FROM PARENTS' GUIDE: AN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING MAGAZINE

Adopting: from application to parenthood

One couple's experience of adopting two children

Alison, 32, has two adopted children, Laura and Jonathan. Her husband is in the Third Regiment of the Royal Horse Artillery in the Army, and they adopted their children through the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (Ssafa) Forces Help in 2005

I knew from childhood that I had a medical condition that meant that I could not have children. My husband and I had tried IVF once, but it ended in miscarriage. We decided that instead of going through the heartache of waiting for IVF again, we would consider adoption.

Our agency, SSAFA, was the obvious choice for us as they are used to dealing with army families, so they have plenty of contacts abroad. After we applied, we had to wait for about a year for a social worker to become available. A home study was then conducted after our Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks, which involved some questions about why we wanted to adopt and what our expectations were, as well as questions about our own childhood and our relationship as a couple. The checks are thorough, but not intrusive. The agency simply tries to get to know you individually and as a couple, because they don't want to get anything wrong.

We'd just about completed the home study when my husband was sent to Iraq in 2003, so everything was put on hold. It was almost three years after we'd applied that we went to panel. This isn't typical - the normal time between applying and going to panel is six months to a year.

The agency then began to look for children we might be suitable for, and they found Laura and Jonathan in about six weeks, which was really quick - I expected to have to wait for up to a year.

All through the adoption process we received support from both our SSAFA social worker and the children's social worker. They continued to visit about every two weeks to a month while Laura and Jonathan were living with us, but these visits stopped once we had legally adopted the children. Of course, they're still at the end of the phone if we have any problems.

The agency has Adoption Days once a year, so every family can go and meet others in their position. There are people there who have completed the process, like us, but also those who have only just started it, which gives us the chance to support other families trying to adopt.

I would urge anyone thinking of adoption to go for it and not to give up. It may seem like an empty process at times, but it's really worth it because there are so many children who need a loving home. I would recommend SSAFA, particularly to service families because they're used to the chaotic lifestyle and can provide expertise that you might not necessarily get with a local authority.

I would also recommend adoption instead of IVF, which drains you both financially and emotionally, with no guarantee of a child at the end of it. The most rewarding thing about adoption has been getting to know our children, who were two and nine months old when we met them. Even though I didn't physically give birth to my children, we have a very close bond. I just can't imagine life without them.

To make an enquiry about the SSAFA Forces Help Adoption Service contact the Adoption Administrator on 020-7463 9326 or AdoptAdmin@ssafa.org.uk

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Software Developer

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Software Developer i...

AER Teachers: Graduate Primary TA - West London - Autumn

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

AER Teachers: Graduate Secondary TA - West London

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Surrey - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Croy...

SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones