In 2017 we adopted our two daughters, then age 3 and 4. We always knew we wanted to be parents but as a same sex couple adoption was not an option prior to 2013. After a series of fertility treatments at a local clinic, which were ultimately unsuccessful, we were feeling a little lost and emotionally bruised to say the least.
A change in the law now opened up adoption to us and after an initial chat with Belfast Trust we decided to apply to adopt. We were worried that us being a same sex couple might be an issue as we didn’t know any other same sex couples at that time who had adopted or were going through the process, but our worries were unfounded.
The longest part of the process for us was around 9 months waiting to be allocated a social worker but once that happened the process moved along fairly quickly. In fact ten months after we met our social worker we met our two daughters for the first time and they came home with us two weeks later!
As we both grew up with siblings and cherish our relationships with our brothers and sisters we were open to adopting siblings. A definite advantage of adopting siblings was the comfort they were to each other in those early days of coming to live with us when we were strangers to them. Their close bond and shared experience has been a help to them and to us as we navigated becoming a family.
We are now two and a half years down the line and the girls are now age 6 and 7, both at school and blossoming in front of our eyes. It hasn’t always been easy and adoption does have it’s own particular challenges but we have had great support from family and friends. There is also on going support from the adoption team at Belfast Trust and we attend the same sex family group where Tracey works at HERe NI
Our advice to anyone considering adoption would be to do your research, sign up with Adoption UK who have support groups here in NI, don’t be put off by the process – in our case we were never asked anything we weren’t expecting.