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March 05, 2018
*All names have been changed for reasons of confidentiality
My wife and I knew we wanted a family after we got married. We explored a few ways in which we could do this before arriving at the decision that adoption was right for our family. We have since reflected on this decision when we look at our children and know we made the right choice.
Initially we were worried that our sexuality would harm our chances of adopting, when in fact it wasn’t even an issue at all. We were welcomed at SFCS and they were so open and really put our minds at rest.
The process, although necessary, was exhausting. At times it felt intrusive, emotional and demanding (a bit like parenting, actually!). The prep training offered at SFCS was exceptional, giving us an in-depth look at adoption and the difficulties that we may face when adopting a child who has suffered trauma. The prep training process was supported by an adopter who gave you real life accounts. This was so useful and helped us demystify some of our worries.
(Looking back, we can say the training was invaluable because we use the techniques that were taught in class in our day-to-day parenting. The tools we were taught in prep training have enabled us to confidently form a lasting attachment with our children.)
The process of matching is extremely emotional. It was a challenge to know if we were making the right decision but our social worker was there to offer advice. We looked at lots of different profiles and found this difficult as so many children need a forever family. Knowing that the choice you make will affect both you and the children was stressful, but when the right match came along we just knew it was right. In the end, we adopted twin boys who were two years old when they came home to us.
We met our boys at an adoption activity day and we think these days are brilliant – a great way to meet children that perhaps you may not have been matched with otherwise. The day was more about seeing if we clicked naturally with the children and enjoyed the same things.
Our boys have several disabilities so it was nice to meet them face to face and get to know them just as children. We spent a few hours there playing with them and gaining more information from their foster carer and social worker. Our information was exchanged and we were matched.
We were surprised at how quick the process was for us. We had a preconceived idea that it would take years to adopt and maybe longer because we are gay. But this was not the case at all – it was about 16 months from our first call to SFCS to our boys coming home.
But the thing that surprised us most about the adoption process was our own emotional journey. When we started the process, we had in our mind the type of child that we wanted to adopt but along the way, this changed. We became more open to the possibility of what our family could be, going from the idea of one young child to the possibility of siblings, older children and children with different types of disabilities.
We were also pleasantly surprised at how much support there is for you from SFCS. They have been there to offer advice, help out with schools and offer support when we’ve had challenging times. We have accessed various adoption support services at SFCS including workshops, family events and the surgery appointments. It’s nice to know that SFCS are there for us – if we ever have a question, they are happy to help.
We take the boys along to SFCS events such as the Christmas party and the summer picnic. These events allow our boys to meet other adopted children and in turn we also get to meet up with other adoptive parents to share our experiences. The boys really enjoy the events and see the same friendly faces each time.
Our life has certainly changed as a result of adoption. We don’t get a lie-in anymore, our support network has changed and we have to watch CBeebies instead of the news – but we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Our children have taught us so much and every day we are proud of how far they have come. It has been nice for us to teach our children new things and take them to places they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to go. Both our children have additional needs so they have given us the ability to see the world differently. We now have a greater appreciation for outside space, we enjoy camping, and different types of sports.
If adoption is something that you feel is right for you, then go for it. Being LGBT is not something that should ever hold you back from adopting. What is important is that you have enough space physically and emotionally for a child. Our boys really don’t care that they have a Mummy and a Mama; they are safe and they are loved.
If you are considering adoption, you can find out more about our Adoption Connections 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.