Find out more about adopting for the second time
Sometimes the fear of how expensive it is to raise a child might act as a barrier to some single people thinking about adopting a child on their own. Single adopter, Dee aged 51 of South London, explained “if you keep putting it off thinking you’re not ready, you may leave it too long and miss out.”
I've always been involved with caring for and supporting my family and then one day I thought right I want my own child who I have sole responsibility for and who grows up under my guidance. I wanted a bond with a child who I didn’t have to hand back at the end of the day. Someone I could share the rest of my life with.
I went straight to my local authority and the assessment was hard work but it gave me a chance to turf out any doubts and to prepare my mind, home and family. Although at the time it felt like it was a lengthy process, suddenly things started moving really quickly.
At no point was I made to feel unsuitable because I was single. They were more interested in my experiences and history of being brought up in a secure two-parent family. I was able to talk about my experiences of having both positive male and female role models.
At the preparation training I was the only black working class person. So I did feel a little uncomfortable. But, I knew I was ready, and that I had supportive friends and relatives around me, so I was not put off. I had confidence in myself and I knew that this was just a stage that I had to get through to get my child.
Within one week of being approved by the adoption Panel my social worker contacted me with exciting news of a potential match. The first time I saw Fifi’s profile I was in the dining room with my social worker who said, “don’t be disappointed if she is not what you were expecting give yourself some time”. But as soon as I saw Fifi, I knew that we would you just take the rough with the smooth, just as you would a birth child. After Fifi came to live with me, my social worker made herself available whenever I needed her and I felt reassured by her support.”
At first Fifi seemed to be holding back, until she felt comfortable with me. These days she is confident, like any normal seven year old. She answers me back; she drops her belongings everywhere and litters the house with her toys, paper and pens. She is allowed to be herself.
I've fitted in around Fifi’s life. I don’t go to the gym any more but we do go swimming and cycling together. Sure it would be nice if I had someone else to help but I have a large extended family, which live close by and I'm not afraid of asking them for help.
My friends and family have been the most important and constant source of support to me. Some of my friends have changed – those who were not prepared to accept my daughter as part of the package, but I suppose all parents experience that, and it doesn’t matter. Because the most important thing is that you have a child orientated network around you who are totally committed to supporting you both throughout your life decisions.