all about my new family. The book was full of photos and information all about my new mum and dad, it even had some photos of my new bedroom in it.
“When it was time to meet my new mum and dad for the first time, I was very nervous. But when I saw them and talked to them I felt a lot happier. We all sat down and had a photograph taken of us together. This was to be our first family photograph, which my new mum and dad put in a nice frame.
“Over the next couple of weeks, I spent time every day with my new parents. This gave them time to get to know my routines and for me to get used to them. On moving in day, I felt nervous and I had butterflies in my tummy, but once I got to the house and saw my bedroom, I felt ok.
“I love this family, because they care and love me in a safe way and I trust them and they trust me.”
Jackie and Colin adopted their daughter five years ago. Colin had twin boys from a previous marriage and when they left home the couple decided that they would like a family of their own. Here they tell us about their experience of the application and assessment process.
Jackie said: “We heard an advert on the radio promoting an adoption information evening. We went along and were convinced that adoption was what we both wanted to do.
"A social worker from the Adoption Team arranged to visit us in our home to discuss our interest in more depth. I remember feeling a little giddy and nervous before the visit, but we were soon put at ease. We had a long discussion about adoption, and how it would impact upon our lives. She explained the application process including details of the assessment and training that we would have to complete.
“After considering the reality of adoption seriously, Colin and I decided to formally apply to become adopters.
“A member of the Adoption Team visited us a number of times to ask us lots of questions about our lives, our pasts and feelings about adoption. Our social worker immediately became like a member of our family and it felt like we were talking to a close friend. By the end of the process our social worker knew everything about our lives, in fact we often joked that she knew more about us than we did.
“When the report was completed we went to the Adoption Panel, which was scary because we knew that these people were going to be making a decision that would change the rest of our lives. It was a wonderful feeling when we were approved – a real mixture of emotions, we were both laughing and crying at the same time!”
Nicola and Andy were approved as adopters in 2010 and were matched with their daughter in early 2011. Here they tell us about their experiences during the matching process.
Nicola said: “Once we were approved, came the hard part – waiting for the right child for us! You have to believe that the right child will be in the system at the same time you are and that you are both on a journey towards finding each other. You may be matched with a child in 2 weeks, or it could take 2 years, in our case it took 5 months.
“Details about Andy and I were distributed to many other adoption agencies across the country, to see whether they had a child suitable for us. Eventually an agency contacted our social worker about a child. We read the information about the child and were keen to explore this potential match further.
“We met the child’s social worker who wanted to get to know us better. We also had many questions about the child, to ensure that we were 100% confident that we were making the right decision. We left the meeting to carefully consider this huge life changing decision and eventually decided that we would like to be considered as the new family for this child.”
Andy said: “Eventually all the social workers involved agreed that we would be a good match. We went to the Adoption Panel, who would make a recommendation about our match. We were both very nervous, as this was the biggest meeting we would ever have to attend. I don’t remember much of the meeting, as all we wanted was the outcome which was a recommendation that we could become parents to our new baby daughter. We were so excited. I remember texting our family and friends a picture of her and then we went out and bought her a pram.”
Brendan and Elliott are the proud adoptive parents of three brothers, aged 5,4 and 3 who, they, say ‘make their lives complete’.
The couple knew they wanted children years ago but, says Brendan, thought that same sex couples couldn’t foster or adopt.
“When we realised we could, the process was a happy accident,” said Brendan, an assistant head teacher in a local primary school.
“We saw an advert for the Trust’s adoption service on the back of a bus with an email to contact to express an interest. It was absolutely the right time for us to do it. We emailed and got a phone-call really quickly.
“We had a home visit after which we went on a four day course. It took two years to actually get to the point of adopting and we were well supported by the Trust team throughout the process.”
Originally the couple had intended to adopt one child to start with but always knew they eventually wanted more.
“I’m one of four siblings and Elliott is one of five, so we are used to large families,” said Brendan.
In the end, after talking it through together, they decided to adopt more than one at the same time.
“The three boys kept coming up and they really appealed to us – we knew we could adopt two but were worried about the financial implications of becoming parents to three,” said Brendan.
“In the end, though, we realised the three boys were right for us and us for them and we worked out that if we cut back a bit on a few things, we could manage.”
Elliott has secured a couple of years off work while Brendan still works full time.
Speaking about becoming parents, Brendan says: “Our lives are complete now. It’s like the boys have always been part of our family. Even our brothers and sisters see them as part of the family.
“It’s hard work but we have absolutely no regrets and we would advise anyone thinking about adopting to call the Trust and ask about the process.” become parents to siblings
“The social worker was brilliant! Very supportive and went above and beyond for us.”
- Adopters to their social workers