Home In focus Knowsley appeals for more LGBT adopters and foster carers

Knowsley appeals for more LGBT adopters and foster carers

by Laura Johnston

A same sex couple who adopted siblings through Knowsley Council have shared their experience ‘of the most magical, special and rewarding thing you will ever do’ to encourage more people to consider adoption during LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, from 6 to 12 March.

Andrea and Caroline are in a loving relationship and having a family was something they both wanted. They decided that adoption was the right for them.

“At first we only thought of adopting one child. However, after attending the pre-adoption course and getting to know our social worker, we learned more about the children who are adopted and we did start to begin to feel that keeping siblings together would be a good idea.

“There were so many positives to adopting siblings, both for us and the children. For the children they will have each other for support through any difficulties they may face such as any questions they may be asked as they get older around being adopted and having two mums. The positive for us is we only had to go through the process once! It is beautiful to watch the children’s relationship and attachment to each other grow, it’s good for us to see that they have each other and gives us confidence that they will always be there for each other,” said Andrea

The couple have treasured memories of the first time they met the children, as Andrea explains: “To meet them was truly the most amazing special moment of our lives. You hear stories from adopters throughout your adoption journey and when they tell you about the day they meet their child or children and there is never a dry eye in the room – to experience this for yourself is just unreal.”

“It was really surprising how relaxed the first meeting was, as well as exciting. The children seemed just as excited about meeting us as we did meeting them; as young and as little as they were they seemed to know from that moment we were there to love them and we were their forever family,” added Caroline.

“It was just as exciting as the day we met them. We had spent time with them for a week learning about them and their routine from their foster carer, so this made moving in a little bit less stressful. It was nice that their social worker followed up later on to help us all settle in, it was nice to know that support was there if we needed it. I don’t think we slept much the first night and we must have checked on them both at least 20 times during the night!” said Caroline.

After 18 months of motherhood life is now very different, “Our lives as a family of four is a busy one! However it’s a beautiful one too. We have changed a lot of nappies, and we hear a lot of noise! This has become our norm and we wouldn’t change it for the world.

“It didn’t take long for us all to bond as a family and for the children to form attachments to us and our extended family. The children have become not just our world, but that of our family and friends too. They are loved so much and are as equally loving back,” says Andrea.

The couple have reassuring advice for anyone seriously considering adoption, as Caroline explains: “The process is not as daunting as you may hear, and the outcome is worth any difficulties you may face on your journey. Your social worker is there for you and they are fantastic. It is important that they find out as much about you so it’s in your interest to be as open and honest as possible. If adoption is right for you then you it will prove to be the most magical, special and rewarding thing you will ever do.”

Knowsley Council is supporting LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week which aims to encourage more LGBT people to explore fostering and adoption. If you think adoption or fostering might be right for you and your family, the council would love to hear from you. Full training and support is provided every step of the way.

“Knowsley Council were open, honest, friendly and very supportive. We felt so accepted and at ease with our social worker and the rest of the team we met during our journey and we have received ongoing support since the children arrived.  We have recommended Knowsley to our friends and a couple are currently in the process of adopting with the council. We would definitely recommend Knowsley Council for same sex couples as they never made us feel any different to any other couple and we always felt confident they were doing everything they could for us and they matched our forever family perfectly,” said Andrea.

Cllr Joan Lilly, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:

“Every child is different, so there needs to be diversity among our adopters and the foster carer community too. It doesn’t matter if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual, we just need people who can provide a loving stable home and who can help a child with whatever needs they may have.
“There’s a real need for people to provide families for siblings, older children and those from ethnic minorities, so I hope more people will come forward as we continue to raise awareness of the children in need during LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week.”

If you liked to find out more about adoption contact Knowsley Council Adoption Service on 0151 443 3958 or adoptionenquiries@knowsley.gov.uk. If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer you can get in touch by contacting Knowsley’s Fostering Service on 0151 443 3958 or visit http://www.knowsley.gov.uk/fostering or come along to our next ‘drop’ in information session on Monday 6 March, 2pm to 4.30pm, at Halewood Library.