“We tried one round of IVF. It rarely works for anybody the first time and it is a lot of money you could invest in elsewhere, so we looked into the adoption route. Deep down, at the back of my mind, that was always going to happen.”
Lorraine, who works for the MOD, said: “For most people the journey can take a very long time, but within two weeks of applying, someone came out to the house. The time between starting the process and getting our little boy was only 18 months. It happened really quickly for us.
“We started the assessment phase in July 2016 then did a training course in October 2016 and a formal assessment in December 2016.
“It took us until October 2017 before we went to the approval panel, then we went to a matching panel in December 2017 and met our little boy for the first time in January 2018 – a week later he was living with us.”
The first time Lorraine and Ian, from Friockheim, met their son at the home of his foster family (where he had been living since he was four days old), they were a little apprehensive, but they formed a quick connection by creating a photo book for him.
He wasn’t particularly shy, but it was just weird. I didn’t know how to behave, we knew he was going to be ours, but he wasn’t ours yet. But the foster family reassured him that it was okay to speak to us.
“He knew who we were, as he’d seen photos of us, my mum, stepdad, Ian’s dad and our dogs. We also had seen a photo of him and he looked super cute. Sadly, Ian’s dad never got to meet him, as he fell ill unexpectedly and passed away.
“Over time, the location changed and the length of time we spent with him increased increased during the transition.”
“Angus Council likes to keep Angus children within its locality – you would expect they would want to place a child in another area. But the evidence is that birth parents aren’t knocking on your door and that has never happened to us.
“He is four-and-a-half now, his language is coming along and he is developing – he called me Mummy right from the start; we were introduced to him as ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ when we first met him. The relationship we have with him is amazing.
“He’ll call me ‘Mummy Princess Campbell’ and could be sitting down doing something and he’ll turn around to give me a kiss and a hug – he’s a really affectionate wee boy.
“The support we had from Angus Adoption was amazing – especially our social worker, she was pragmatic and a good fit for us. She was hugely supportive – it’s all about being realistic, we were prepared to wait for years, but I never thought this amazing opportunity wouldn’t happen. It was just a case of when.”
Lorraine and Ian are now providing first-hand advice to adoptive parents at the start of their journey and are raising awareness of their positive adoption experience to encourage other potential families to come forward.
Pic posed by models (istock)
Jodie then attended a three-day preparation to adopt course designed to provide prospective adopters with all the information they need.
I am no superhero, I just wanted to be a mum and I felt this was the best way of doing that – she has made my life complete.”
Who can adopt?
Applications are open to anyone age over 21. There is no upper age limit but the age of the applicants will be one of the factors that is considered during the assessment and which may be relevant at the point where the family is being considered for a match with a particular child.
Applications are accepted from single people and couples who have been in a stable relationship for over two years
You need to reside permanently in the UK and have the right to remain here
It does not matter if you are married, single or cohabiting
You can adopt whatever your ethnic origin, gender, sexuality or religion
Disability does not need to be a barrier
You may be a tenant or a homeowner
You have a spare room. A child will need their own bedroom
All prospective adopters are required to attend a preparation to adopt course, which takes place over one evening and three full days and is designed to provide you with the information needed for adoptive parenting.
Following completion of the preparation course and if it is agreed that you should proceed, prospective adopters will be allocated a social worker who will undertake the assessment of your suitability to adopt.
During the assessment, you will be invited to attend four additional evening information sessions to enhance your learning and understanding of adoption. Angus Council will aim to present your case to Adoption and Permanence panel within six months of accepting your application.