This guest blog is written by recent adopters Shereene and Rachael, if you would like to find out more about adoption and fostering for LGBT couples and individuals come along to our Adoption and Fostering Information Evening on March 27th (full details below).
Shereene and Rachael’s story:
“We had always wanted to be parents, we never had the desire to give birth or have the want to be biologically related to our children. We did not go into adoption believing we were martyrs, we wanted to have children and for us adoption was our best choice.
We constantly questioned ourselves if we were ready. These fears were eradicated once we had our training. Although the training is initially hard hitting, it prepares you for what may come and the worst-case scenario. We had discussed the worst-case scenario with each other and believed we were capable of bringing up a child from a troubled background/beginning.
As LGBT parents, we looked at the pros and the cons for us and our future child. The training also answered these concerns as further training and guidance is available once you have adopted, so any future concerns and situations will be supported by professionals.
Our Social Worker trained us, so for us it was great because we felt we had already made a connection with our social worker, this eased us a lot. With our social worker, we were completely honest about our past, present and hopes for the future.
Everything went really well, we had passed Approval Panel with a unanimous yes and were quickly matched with a child. We were all prepared for introductions and adoption leave had been arranged. However, Birth Parents appealed the child’s Placement Order and cut a long story short, we ended up pulling out of the match. We were absolutely distraught, even though we had not met the child, it’s impossible to not feel a connection and love for the child. Initially, we said we will not go ahead with adoption anymore, but that was emotions over taking being sensible and logical.
We had many discussions with each other and our Social Worker and decided to take a break, pull ourselves together and basically grieve for the child we had lost.
A couple of months later we were approached about another child in a different part of the country. It’s hard to describe but this initial link felt right. Due to what had happened with our previous, we made the decision to not tell any of our family or friends about this child until we were 100% certain we were going to be this child’s parents.
I cannot put into words what you feel when you meet your child face to face for the first time, but it is amazing.
Overall, introductions were difficult because we were in another part of the country and the only support outside of our relationship that is available is only over the phone or skype. Introductions is exhausting due to being in a stranger’s home, parenting your child and just feeling altogether uncomfortable.
When you bring your child home, you suddenly feel the heaviness of responsibility and reality kicks in. The mixture of emotions you feel is also difficult to put into words. This is when you call on your support network, family, friends and your social worker.
Our child came home 4 months ago, and it feels like she has always been here, we have lots of fantastic days and a small number of difficult days, but we would not change it for anything. We only love her more and more. We are extremely happy we did not give up on the opportunity to become parents. Our daughter brings us so much joy and we are eternally grateful.
We do not regret our decision of pulling out of the other match, we look back at it as an enlightenment and do not take this process for granted.
Throughout the adoption process ensure you are looking after yourself and be completely honest during the whole process. We can assure you it will not be plain sailing, you will have hurdles but we can whole heartedly say when we wake up every morning and see our child, it was all worth it.”
LGBT Adoption and Fostering Information Evening – March 27th:
Book now for our free information event to find out more about fostering or adopting with Birmingham. Join members of the Adoption and Fostering Services team to hear about the fostering process and ask any questions. We will also be joined by couples and single adoptive parents who will share their experiences having been through the process of adoption and fostering. There will be opportunity at the end to chat to the carers, adopters and staff too.
This is a free event open to all, in order to help us manage numbers please confirm your attendance by emailing email@example.com.
You can also visit the Adoption and Fostering services website www.adoptandfoster.co.uk and follow us on Facebook: Birmingham Council Adoption & Fostering and Twitter: @BrumAdoptFoster.