An adoptive couple's journey

An adoptive couple’s journey

“Our adoption journey has been a really positive experience. There have been times during the 10-month process that have been quite trying, but these have been few in comparison to the happy times. During the adoption process, you are given an opportunity to explore your own experiences and think about how they may affect your parenting in the future. I think this will be really beneficial in the future and will help us to understand our own reactions to our children’s behaviour.


“We found the three-day training really beneficial. It was amazing to meet others in our position and to be able to discuss our hopes and fears for adoption in an open manner, knowing we were understood. The training gave us a chance to identify our fears and discuss ways to deal with them. It also gave us the opportunity to expand our knowledge on therapeutic parenting and the types of things that an adopted child may have experienced. In addition, it gave us tools to work with our adopted children and help them attach successfully, increasing our confidence about the placement. The training was also a lot of fun – we met people that we will keep in touch with following placement who are now friends that really understand the process. The teaching around the effect of trauma to the brain and child development was really helpful as it allowed us to understand why parenting adopted children will be different to raising birth children.


“The happiest moment during the process was receiving the phone call to confirm we had been chosen in the panel selection for our daughter. We really did have our hearts set on becoming her parents and I cried on the phone learning that they agreed it was a good match. When this was later confirmed during the matching panel, it was a feeling of relief, as by this point we felt that we this baby girl should definitely be our daughter.

``We really did have our hearts set on becoming her parents and I cried on the phone learning that they agreed it was a good match.``

“The approval panel was also a really positive point of the journey – being able to officially announce that we were going to be parents, after years of wishing for it, was an amazing moment. Seeing photos of our daughter for the first time was also fantastic, it was so exciting to think that this little girl was going to be ours. We also enjoyed the reflective process of the adoption journey – you really think about your past experiences and how this has affected you, in a way that I don’t think many birth parents do.

“We found the stage two sessions around discussing our own childhoods really interesting and it opened a lot of conversations around how we wished to parent, which again is really useful for the future. We also enjoyed identifying our support network which will be really beneficial in the future when we are exhausted and grumpy – we will now know who to call on for emotional or practical help.


“We found stage one to be the more trying part of the process, as we had to explore some difficult past experiences. However, these reflections proved to be really helpful when it came to the face-to-face interviews in stage two, so they were worth it. At times, it was difficult to ‘dig deep’ around difficult memories, but it did help to understand our behaviours and opened up conversations around how we would want to parent in the future.

man and woman comforting baby hold hands
man and woman comforting baby hold hands

“I recall being very worried that we would not pass stage one – this added extra pressure on to those few months and I never really relaxed into the process until stage two. We also worried too much about the medical checks. I know now that AiM is not looking for ‘the perfect parent’ but at the time I was concerned that health issues may have an impact on the process. The most difficult moment of the journey was learning that there was another couple who wished to match with our daughter. The time we waited for confirmation that they had chosen us felt like it dragged on, although in reality it was just days. However, this showed us that we were really invested in pursuing the match and made the confirmation that they wished to match with us even better.


“The only other difficult point in the journey was the lack of understanding from others around the process and how emotional it was. However, it helped when family went to the training and learnt just how much it entailed – it also helped showing them the file of questions we had. We found that a lot of people do not have an understanding of the adoption process and it was a bit frustrating at times when you felt as though we were defending how in-depth it needed to be, or asking them to understand why all the meetings were time consuming and draining.


“Overall, we have had a really positive adoption process. Being able to set up our daughter’s nursery and learn all about her from her foster carer was definitely a high point in the journey. Even though there were times when we thought ‘not another form’ or we were drained after a meeting, we knew in the end it would be worth it. The positive aspects of the journey really do outweigh the trying times and we really do feel that it has given us a stable foundation to be positive adoptive parents and face any challenges in the future with confidence, knowing that the AiM team is there to support us.”

Have you been inspired by this couple's adoption journey?

We’re currently looking for adoptive parents for over 80 children in the region. If you’d like to learn more about what adoption involves and chat to us about your hopes and fears, please get in touch.

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