You don't have to be superhuman to adopt a child, people just like you have done it and want to share their experiences with you here.
Meet our families
- Julie and Mac had older children of their own and adopted two sisters
- Anna's son was almost five when he joined the family
- Trish, a single mum of two children with disabilities
- Julian and Richard were matched with a son and daughter
Julie and Mac had older children of their own and adopted two sisters
“We had older children in our family already but also had fertility issues in the past. An adoption support worker came out and talked to us and we worked through those feelings first before we began the process to adopt.
Our first match was with a little boy. It was a heart-breaking decision to turn him down, but we didn’t feel he was the right match for us. You are not expected to accept all children who are matched with you. If something is not right, the team encourage you to say so, as it has to be right for everyone involved.”
Within another three weeks we were offered twin girls and we knew it was right this time. They were three years old when they came to us and I exhausted myself trying to make sure everything was perfect when they first arrived. My adoption support worker was really supportive and helped me understand a little chaos and anxiety is normal for any new parent.
One morning the youngest came out of the bedroom and said ‘Mummy, can I have my breakfast?’ I jumped for joy and I was on the phone in tears, ‘she called me mum’. After the adoption went through, we’ve never looked back. To celebrate we all went to the cinema together. They hadn’t been before. I remember the girls sitting there, I looked at them and I thought ‘those girls are ours – they are our children’.
I had a great support network from Northumberland County Council and our adoption support worker throughout. Our older children have been great too - the girls were bridesmaids for our daughter when she got married. She just sees them as her sisters.”
Anna's son was almost five when he joined the family
Our son was almost five when he joined our family through adoption. When we first applied, we were considering children aged up to four years old. However, as we learned more about adoption, child development and ourselves, we felt we could parent an older child.
We did speak to other adoption agencies but, even though we live outside the county, we chose Northumberland County Council because we felt relaxed with them from the first information evening. We always felt the team was on our side and we were supported by the same social worker all the way through.
The adoption preparation training was very useful. For example, it is easy to feel that you want to buy the children lots of presents when they first arrive, to make up for the things they didn’t have before. The course taught us that, in the long term, it’s better to spend family time together, playing games and getting to know each other.
We still access training courses on different topics. There is lots of support and guidance for helping children develop throughout their life, like starting a Life Story book, adding photos and mementos – like their first visit to the seaside, or a ticket stub from a pantomime trip. The matching process also seemed really quick and handled well. The work the team do in getting to know us, and the children waiting for a family is the key.
With adoption, you are never too old and you can come to adoption to start or extend your family. However you become a parent, every child is different, so it’s pointless having a set picture of what your family will be like.
You don’t get an instruction manual as a parent, but you can rely on the friendly and experienced Northumberland team to support you every step of the way.
*name is changed for privacy purposes
Trish, a single mum of two children with disabilities
Julian and Richard were matched with a son and daughter