Case Study - Male Single Adopter
Being single I was a little apprehensive about applying to become an adopter, however, I spoke to a colleague, who had adopted though WWiSH. Steve is also single and so he understood my concerns and having listened to his experience and having talked it through with my family and a few close friends I took the decision to apply.
The procedure was not as complicated as I had imagined as within a week of returning forms to WWiSH I received a phone call from a social worker whose friendly voice put me at ease.
I was initially concerned about how I would manage looking after children when I returned to work. My social worker mentioned something they call a “support network” which means the people who would be around to help look after the children. Having talked this through with the social worker I soon realised that I had a small but strong network of support made up of family and close friends who I knew I could rely on to help out with childcare when needed.
After an “initial visit” with a social worker I received a copy of the report which highlighted the areas of our discussion during the visit. The report said that I could proceed to the next stage of the process, I was over the moon.
After my initial visit I was invited on to a preparation programme which was fanatic. I learned so much about adoption and the adoption process. It is a three day course and it was nice to talk to other people who wanted to adopt and who shared some of my own concerns.
I had to complete a portfolio within two months which was not as difficult as I imagined. It was a little daunting at first but I found that it helped me focus on the issues I would be discussing in my assessment. With the support of my social worker I had completed the portfolio within the timescales.
Once all this information is back with your social worker you can be moved on to stage 2 which is when your social worker comes out to see you each week. There are around 8 sessions in total and although it sounds a lot the weeks soon pass.
Following my assessment I attended panel with my social worker. I was a little anxious on the day but with the support of my social worker I felt much more at ease. I was told on the day what the recommendation was and received a letter 10 days following the panel stating that I had been formally approved.
Within a matter of 3 months I was back at panel having been matched with a two boys, brothers, Tom age 4 years and Gerry age 6 years. I had been given a lot of information on the boys before meeting them. My social worker gave me copies of their reports which had a lot of information in, which was very useful.
I had two weeks of introductions to get to know the boys. The first week of introductions I spent at the foster carer’s house so she could be on hand to offer her support, but as the days passed I found that I was able to cope on my own quite well. The second week of introductions was spent at my house, I would collect the boys each day from the foster carer’s house. As the week went by it got harder and harder to leave them but in the background I had the support of my family to support me. My sister in particular was very support as she has children around the same age as Tom and Gerry. On the final day of introductions I collect the boys for the final time and headed home. My social worker, who had kept in touch with me through the introductions, called in a few days later and visited regularly up until the adoption order was made.
Six month on the boys are now adopted. It took a while for them to settle, I face new challenges each day but it feels as though they have always been with me and I couldnt imagine my life without them. Yes, it is tiring being a single parent but I now see the value of having a strong support network, especially now that I’m back in work. I have also buddied up with another single adopter which has helped. I meet up with her once a month while my parents look after the boys. I found the buddy system helpful as we are able to share similar experience which makes you realise that you’re not alone and that support is out there if you need it.
WWiSH also has a good post adoption support team who you can call on if you need professional support and they run practical courses which have given me a better understanding of my boys and helped me to with my parenting.