Here are some stories and view from people who have successfully adopted children in Rhondda Cynon Taf
Experiences are diverse but the support offered is consistent and our team support you every step of the way.
Liam and Adam's Story:
How did you find the "Preparing to Adopt" training?
“We really enjoyed the ‘Preparing to Adopt’ training. We had the chance to meet with other people at the same stage in the process as us. It also gave us loads of information about the process and support available to adoptive parents to be. We particularly liked learning about the facts rather than what we had read in the paper or seen on TV. It wasn’t easy, and we had to learn about all the different challenges we might face during the process but it did help us make the decision that was right for us – we wanted to move on to the next step in our adoption journey more than ever!”
How did you find the assessment process?
“The assessment process was a real opportunity to talk through any questions we still had about adopting as well as to learn about ourselves and what sort of parents we might be. It felt like we established a partnership with the service, and our social worker was always ready and able to help us when we needed. We had been nervous at the start because everyone tells you it’s ‘intrusive’ but to be honest be felt less like we were being scrutinised and more like we were being prepared for becoming a family.
We learnt so much about ourselves during the assessment, and some of the things we thought might count against us actually turned out to be positives, like Adam’s parents being divorced which gave us a way of understanding some things our child may feel about separation and loss. One of the most amazing things about the whole assessment process was sitting back and truly appreciating the network of support we already have and seeing how that would be useful to our new family.
There were difficult times, like discussing major family events or losses but there was so much preparation for being parents like being given scenarios of how your future child might behave/misbehave. We were really able to see ourselves as parents. It was detailed but we went into it with an open mind. We know that the amount of detail will help match us with a child who will really benefit from being part of our family. At the end of the assessment, we read our report which had us down to a tee, we laughed, we cried, we knew that with this assessment our future family would have the greatest chance of success.”
What advice would you give to people who are interested in adopting?
"Pick up the phone and start learning. Be a sponge and talk about adoption and parenting whenever you get the chance this will help you decide whether it really is for you! You will hear, see and read so much on the radio, TV, and in the papers but don’t always believe the hype - talk to those who know the system inside out, they can give you proper answers! There is lots of support available before, during, and after the assessment.
As well as a child or children offering you a dream come true remember that you too probably have so much to offer a them. So, believe in yourself, be honest and approach the whole thing with an open mind. You never know, it might just be the best call you will ever make – it was for us!
Alice and Tony's Story:
Following years of trying to conceive and failed IVF treatments my husband and I enquired about becoming adoptive parents. Initially we did not hear anything, but then we had our first visit from a Social Worker who became not only a regular visitor to our house but also a strong contact in our lives, who will remain in our hearts evermore.
The visits continued for some length of time with each visit different from the last. Questions to answer, forms to complete, queries about ourselves and at the time we felt that our lives were being dug into and sometimes it was quite daunting and nerve wrecking but when you see where we are today, then believe us – it is all worth while!!
Months passed with further visits, telephone calls and “homework” writing information about ourselves, our past lives and what we both done as young children, where we went on holidays, our families and their backgrounds and how we were and what we done as teenagers, then about our careers up until the present day. Little did we realise with each passing visit we were getting closer to our dream of becoming parents!
Finally we attended the Adoption Panel and were approved!
Fortunately, two months later – the most exciting news – they had found a possible match for us, we were elated!! As you can imagine after all those months of anticipation came tears of joy!
Two months later again – our daughter was placed with us and now we cannot begin to tell you about the past three years of our lives as they have absolutely flown by.
As you can imagine like any proud parent we have had the best three years of our lives, although it wasn’t an easy process but then again neither is life and at the time when you think the adoption process is quite personal and you feel like giving up, DON’T, please take time out and think about your future and have faith in the wonderful people that you meet along the process, because the best things come to those who wait!
The support and guidance from the social workers and support staff is second to none.
We liked it so much the first time around we have just gone through it again and brought together two small children, biologically brother and sister and now our family in complete, Mammy, Daddy, Daughter and Son.
There is much more detail to our story but having been through the process twice, we thought it might give you a brief insight and how it feels from the “other side”, a brief and honest short description of how it actually feels.
John and Victoria's Story:
The process of adopting second time around is much more straightforward but no less challenging. From our experience, the key is to be sure that you are all ready to go through the process as a family unit. We were much more confident in our decision making as we were making decisions in D’s best interests. Spending time with D imagining what it might be like for us as a larger family was invaluable, as it ensured that we properly understood his feelings about becoming an older brother and that he felt completely involved at all stages. We were also much more confident in our parenting abilities when F came to us, even though her needs are very different to D’s. Third time round the process has become second nature. We know that we can’t assume anything and have learned over the last 6 years to expect the unexpected!
Adoption does bring its own unique challenges, and it’s really important to be prepared for the fact that there will always be a part of your children’s lives that you didn’t get to share with them. Adoption is a two-way relationship, and the fact that our children have chosen us just as much as we ever chose them is a humbling privilege that very few people get to experience. Our children are comfortable with the fact they are adopted and sometimes have questions about how they came to be with us, which we answer as best we can.
In our experience adoption takes strength, patience and resilience at all stages of the process from preparation and approval to matching and placement, but it has been the best thing we ever did. The process of being approved as adopters may seem daunting and off-putting but you can’t let it prevent you from doing it. We are far stronger as a couple for having gone through it and our children continue to benefit from that.
We suppose that we are quite unique adopters. There’s no reason why we couldn’t naturally have children - we chose not to. For us adoption was a clear choice. Having both worked with children and young people for years; to us it seemed more natural to create a family with a child that really needed it. Although our family has come together in an unusual way we are just like any other family. Our children still need stories at bedtime, hugs when they’re ill and telling off when they’re naughty.
As parents, we couldn’t be prouder of our extraordinary, beautiful and spirited children (spirited is the polite way of saying bonkers). They’re like chalk and cheese but their bond is indestructible. We knew how lucky we were to have had D and had accepted that we were unlikely to have another child that could keep up with him, little did we know social services would find us another Duracell Bunny. We now have 2 unstoppable evil genius’ and an untidy house that’s full of wrestling and laughter. We feel so very privileged to share our lives with them.
If you wish to discuss your enquiry further or wish to discuss other aspects in relation to adoption please contact the Adoption Team on 01443 490400.
An Information Pack can be obtained by telephoning us on: 0800 085 2635