Find out more about adopting as a single person
Sebastian and Julie, a mixed race couple of South London adopted Kieran in 2006 and then Abagail in 2009. The couple were quickly matched with young children, as is often the case with mixed race couples entering the adoption process, due to the high number of dual heritage children in care and waiting for parents.
As first time adopters, the couple sometimes found the level of questioning a bit of a shock to the system, but that didn’t stop them wanting to open their home to a second child.
“The second time around you kind of appreciate the level of questioning. When you get matched with the child that’s just perfect for your family, you understand that it's because they just want to make sure they know you well and that the child will fit well and become part of the family.
Second time around we were much more aware about how a new child’s attachment difficulties might affect us as a family unit. But we got help from our social worker, who told us about courses and workshops that would help to prepare us and provide the tools to deal with any issues that came our way.
You need to have a good bond with your own social worker. Someone you can relay all your fears to and say ‘Look I’m not happy!’ when you need to. If they know you well they can stick up for you and fight your corner. And you need to feel secure that they can do that very well for you. That’s when that bond becomes really important and without it you will find the assessment process a real challenge.
I think one massive issue preventing adopters coming forward is money. I think if prospective adopters were more aware that they might be able to get some financial support, they would give adoption more serious consideration. People don’t realise that sometimes there is a little bit of financial support to help make things a bit easier.
Be patient, because at first the child will come into your home and then in to your heart. You can’t expect to love someone you don’t know immediately. You can only love the idea of having your child, but throughout the course of you meeting and them moving in, it’s when that child really needs you for the first time that you will see your unconditional love for them.
Raising two children that are not biologically linked does not really pose any problems at all, I think it’s more about managing people’s perceptions. The only time I realise that our children are adopted, is when people ask questions like “how was the birth?” and I say ‘oh I don’t know I wasn’t there but I assume it was good!’
That is really honestly the only other time when I realise that the children aren’t biologically ours. They are our children, whether I gave birth to them or not, and we love them unconditionally, no matter which way they came into our lives.”