Adoption – “meeting your child is just indescribable”

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A few weeks ago, one of our adopters, Carrie, was interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds by Liz Green on the morning show. If you missed it, here is what they talked about.

Liz – In Yorkshire, we’ve got more children available for adoption than ever before. Figures say there are 500 youngsters wanting to find new homes. Carrie Hughes is here from Leeds. You have just recently adopted a little boy and I know the message you want to get across today is you don’t have to be childless to want to adopt because you had your own child too. Tell me what happened.

Carrie :“After the birth of my first child (he’s 10 this year), it came to light that we had fertility problems. I had a lot of surgery and we chose not to go down the IVF route – we decided we’d been through enough emotionally. We then looked into adoption and we went to our first meeting in November 2011 and immediately realised how wonderful to give a child a chance.”

Were you daunted?

“Absolutely. We had to make sure we had the support from friends and family but once we got into the process we realised that we did have the support, especially from social services as well. We actually found it quite therapeutic and at the end of the day we realised that it was all worth it in the end.”

I think there might be an image that somehow you can’t adopt if you’re already a natural parent. When you hear that there are more and more children available for adoption it’s heart-breaking because there are homes like yours that would be just great for a child.

“Absolutely, and they do take into consideration people from all walks of life, whether you’re married, a couple who aren’t married, or single, so it’s definitely worth looking into. There are lots of children out there and if you can offer love and support and a good home there’s no reason why not.”

Did the process of adoption take a long time?

“It does take a while but what you need to take into consideration is that the adoption agency need to make sure that the child is being placed with the right family. It took us around 18 months altogether which does seem like a long time but once you’re going through the process, and are in the different stages, it does go quite quickly. Once we were approved to be adopters we had an immediate match so that was very quick.”

The first time you saw him – what was that like?

“He had a Batman outfit on and hid behind his hands. It was the most amazing feeling especially after going through the process, as it is an emotional roller coaster. Meeting your child is just indescribable. You just feel so proud of yourself for getting here and looking forward to taking your child home.”

Anyone who might have thought about it, and who might have thought it wasn’t something they could do, what’s the one piece of advice you would give them?

“I would say at least look into it. There is an adoption meeting you can attend – you’re not committed to anything, it’s just an information meeting, and it was from that that we realised it was perhaps something we could do, so I would definitely recommend getting in touch. Leeds City Council is now part of Being Family which is a new initiative by the Yorkshire and Humber adoption consortium so I would recommend that people get in touch.”

It was lovely to meet you, thank you for coming in, Carrie.

“Thank you.”

Being Family is a regional adoption recruitment campaign, launched in mid-February – look out for our TV adverts on ITV1! If you want to find out more, Leeds City Council’s next adoption information evening is 18th March at South Leeds Learning Centre. There will also be a special joint info evening with fostering on the 4th March, for the national LGBT adoption and fostering week 2014. Further dates for all our events and details on adopting with Leeds City Council are at www.adopt4leeds.co.uk or call 0113 395 2072.

3 comments

    • The minimum age to adopt is 21. There’s no official maximum age, as each household is assessed individually, and it will depend partly on what age of children someone wants to adopt. We need to be reasonably sure that the prospective adoptive parents are generally healthy enough to look after the child until they reach adulthood, which could be partly about age, partly about overall health and well being. You can come and find out more at an information evening, or call the adoption duty desk to chat to someone on 0113 395 2072.

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