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This is false. Age is a factor but there is no upper age limit for adoption. If you are able to provide the support, love and care that children need then we are happy to consider you as an adopter.
This is false. We welcome enquiries from anyone that feels adoption is right for them. Whether you are single, married, in a civil partnership or relationship we will welcome your interest in adoption and work with you through your adoption journey.
This is false. All agencies welcome applications from gay couples. If you are gay you have the same rights and options as any other adopters.
This is true. When the adoption order is granted any child will take on your name and all the rights of their biological parents will cease.
This is true. As long as it is deemed in the child’s best interests.
"We wanted to start a family and considered adoption to be a positive option."
We contacted Cardiff Adoption Service and a private agency for more information. After initial discussions, we felt that adopting through a local council would be better for us.
Did you think there would be any barriers to you adopting?
As a young and healthy couple we knew we had a lot to offer a child but naturally we were a bit worried in the beginning about the adoption team not liking us or thinking we weren’t suitable – though we had nothing to worry about. We found the adoption process a pleasant experience and knew all along, that the team had our best interests at heart. Our social workers were great and easy to work with.
When did your son join your family?
We first met Ed at the beginning of February 2012; both of us were nervous but excited. We were anxious that he wouldn’t like us or take to us but we shouldn’t have worried. He was great and such a happy little boy. We played with him for about an hour and it all felt very surreal, thinking this is our son - we couldn’t stop smiling and couldn’t wait to get to know him. He came to live with us permanently on the February 14th - the best valentine’s gift ever! Within days Ed had made himself very much at home and was quite the little man about the house. He became best friends with our dog, Penny. Within weeks it felt as if he’d always been with us and it felt very natural and right from the offset.
What was the most challenging thing about the process for you?
The most challenging part of the adoption process for us was the wait after being matched with Ed. When you are matched with a child, you have to wait until the matching panel have approved the placement; the adoption team were really supportive throughout the process.
There are so many children out there that desperately need love and a good home. If you feel you can provide that then do it.
"Being adopted is insignificant to me. But my parents mean everything."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING ADOPTED?
Being adopted means very little to me, it’s the 25 years of my life that’s important along with the care, love and support that I’ve received from two people that love me and the love I’ve shared with them.
WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST MEMORIES OF YOUR ADOPTIVE FAMILY?
As I was adopted from birth I don’t have any memory of being adopted at that time, but I do have some wonderful memories of a life growing up in South Wales. I have no significant first memory of my adoptive family, though interestingly, I can still remember being held by my cousin on my first birthday above a birthday cake in the shape of a number 1; surrounded by my family.
WHAT HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PARENTS BEEN LIKE?
I have been extremely lucky and privileged to grow up knowing loving parents. My parents have always been my parents, and will always be my parents. Personally, I have never considered my parents to be my ‘adoptive parents’, nor have I ever referred to my biological parents as my ‘real’ parents.
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE ADOPTED?
I grew up knowing that I was adopted, and vaguely remember my parents using phrases like “when we had you”, or occasionally, “when you were given to us” to explain my adoption. These were always followed with positive emotions of how happy they felt, which always reaffirmed their love for me. As I grew older I was able to understand more and more about what being adopted meant, and naturally, I began to ask questions. My parents were always open with me, and told me as much as they knew about the adoption process, and the specific circumstances surrounding my adoption. It has always been an open topic in my extended family, which was a conscious decision by my parents to de-stigmatise adoption. Being adopted just became part of who I am as a person, but has never defined who I am.
HAVE YOU EVER FELT DIFFERENT BECAUSE YOU WERE ADOPTED?
Throughout my life, I have always been open about my adoption with friends, and well, pretty much anyone. I have always been interested with the responses I’ve got from people who ask things like “how do you feel about that?”, or “are you sure you don’t mind talking about it?”, and some even asking “do you know your ‘real’ parents?”. The most interesting response I’ve encountered has always, and commonly, been “oh sorry”. To these, I’ve always tried to explain that the two people who have raised me are my real parents, and that nobody should feel ‘sorry’ that I’m adopted as I feel lucky to have been given such a wonderful life with two amazing parents.
HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO FIND YOUR BIOLOGICAL PARENTS?
In the past two years, I have traced some biological family members. In doing this, I have tried to be as open as possibly with my parents, who have understood that by nature I’m a curious person. They’ve always known that I was going to trace one day, and we’ve often talked about it. Yes, they were bound to feel emotional, worried, protective, and so on, but they also know that I love them and nobody would, or could, ever replace them.
DO YOU THINK ADOPTION mAKES ANY DIFFERENCE TO YOUR LIFE?
I have a strong, loving and very supportive relationship with my parents, and I count myself lucky every day that I was adopted. I wouldn’t change my life for anything.
The term adoption is insignificant to me, it’s the life I’ve been given by my parents that matters. Mum and Dad, I love you.
"Adoption is a wonderful path to parenthood. If you genuinely wish to be a parent and have room in your heart for a child then consider this route."
What MADE YOU CHOOSE adoption?
We had been trying for our own baby for some time but unfortunately the roll of the dice meant that we couldn’t have a family naturally. After speaking to our local adoption team we decided to adopt.
DID YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT ADOPTION?
Initially we were concerned about our ages due to misleading reports in the media about certain age restrictions, which aren’t true. People would be right in thinking it’s more of a long haul flight than an express, however it is very important to make sure that adoptive parents are suitable, committed, and matched with the correct child. Admittedly the process could be shortened but local authorities are already trialing new methods that are significantly speeding up the overall process.
HOW MANY CHILDREN DID YOu WANT TO ADOPT?
We decided to adopt two young children because we wanted to enjoy the whole childhood experience. However the matching was more important to us and so age wasn’t the most important factor. Most people enter adoption with a view that they want a baby. However when we were approached with a 3 year old as a possible match, it didn’t take long for us to make up our minds. Our son was placed with us in Autumn 2010, aged 3 ½ years old. Then our little girl came to us in Autumn 2012, aged 15 months old. Within twenty minutes of meeting our son, he was sat on the floor with us - he even gave us a goodbye kiss at the end of the first visit. We were really lucky as our son’s foster family offered us support.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS?
The memory that sticks out the most when we met our daughter is when our son saw her; he was so kind and gentle. He ran across the park with his face lit up with excitement, whilst she sat there wondering what the fuss was all about. Both children settled in to the family pretty quickly, though that’s not to say that there weren’t a few challenges at times. We found sticking to their existing routines really helped. Now we are just a normal every day family encountering the same range of experiences that any other family would.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING ADOPTION?
Adoption is a wonderful path to parenthood. If you genuinely wish to be a parent and have room in your heart for a child then consider this route. We have the family we have always wanted, the Christmases we always dreamt about, the tantrums we always wondered how we would cope with, and the warmth of the good night cuddles and kisses. The biggest advice we can give is, don’t be afraid to ask. By that we mean family and friends as well as your local adoption team. It’s a small world; adoption is quite common and touches on a number of people you know. We received lots of support from the adoption team and what’s really nice is that social events are organised which is a good opportunity to meet with the adoption team and other adopters.
Adoption is the best thing we ever did and we’ve never looked back, it brings us joy every day.
"We're going to be really good dads and give our son an amazing life."
Are you scared or nervous?
Alan: I'm not at all, I'm really excited! Maybe I'm being naive, but I'm happy being excited! I'm totally besotted with him already and I haven't even met him. So if I'm like that over one photo, I can't even imagine what I'm going to be like when I see him.
Rick: It's strange to think that you love someone you haven't even met yet, but I just feel like I'm just waiting for our son to come home.
Alan: All we know at the moment is that he is 20 months, he's ahead of all of his milestones and he's really gorgeous, he looks just like me!
Rick: Spookily like him actually, we've got photo of Alan as a toddler and comparing the photos it's quite spooky how similar they are. The same cheeky face!
Alan: There was a point where we had two or three that were possibilities and when our social worker came and discussed things through with us we knew it was going to be him. She said I knew you were going to pick him because he smiled at me with your smiles.
What has your experience of the process been like?
Alan: We always knew we were going to have kids. Obviously we've always known that we can't conceive so we've always talked about the options along the way. For years, gay people couldn't adopt at all. We thought perhaps we'd only be offered older children, or children who maybe needed a bit more care and all the babies would go to straight couples. Straight off the mark, that wasn't the case.
Rick: I never felt like I was being assessed throughout the whole process, it just felt like someone was coming round and getting to know us. They want adoptive parents! The reason they question you is so that you are fully prepared for the scenarios ahead. I think every parent should go through it, because it really makes you think about what kind of parent you're going to be. It's prompted us to think about things before being in the situation, rather than having to just deal with it there and then.
How do you think other children will react to two dads?
Rick: I think being gay isn't abnormal to kids these days. My sister had overheard my nephew talking to one of his friends about our wedding photo. It means nothing to them, it's just thats's his uncle who married another man.
Alan: Kids grow up in the world the way it is. So as much as parents at the school gate might be a bit surprised, kids will just accept it. Adoption to us I think is a two sided thing. It's the chance for us to have the family that we've always wanted and give him that life that he wouldn't have had if we hadn't considered adoption.
Our social worker said she knew we were going to pick him because he smiled at her with our smiles.
"I genuinely forget I'm adopted, that's the level of love I've been given."
WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF BEING PART OF AN ADOPTIVE FAMILY?
Growing up with my brothers and sisters I didn't feel there was any difference, and there is no difference even now. I love my brother, I love my sisters, I love my Mum and Dad, we just love each other. We're a very close family. You wouldn't know, except to look at us, that we are not 'related'. We are related, we may not be blood but we're everything else. I know it sounds a bit daft, but I think if I hadn't have been with these people I may not have been who I am today. They showed me the same support and dedication when I started doing athletics as they did to my brother and sisters whilst they were growing up. I'm very lucky! I actually love them as my Mum and Dad, there's no difference to any other family.
HOW DID YOU JOIN YOUR FAMILY?
My parents had my oldest brother David and my Mother was told she wouldn't be able to have any more children. They wanted to have a bigger family, so they adopted my oldest sister Sarah, then dramatically my mother became pregnant, which they weren't expecting! They had my sister Lucy, and then to even things out they adopted me! I always make a bit of a joke out of it. I used to say I bet I was the little runt of the pack, when you went down the line you must of thought he's a little cutie with his angelic little afro! Back in the seventies I was referred to as a problem child because I was mixed race. They gave me this life that I would never have had, it's testimony to how amazing my parents are really.
AS AN ADULT NOW, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING ADOPTED?
Everyone says to me wouldn't you want to know your past. I say no, I want to know my future! My Mum and Dad were there when I was at the Olympics, and when I was told off at school. They've always been there so I haven't had to look left and right. I've never really had to search, and I think the reason for that is that I've had so much love and attention. I genuinely forget I'm adopted, that's the level of love I've been given. I never really wanted to talk about being adopted before because the time wasn't right, whereas now I'm happy to tell everyone how amazing my upbringing has been. Now I'm older and wiser I look back on my life and realise how magical and fantastic it has been.
I want the world to know how much I love my Mum and Dad.
Adoption is about making a life-long commitment to provide a loving family for a child or young person, who for whatever reason can’t return to their biological family. Adopters become the child’s legal parents; they will have the same rights and responsibilities as the birth parents did.
All legal ties between the child and birth parents are lost. Once the adoption order has been granted, it cannot be reversed. The child will become part of your family, taking your family name.
If you feel adoption is right for you, speak to someone from your agency of choice. They will provide you with further information and send you an information pack. You will also be invited to an information evening.
If you decide to continue with adoption, someone from the adoption team will visit you in your home and explain the adoption journey to you in depth, including how the agency works. This visit will hopefully give you the answers you are looking for.
Soon after your visit you will be invited to preparation training – this is to prepare you for the assessment and the rest of your adoption journey..
The assessment is a very thorough process but don’t worry, we’ll help and support you the whole way through. How long the assessment takes depends on individual circumstances, but on average takes six months. This assessment will be carried out by a social worker.
When you have been approved it is time to match you with a child or children. If you are happy with the child or children you have been matched with, a decision will be made to officially approve the match.
Providing everything goes well, this is when your new family life starts – you have changed the life of a child and followed your dream.
029 2087 3797
Neath Port Talbot
0800 678 3798
Rhondda Cynon Taf
Vale of Glamorgan
Becoming an adoptive parent is an incredibly rewarding experience but we understand it's a big decision to make.
Select an authority to view their contact details:
You can also contact a Voluntary adoption agency
Barnardo's - 02920 493387
St David’s Children’s Society - 029 2066 7007