Adoption Case Study – Julies Story May 2009 Page 1 of 2

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					Adoption Case Study – Julie’s Story                                                                                  May 2009

Information
I knew I had fertility problems from the age of 18 and so I      needed to be so many home visits. I was pleased with how
had always thought about different scenarios of becoming a       Julia had really captured a realistic view of me, and it was
parent.    Adoption was one of these possible scenarios          nice to see it worded so accurately within the form. After
although I had not really looked into it very much. After 2      approving this, and signing the final version it was off to
failed IVF treatments I felt it was time to look at other        approval panel in April.
options and so began searching the internet for information.
I found the BAAF website and after sending off for an
information pack received a copy of ‘Be My Parent’. It was       Timescales
whilst looking through this that I realised adoption was         Approval panel for me was an extremely emotional
definitely the way forward.                                      experience.   I was convinced something would go wrong
                                                                 and the panel would say no. Luckily this wasn’t the case
                                                                 and the panel actually said a unanimous ‘yes’ to approval for
Initial contact                                                  1 or 2 children, aged 0-5 years . I cried when Julia told me
The decision was finally made to adopt over the Christmas        the news and remember walking out of the building saying ‘I
holiday period, so on the first working day back in January I    am officially a mother to be’! It had taken 16 months from
telephoned a variety of agencies.         I contacted a few      the point of initial enquiry to approval.
voluntary agencies as well as some Local Authority agencies
– including Walsall. When I telephoned Walsall I was put         Following approval I had prepared myself for a long wait – I
through to the duty social worker, who was named Julia.          had been told this could be up to 3 years sometimes.
Julia asked what seemed to be lots of information, including     However, just the following week Julia visited to discuss
ages, jobs, length of marriage and of course what sort of        some children. The visit proved quite difficult as Julia
children I was hoping for. Following this conversation I was     wanted to discuss quite a few sets of siblings, all different in
sent an application form, which I returned the same day!         ages, gender and needs. Many of the children could not be
Then came an initial visit which I was pleased to learn Julia    considered for various reasons, but two sibling groups
would be doing. This visit lasted approximately 2 ½ hours        sounded lovely and as I had seen their pictures I was able
and was quite in depth. It was about 2 weeks after this visit    to imagine them much better. After tossing and turning all
that I learned Walsall felt they would like to put us forward    night, I telephoned Julia and said I definitely wanted to
for training.                                                    proceed with one of the sibling sets – two little boys named
                                                                 Tyler and Aiden.    I knew they were the right children as
                                                                 soon as I saw their photo but I think I felt I owed it to the
Training                                                         other sibling group to at least take the time to consider
Waiting for the preparation course was a very difficult time     them properly.
as I felt time was just standing still.    Finally the course
arrived in early November, and was spread over 6 full days       In June, I nervously attended a meeting with my social
(3 days one week, 3 days the next week). I really enjoyed        worker, the children’s social worker and the foster carers.
the course and I feel it gave a good insight into adoption.      During this meeting a video was shown of Tyler and Aiden,
Many people meet other prospective adopters on the course        which was so amazing to see. I had thought that it would
whom they later become friends with, but this was not the        take a few days for a decision to be made but thankfully the
case with me. Although everyone in the group was friendly        children’s social worker said there and then that he felt the
and all got along, no-one really gelled. At the time I felt      match was a very good one and he would press ahead with
disappointed as I was hoping to extend my network of             the planning of the placement. I was absolutely overjoyed,
adopter friends.                                                 but as there were still court hearings planned for the
                                                                 children I tried to remain level headed.
                                                                 A matching panel in July confirmed the match and thankfully
Homestudy                                                        a court hearing in early August meant the children could be
The long wait for the preparation course was eased by the        placed for adoption. Introductions were planned to start in
fact that the home study sessions started the following          the middle of August and would last 2 weeks.
week. Again it was Julia who did these visits, which were
usually every week, apart from a few weeks break over
Christmas, and lasted between 2 and 5 hours each.          By
February the visits were finished and in March a draft copy
of the Form F was sent for approval. It is a strange feeling
seeing the Form F because you finally realise why there

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Adoption Case Study – Julie’s Story                                                                                 May 2009

First meeting
Waiting in a room in the foster carers house, I heard the       The day that I met them, but this day meant it was legal -
front door go. Tyler and Aiden had been taken out of the        forever! Tyler and Aiden had no idea what the significance
house whilst some final paperwork was completed and they        of the day was, but they certainly didn’t complain when they
had just arrived back. The door to the room flung open and      enjoyed an ‘adoption day’ party a few days later.
in walked three year old Tyler, he looked at me and straight
away said “where’s my teddy bear” (he meant the bear that
had been a constant feature in our family book). I held out     Changes
my shaking hand and said “here it is”.     Aiden, aged two,     The whole of the process had been completed with my
followed quickly behind and walked straight up to me and        husband, all decisions made jointly with the good and bad
climbed on my lap.     This was the point I cried, although     times shared.    However, a few weeks after the adoption
desperately trying to stop myself so as not to upset the        order was granted my husband decided he wanted to leave
children.   The first meeting lasted just 1 hour, which was     the family home. As devastating as this was, I found my
spent playing cars, with toy animals and looking at books.      biggest support to be Tyler and Aiden. How could I lay in
Tyler appeared very shy and needed a very gentle approach,      bed crying when they needed breakfast making? How could
whereas Aiden was very lively and interactive. As I left the    I crack under pressure when they desperately needed
foster carers house that day I felt very upset to be leaving    stability and security?   The year that followed was very
my children and started counting down the hours until I next    difficult for the 3 of us, but we made it and came out the
saw them.                                                       other side being an extremely solid family unit.


The introductions continued 2 days later, and as the days       My husband and I divorced, and he took the decision to no
went on the visits increased in duration and content. The       longer see Tyler and Aiden.
first week was mainly at the foster carer’s house, but the
second week saw Tyler and Aiden coming to their new
home. During the last few days of introductions Tyler and       Support
Aiden were being collected at 10am, coming home for the         I started attending Adoption UK groups just a few weeks
day and then returning at 6pm ready for bed.                    into placement, and almost four years on I still attend every
                                                                month. My role there has totally changed from being the
                                                                new mum needing advice and support, to me now being the
Going home                                                      one who offers support to others.      I have even had the
The day when Tyler and Aiden came home for good was             privilege of being a guest speaker, talking about the contact
quite surreal.   They were collected from the foster carer’s    my children have with their siblings who are placed in other
house at around 10am, where we all said goodbye to their        adoptive families.
fantastic foster carers, promising to keep in touch. I was so
happy to have the boy’s home but also couldn’t believe it       As well as the wonderful support I have received from family
was actually real, they were my children.      The day I had    and friends, I also receive support from my partner whom I
dreamed of for so many years was here – I was a mummy.          met 2 ½ years ago. We now live together and despite
                                                                coming together in a very ‘abnormal’ way, we are in so
                                                                many ways just a normal family.
Making it legal
Tyler and Aiden were placed for adoption in early
September, but the adoption could not be made legal
straight away. There are court applications and reports to be
filed, and of course the weekly visits from social workers to      I love talking about and promoting adoption
make sure everything is going okay. I was eager to apply           because when I look at my children there is
for an adoption order as soon as possible and was thrilled         no doubt in my mind that I made the right
when a date came through for late January.                         decision to adopt.

                                                                   My children are my world and I love them
Attending court that day was probably not how I imagined it,
                                                                   more than I ever imagined would be possible.
there was no court room, no judge with a wig, and no sense
of anything ‘special’ really – just a plain room with a large
table and a plainly dressed judge. Despite the anti climax,
the day was still wonderful because I knew what it meant for
us as a family. Tyler and Aiden had been my children since

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