Parents tell story of how they found their children to encourage others to adopt

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 October 2019

It is estimated that 40 per cent of children waiting for an adoptive family in Devon are in sibling groups: Picture: Families for Children

It is estimated that 40 per cent of children waiting for an adoptive family in Devon are in sibling groups: Picture: Families for Children

Archant

A couple in Devon have spoken about their journey adopting children, as part of National Adoption Week (October 14-20).

Tamzin and Tony (not their real names) went through three rounds of IVF, after getting married, before deciding to adopt.

They adopted siblings and encouraged other families to do the same.

Tamzin said: "I had always felt it was something I wanted to do as during my years as a primary school teacher I had taught many children with appalling home lives and always felt I could offer a loving home to a child who was in need.

"We found the adoption approval process intense but no harder than we expected it to be."

The couple praised the courses they were sent on for preparing them along with their trusted social worker who got to know them well and helped them find their children.

Tamzin added: "The only part that made us feel uncomfortable was the search for our children.

"It felt so wrong looking through all the profiles like it was a catalogue and we felt guilty about every child we said no to.

"We knew we wanted more than one child but we were open to the possibility of adopting a single child first and then adopting again further down the line or adopting siblings together.

"We just waited to see which children or child felt right for us.

"It was an amazing feeling when the match was made.

"We were really excited and I felt quite desperate to meet them and have them move in as quickly as possible. The time between matching and introductions starting felt like forever.

"The first few days of introductions were incredible but exhausting."

She said they could not believe their luck to be taking 'two amazing children' home.

"The first few weeks of them being at home with us were quite a shock," said Tamzin.

"We were both aware that it would not be easy and that the children would be traumatised and would probably have behaviour issues but, I think what surprised me most was how hard it was to adjust to not having my own life anymore and having two children depend on me for everything.

"It was definitely challenging going from no children to two children over night.

"I did find it quite a difficult in the early days taking them both out on my own and I used to look at my friends who had adopted a single child and think how much easier that would have been.

"I wouldn't have it any other way now. We are also very glad not to have to go through the adoption process again and we can just get on with our lives."

She said there have been challenges and 'ups and downs', but that the family are 'incredibly lucky'.

"They're both absolutely amazing and they're doing very well," she said.

"Most of the time we don't even think about the fact that they're adopted. They're just our children and we get on with our lives as a family.

"Seeing their bond with each other is lovely.

"They play together and entertain each other and are a comfort to one another. It's very special for them that they are each other's constant in life."

Adoption agencies Adopt South West and Families for Children want potential adopters to know that:
- The adoption process can prepare you for becoming an adopter within as little as six months, 
- There are children who need a new permanent families now, 
- Anyone over 21 can adopt and there is no upper age limit, 
- LGBTQ+ and intersex people can adopt, 
- Single people can adopt, 
- Adopters can be of any religion or none, 
- Disabled people can adopt, 
- Adopters will be fully trained before the child is placed, 
- Adopters are supported throughout the process and beyond.

During National Adoption Week, there are a number of information events being held across the county to inform and discuss the process of becoming an adopter and the vulnerable children who are currently waiting.

Visit adoptsouthwest.org.uk and familiesforchildren.org.uk for more information.

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