Adoption: 'the best decision we ever made'
Children come into County Council care for a variety of reasons, but there is one thing they have in common – they are vulnerable and in need of a loving, stable home, with a family who can care for their particular needs.
Hampshire Now talked to one couple who have first hand experience of the process and have now applied for their second adoption.
“Anyone who thinks adoption is second best has got it totally wrong,” said Carole from the New Forest. “It’s as wonderful as giving birth to your own child,” added Carole, proud mum to five year old Bea, and says it’s the best decision she and her husband Andy ever made.
Carole had resigned herself to being childless after IVF and a frozen embryo transfer treatment failed. “Infertility can be so crushing,” said Carole. “I thought I wasn’t going to be a mum, then I bumped into a friend who was leaving work to become an adoptive parent. She encouraged me to make some enquiries. I’d heard it was tough but she said it was nowhere near as tough as IVF and the outcome was so positive, so that set us thinking.”
The couple decided to apply. They found the processes necessarily tough, but interesting too. “As you go through the process you learn a lot about yourself and your family dynamics, but it also helps you to realise that you have such a lot to offer a child, which is so important,” said Carole. “The social workers assigned to us were so supportive throughout,” she added.
In fact, Carole and Andy have found the whole experience so rewarding they are now embarking on a second adoption, to find a sister for Bea, and praise Hampshire County Council for having adapted the process for second timers like them. “Many local authorities make you go through exactly the same process again, which does seem a waste of time and resources,” said Carole. “Hampshire has modified the process so you don’t duplicate some of the sessions which you would have to do as a first-time adopter. I wouldn’t change anything about the last few years – we have a beautiful daughter we thought we’d never have and now we are looking to complete our family with a sister for her. Adoption really has been one of the best decisions we made.”
Want to find out more about adoption?
Adoption has lifelong implications for all involved and, as with any other parenting, it can be challenging and hard work, but also hugely rewarding.
If you think you can open your heart and your home to children in need of care, especially older children, sibling groups or children with very specific needs, such as those with learning difficulties, physical disabilities or a medical condition, then contact Hampshire County Council
- Tel: 0845 603 5620
- More about adoption
There are few barriers to becoming an adopter. You must be aged 21 or above, either single, married, a couple living together in a civil partnership or in a same sex relationship and you don’t have to have had your own children. You will undergo an assessment process and training before being matched with a child.
Hampshire is placed among the top county councils in some of the key tables published by the Government – with 84 percent of children placed within the Government’s timescales.
The recent Ofsted inspection of the County Council’s Adoption Services, which took place in December 2011, has rated the service as ‘consistently good and strongly performing’. The recruitment processes, the experienced and well-qualified social workers, who are part of the Adoption team, and the range of health and support services available to adopted children were all highlighted for praise by inspectors.
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