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SPONSORED: How adoptive parents are changing children’s lives in Angus

Adopting a child can be a hugely rewarding experience for patent and child, and Angus Council is helping create these memories.

For a long time, having a family had been one of Lorraine Campbell’s dreams.

Her husband Ian, 56, had two grown-up children from a previous relationship, but Lorraine wanted a child.

But despite struggling to have a baby of their own, the couple’s hopes of becoming parents weren’t dashed when they decided to adopt a little boy in January 2018.

To mark Adoption Week Scotland (November 18-23), Lorraine is sharing the family’s life-changing journey.

She said: “By the time we got together, we tried to have a child, but it just wasn’t happening.

“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.”

Generally, most people assume adoption is a long, drawn-out process, so Lorraine and Ian were surprised to receive a visit from a member of the Angus Adoption team so quickly after making an enquiry.

Eighteen months later, they welcomed their son, and he became a permanent member of their family.

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 then drew a picture for them, his way of giving his new mummy and daddy his seal of approval.

Lorraine explained:

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.”

It is almost two years since Lorraine and Ian adopted their son. Since then it has been pretty straightforward for the Campbells, who are enjoying parenthood.

The support they received from Angus Council and the Angus Adoption team has eased their journey and, even though their son has now settled, the team continue to provide support.

Lorraine, who took adoption leave from work, added: “When we did get him, it was a shock to the system – we thought ‘how do you entertain a child?’. We were knackered!

“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.

“We were prepared for most things through the training, but we have not had any challenges – other than the fact that he is a typical four-year-old little 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.

To find out more visit Angus Fostering Adoption on Facebook by clicking here, or call 01241 464646.

 

Single parents can also adopt

As a single thirty-something, Jodie Roberts (name changed to protect identity) longed to become a mummy – and that dream came true when she adopted a beautiful four-year old girl almost a year ago.

Her new daughter was neglected in her early years but, as Jodie puts it: “I’m a great believer in her past is her past, we are looking to her future.”

Her journey to motherhood began at the end of 2016 when she looked into giving a child a permanent, loving home through adoption.

She attended an adoption open event run by Angus Council in Arbroath where she was able to talk to members of the team and parents who had successfully adopted children.


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.

She was then paired with a social worker who helped further prepare Jodie as well as carry out the checks and assessments needed to ensure children are placed in the right homes.

After a nine-month wait Jodie was successfully matched with a child and was able to welcome her daughter into her home permanently.

Jodie said:

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.”

 

ADOPTION – THE FACTS

Angus Council is looking for people from all walks of life to provide permanent, loving homes for local children, many of whom have faced significant adversity, through adoption.

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.

If you are thinking about adopting then tomorrow is your chance to meet the team at Angus Council and current carers at this drop-in event Find out more about the Open Day by clicking here.

When: Wednesday 20th November 2019, 10am – 8pm
Where: Family Centre, East Mary Street, Arbroath, DD11 1DR

To find out more visit Angus Fostering Adoption on Facebook by clicking here, or call 01241 464646.