Mark and I started our adoption journey by making a simple telephone call.
It was my day off from work and we had previously researched the adoption process so knew the next step was to contact either a local authority (council) or agency… I looked up the contact details and was armed with a keen enthusiasm and plenty of questions. We decided it would be a good idea to go through our Local Authority. Without giving too much away let’s just say this local authority have a large tower and some tacky lights *wink wink*. This telephone call nearly concluded our journey, as to be honest, it went awful.
During this telephone call I spoke to a lovely (twatty) lady, explained our situation; same-sex couple, would love a baby but not set on the age on which we would like to adopt. Bear in mind this was in 2015 and gays adopting is hardly a big deal anymore. She told me that due to our ‘family type’ (Two charming, kind, lovely men with plenty of love to give to a child) we should ‘go elsewhere to look for a child’. I asked her to explain and she stated that due to us being gay we were unlikely to get one of their children, as they would typically go to a nuclear family type.
You can adopt a child through your Local Authority or an Independent Agency. Agencies tend to have children from across the country, whilst Local Authorities (LA) tend to specialise with children in that area. Despite being rejected by our initial LA we opted to go for the next, this one specialised in the whole county rather than the area, so the pool would be significantly larger. Thankfully we received a more informative service from this LA. They rubbished the claims of the previous contact and were extremely keen for us to have an initial visit as soon as poss!
The Initial Visit
We still lived in that area with the tacky tower (previously mentioned) at this point, I tell you as this nugget of information will be useful later when it comes to building a timeline. Having gone with the county LA, we promptly received a letter stating we were to have an introductory meeting with a social worker at our house. In the run-up to this, we made sure the house was absolutely spotless and that we were all clued up on all things adoption relation. How naive we were at that point as we hadn’t even scratched the surface.
By now it’s Summer 2015, and we are visited by a social worker to carry out the initial visit. During this visit, you are given all the basics and the SW noted down all our needs and wants. We were clear from the get-go that we were keen to adopt a child from a young as possible, reasons being we wanted to experience all the firsts; and with us being a same-sex couple we wanted a child before prejudice had been influenced on them. So knowing this, the SW warned us that there are very few children in need of a family at the moment which are under the age of 4. She also asserted that a lot of child placements were now through a scheme called Foster to Adopt, which at the time we had no clue what that encompassed.
Registration of Interest
At this point, we were hugely optimistic and quite excited to get the process going. We received our Registration of Interest form through the post, this form wasn’t overly long; it required the basics such as job info, education history and most importantly the type of family we wanted.
“There is no standardised form to submit your Registration of Interest for the adoption process in the UK, but there are some things that you can expect from each agency. You will start by agreeing a Prospective Adopter Plan with the agency. This will set out both your own and the agency’s responsibilities and expectations for this stage of the process. The agency will then collect basic factual information from you such as: factual information about you and your household – such as names and dates of birth basic information on you and your partner – such as income, occupation and health the names of three referees the agency can contact, two of which must not be related to you basic information on the kinds of child you are open to adopting There are likely to be legal disclaimers for you to sign, including one that states you are not in the process of applying to be adopters with any other agency.”
First For Adoption
Next up, Mark and I were really struggling with a huge element of our individual lives. It was decided amongst us both, that until the issues were overcome we wouldn’t carry on with the adoption process; as we just weren’t ready.
Find out what was so bad we just couldn’t continue our adoption journey in Part 3!