“My husband and I went through fertility treatment and underwent three rounds of IVF. We both agreed that after our third attempt we didn’t want to continue. The whole process really takes its toll, both emotionally and physically and you almost feel like your life is on hold.
Following a frank conversation, the question came up, ‘was it that we wanted to be parents to our own biological child or was it that we really just wanted to be parents?’ We realised it was the latter and both felt confident that adoption was the route we wanted to pursue.
We had already had one fertility counselling session following our final round of IVF. One thing that the fertility counsellor made clear to us, was that the grief will always be with us and that it can resurface again throughout your life, perhaps when a close friend or a family member announces they’re expecting. This helped us see that adopting a child wouldn’t mean those feelings would completely disappear. It’s ok to feel sad at times and to acknowledge our grief. It also helped us understand that our future child would also carry their own grief with them, no matter how much love we would shower them with. Fertility counselling is something that Families for Children recommend to any prospective adopters post fertility treatment.
We chose Families for Children because we liked the fact they support you for life. We understood that there are likely to be many challenges ahead and it’s good to know that we can find support through Families for Children.
We found the adoption process to be both very thorough and interesting. Our social worker was fantastic and very supportive throughout and helped us to evaluate who we were as individuals and a couple. Some of the topics that we discussed for our Prospective Adopter’s Report [PAR] were quite intense and emotional at times. We understood the need for the discussions and topics to be so in-depth – the children who’re waiting to be adopted have already been through so much and they deserve the best. Your social worker needs to make sure that you can offer a child what they need in terms of stability and that you are mentally and physically fit enough for the journey ahead. They say by the end your social worker will know you better than your best friend and I think this is definitely true! Our social worker also helped us to identify the type of child that we would best be able to offer a loving, stable home.
The adoption training was very insightful and helped to give us a better understanding of the type of children that come into care and the challenges they face because of their past experiences. I don’t think we fully understood the needs of adopted children until we completed the training.
We had made it clear from the beginning that we wanted to adopt a baby or younger child. We felt we wanted to experience everything as a parent, from the sleepless nights, the teething, weaning etc. We knew this meant we were likely to go down the Fostering for Adoption route or Early Permanence as it is also known. We had covered this within our training, but our social worker went over this with us again, in greater detail.
When we were matched, it felt so surreal. The social worker came over to our house to go through our daughter’s profile in more detail. What we hadn’t realised was that she had already turned down five other couples before us. I’m glad we didn’t know this at the time, as I think it would have both made us feel a bit anxious! Thankfully, she felt that we were both perfect.