How do I know I’m ready to adopt?
Tracy Roberts, senior social worker from Denbighshire
We know that adoption is a big step in your lives, and it’s our job to make it easier for you. Whether you’re a few steps into your adoption process or you have yet to even call an agency, I want to talk about how to know if you’re ready and suitable for adoption.
Before picking up the phone to an adoption agency, it’s important that you feel emotionally ready to begin your journey. If you’re in a couple, it is crucial to have a chat about adoption. It’s important to be open and transparent with each other at the very beginning and to make sure that adoption is something you’re both interested in.
As a first step, take time to do some research into the adoption process in Wales. For example, the legalities around it, the different stages in the approvement process and stories of people who have adopted. There is lots of information and podcasts available that take you through each step of the adoption process in a simple way, and that give you an insight into the positive as well as negative experiences people have had through adoption.
If you already know you’re ready, there is no harm in just picking up the phone and chatting to a social worker. You can ask as many questions as you want on the phone – no question is ever silly. We will be warm, welcoming, and honest about your queries, worries and dreams. It’s a learning curve, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.
Remember, you’re not committed to adopting a child once you’ve picked up the phone to us, so feel free to call as many times as you want. You may want an initial call to answer a few questions, then go away and consider the answers, and when you’re ready you can call back to find out more.
It’s also important to read about the psychological side of adoption too, such as child trauma and ACEs (adverse childhood experiences). This may be a tougher read, but it is important to learn more about what some children may have experienced previously so that you can better understand how to parent them. Also, you may have experienced ACE’s within your own childhoods.
People are often worried that you have to be a certain type of person or family to adopt, but that is completely untrue. Adoption is open for everybody. Our children are all so different, but they have one thing in common – they need a family. It’s the same for adopters. We know everyone is different, but our children just need a caring, loving parent or family who has the time, patience, nurture and resilience and reflectiveness to parent. One of the hardest and most rewarding journeys you will ever make.
Whatever your background or reasons for adopting, we want to hear from a range of prospective parents. After all, it’s not about if you own your own home, what size it is, whether you’re single or have a large family or what job you have. It is about what you have to offer that child. Adoptive children do not care about your living or financial status, they care about you having time and love to give to them!
Part of the assessment process means that we do look at things like your background, attachment to your own family, past relationships that may involve birth or step-children you have parented and finances to make sure you can offer a child a stable upbringing. You should not be put off by this, everyone has a past.
During the assessments we will do everything we can to put you at ease. It’s our job to look after you and guide you through this incredible journey. From the first call to the first week of your child being placed with you, to the first family holiday, our support continues for as long as you need it and we are always here to support you. Adoption lasts way beyond the making of the Adoption Order.
When you’re ready to embark on this incredible journey, you can find your local adoption agency here: https://www.adoptcymru.com/contact. We look forward to talking to you!