“Did it fulfil all of our dreams? Of course it did!”
Tim and Raveen adopted their son through Early Permanence. Raveen explains what the process was like for them.
“We were talking about having children for a while and exploring our options as a same sex couple. We looked at surrogacy and what that would involve and then the same at adoption, and after we were more drawn to adoption. That’s how we came to adopt, there isn’t a big story to tell!
We contacted some adoption agencies local to us, who advised us to contact Adopt London West as it is based in an area with a large Indian population, and we are a mixed heritage couple hoping for a child from an Indian background.
Adopt London West happened to have an information session a month later, which we registered for and where I went by myself as my husband was working, just to hear the social worker and to chat to the other families who were there. I got a good vibe, and you can only go with your gut feeling at that stage.
We started the process almost straightaway. At the beginning we thought that the ideal for us would be to have a mixed-heritage child. We thought at the time that for the sense of belonging our child should look like one of us – did it turn out that way? Not really! But I don’t think that this is now an issue to be fair, as you’re raising a human being, so it doesn’t really matter in that perspective.
Early Permanence was mentioned to us during the training, which we were always inclined for, because you were able to get a younger child. We decided to go down the Early Permanence route.
The process seemed quite long, and you almost feel like you forget that you’re in the adoption process during the first stage, but when the second stage hits it goes bang, smack and goes really quickly! The next thing you know you are in front of the Panel. It then is so quick that your brain has trouble catching up! We felt lucky that straightaway there was a child for us, although we didn’t get chosen for that child in the end. We did feel heartbroken, but everything happens for a reason, and we took a bit of time off afterwards – a couple of months to clear our heads. And that’s when our son came about.
We met him at 14 months old and we cared for him through Early Permanence. His siblings were already in care and so we were told that for our son it would be the case that he would be adopted.
Our son comes from a big family and during the process we had ongoing contact with them on a weekly basis for four months. We were bending over backwards to make sure this could happen as we knew how important it was. Every week he had contact with one of his family members at a contact centre. We tried to be as accommodating as possible. We were lucky that we got on with the foster carer very well. I would always drive to hers; we would change the cars around and she would drive our son to the contact centre, and I would always be close by.
We are trying for face-to-face annual contact with our son’s birth family for the future, which we think is needed so our son will know for the future what his roots are. I think there are a lot of questions that his older siblings or mother could answer better than we ever could. We can only answer things that were detailed on the records that were shared with us, although we were told over time a lot of stories.
We also have a voice recording from the mother which is something to hold on to for the future – that our son can hear his birth mothers voice and can hear her side of the story in her own words.
We met with the birth mother, and she was very kind and answered our questions. It was one of the things, that as weirdly as it sounds, you sense an unconditional love from her part because she was fully aware that she couldn’t look after her baby, and she accepted that and realised this is why she had to give her son up for adoption – out of love. Which was even more heart-breaking at the time. Sometimes I think it’s easier to think badly of people, but if you meet them and realise that they didn’t get everything right somewhere down the line, but they are a good human being. She was a lovely person to us; she just didn’t have her life under control.
We also met the older siblings and heard their story and afterwards sat down in the evening and wondered If we should adopt all three, but then reality hit, and we knew we couldn’t afford three children. We did have the conversation though, as the siblings were lovely too.
Adoption has been life changing. It has been a life changing experience. You have to think deep within yourself for a lot of things during the process. You need a thick skin, and the process isn’t easy, but did it fulfil all of our dreams? – Of course it did, because we wanted to have a child, that happened, and now we are very happy that we went through it.
Our social worker was amazing throughout the entire process. She has been our rock. We will be forever grateful to her. We had a wonderful experience with her, she made us feel very comfortable and very welcome, not invasive and we still invite her over for coffee now! She’s been amazing.”