October 22, 2015
*Names have been changed for reasons of confidentiality.
I always knew I wanted children. It didn’t happen for me naturally, so I decided to adopt. I’m divorced, but I work as a social worker, so was aware that you can be single and still adopt.
I knew I wanted to adopt a little boy, as I come from a family of brothers. I also understood that adoption agencies have difficulty placing black boys with permanent families.
My journey began in May 2013, when a social worker from Adoption Connections visited me to ask some initial questions and check out my home. After that, I attended a series of preparation groups run by SFCS. The sessions introduce you to the adoption process, help you to understand behaviours which adopted children can display, and offer advice on how to deal with those behaviours.
Once the course was completed, I was allocated a social worker, who saw me through the entire process. I was asked to fill in a study book that made me think about my own parents, my childhood, and how I would parent a child.
This ‘Home Study’ process takes about four months, and really helps you decide if adoption is the right option for you. During this time I also had to have police checks, medical checks, and supply referees. At the end of this process, my social worker wrote a lengthy report, and my case went before the SFCS Adoption Panel.
Thankfully, my application was approved, so the process of matching me with a child could begin. My social worker emailed me a few profiles of suitable children who were awaiting adoption, and Steven’s profile was among them. When I saw his picture and profile, it was an instant feeling – it’s difficult to describe, but I knew immediately that he was right for me.
Initially, we went and talked to his foster parents and nursery staff, and I then got to see him in his nursery. I remember when the nursery staff said I could go into the room he was playing in and see him. I had not officially met him yet and when I went into the nursery, I came over all emotional, started crying, and had to leave the room!
My match with Steven had to be approved by a Local Authority Panel, and once that had happened we were allowed to formally begin the introduction process. At first I visited him for an hour, then half a day, then I took him out for a day on my own. As soon as I met him, I felt that he was my son.
The whole adoption process took just over a year. Steven came to live with me just before his 3rd birthday, and it feels so right and natural. My whole extended family love him dearly too.
Having a child has exceeded my expectations – my life is more fulfilled and I would definitely recommend adoption. It has meant I have a son, and I am a mother.
If you are considering adoption, you can find out more about our adoption service here. You can also check out our adoption resources, read more real adoption stories and find out about our next information events. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we’d love to hear from you.