Manchester City Council

Potential adopters urged to find out more during National Adoption Week

Next week is National Adoption Week and an adoptive mum from south Manchester has shared her story to encourage others to think about adopting.

Next week is National Adoption Week and an adoptive mum from south Manchester has shared her story to encourage others to think about adopting.

Customer Service Manager Paula, and husband John, knew when they married three years ago they wanted children, and aged 41 and 39 knew also they didn't want to wait too long.

After six months and no sign of a baby they began to consider their options and made a positive choice to find a child who was already out there and in need of parents like them.

Paula said: "It felt more right for us to find a child who needs a loving secure family rather than to go the ends of the earth to make a baby."

They went to an adoption information evening to find out more, and came away knowing this was the best way forward for them.  

The next six months saw a mass of form filling, home visits by social workers, medicals, discussions with family members, and even an assessment of the family dog.

Paula said: "It was an intense period with lots to do, but we didn't find it slow.  We saw it as very much a means to an end."

The couple had a fairly fixed idea about the kind of child they wanted - definitely a girl, and not a baby.  

Paula said: "We didn't feel the need to adopt a baby, we were very comfortable about having an older child who knew what was happening."

They formed a close relationship with their social worker who saw them regularly during their assessment.  After one session she left them a DVD to watch of a little girl aged around 4 years, playing.

Paula said: "We watched in disbelief, thinking surely this cute, funny, smart, gorgeous little girl can't be a real child waiting to be adopted.  She won us over instantly. We thought she is it, everything we ever wanted, she's perfect."

Two months later they were given formal approval to adopt Rosie - the little girl from the DVD - the first and only child they had been shown.

Paula said: "It was incredible. We’d felt an instant connection to her from the DVD and didn't need to see any others.

"After the first time we met her we literally wanted to burst, scream, cry, and laugh all at the same time.  It was like falling in love."

Although they adopted an older child, Paula and John don’t feel they've missed out on those all important childhood 'firsts'. 

Paula said:  "We’ve done so many 'firsts' with Rosie, we don't feel we've missed out at all - her first day in her new school, helping her make friends, throwing her first birthday party.  And her first Christmas with us was mind-blowing with a houseful of presents, magical letters from Father Christmas, and reindeer footprints on the living room floor."

Paula says she couldn't imagine life now without Rosie and the best thing is her daughter knows how much she’s loved and that she’s now part of a real family, and won't have to leave them.  
She said:  "Rosie's such a little smasher, we just can't believe that someone else didn't take her before we did.  We think we were meant for each other."

An information evening for people interested in adopting is being held next Wednesday 21 October from 5:30 - 8:30 pm at Luther King House, Brighton Grove, Rusholme, M14 5JP.

Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member Children's Services, Manchester City Council, said: "People who adopt come from all walks of life and have very different personal circumstances.  What is important is being able to offer a stable, permanent, loving home to a child or young person.

"I would encourage anyone interested in adopting to come along to our information evening and find out more."

To find out more about adoption visit www.manchester.gov.uk/adopt  or call the Council's adoption and fostering line on tel: 0800 9888 931, or email familyduty@manchester.gov.uk

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