Adopters share their stories for National Adoption Week
18 October 2021A couple who adopted siblings with additional needs, and a family who have experienced the adoption process twice, have been sharing their stories in the hope that it will encourage others to consider adopting children.
The stories are part of National Adoption Week, which this year aims to celebrate modern adoption by highlighting some of the many different families who have been brought together through the adoption process.
There are a number of children in west Cheshire still looking for their forever home and Cheshire West and Chester Council is encouraging anyone who is considering adoption to come and find out more about how the process works and how they can change a child’s life.
The Council will be supporting National Adoption Week by lighting up Newgate Bridge, Eastgate Clock and Chester Town Hall in red and green from 18 – 23 October.
Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Councillor Robert Cernik, said: “Adopting a child or siblings can be really rewarding for the entire family and provides so many benefits for the children as they settle into their new home. Stories like Steven and Matt’s, and Rosie and Dave’s can really help inspire others to take the first step on their adoption journey.
“If you have been considering adopting and feel you could provide a loving home to a child or siblings please get in touch with the Together for Adoption team to find out about the fantastic support on offer.”
Councillor Margaret Parker, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s representative for Together for Adoption, said: “There are many misconceptions about who can and who cannot adopt and what the adoption process is like. Together for Adoption provide support throughout the whole adoption process and will be there to answer any questions you may have. I hope that by adopters sharing their stories, this will encourage others to start their journey in providing a child a loving home.”
Steven and Matt were married in 2015 and always knew that they wanted to adopt children.
Steven said: “After our marriage it seemed like the next natural step. Adoption had always been our preferred route because we knew that there were so many children who needed a family.”
The couple have adopted twice and chose the Fostering for Adoption route with their second adoption, which means first fostering a child who is very likely to soon become eligible for adoption.
Steven said: “The two adoption processes weren’t massively different. There are some advantages to the Fostering for Adoption route as you’re more likely to be able to adopt a baby or young child, if that’s what you want to do, and the process can often be quicker than a standard adoption.”
The couple had a two-year gap in between each of their adoptions. Steven said: “We’d always planned to adopt more than one child and after two years we knew we were ready to adopt again. We’d worked hard to prepare our first little boy for the arrival of our second, but that is something that can be challenging when adopting a second child as there wasn’t the option of involving him in the pregnancy as there could have been with a biological child."
“We’d often spoken about the fact that he would soon have a new brother, but it still must have been surprising to him when our younger little boy arrived. Our younger one was also 13 months old when we adopted him, so he was interested in playing with our older little boy’s toys, which is an issue you wouldn’t have with the arrival of a new baby.”
A couple of years later, the two boys now have a close relationship. Steven added: “Now they’ve very much bonded and think of each other and refer to each other as brothers. They have similar interests, they both love being outdoors and being active.”
Rosie and Dave adopted two little girls with additional needs two years ago. They will be sharing their story on video through the Council’s social media channels during National Adoption Week (18-24 October).
Rosie said: “We’d always imagined we would adopt younger children, so we were surprised to be drawn to the girls as they were both over 4 years old. We knew we needed to take our time, because this was something different to what we’d planned, but there was something special about them."
“Adopting children with additional needs isn’t as scary as you might think. You do have to adapt to challenges, but all parents do, and ‘normal’ is just whatever is normal for you.”
The theme for National Adoption Week this year, is Modern Adoption. Steven said: “For me, Modern Adoption means everyone being open to different types of families, both parents and children. As a family, we don’t necessarily look like everyone else’s expectation of what a family might be, so that could be called modern, but it’s also really good."
“Throughout the adoption process, the fact that we were two men wasn’t really spoken about, we were never made to feel different, the focus is all about matching the right child with the right family. If you’re considering adoption, be open to the different possibilities and then just go for it and approach an organisation like Together for Adoption and find out more.”
In the UK, anyone who is 21 or above can be considered as an adopter.
Cheshire West and Chester Council, along with four other local authority areas (Halton, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan) came together to form a regional adoption agency just over four years ago.
To find out more visit about adopting a child please visit www.togetherforadoption.co.uk