Advice sessions for Adoption Awareness Week

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Derby City Council is celebrating National Adoption Week from 3rd to 9th November with a series of events to raise awareness about adoption.

The Council’s Adoption Service will target families who live outside the city to give parents and children the opportunity to have a fresh beginning.

A Sutton mum who adopted her son aged four months four years ago explained she was advised to look further afield than Nottinghamshire when she wanted to adopt.

Becky, 41 (we have not used her surname)said: “We used Derby because Social Services have their own children on the book and say there is a higher chance that the birth family wouldn’t live close to us.

“We were advised to go a little bit further afield because the child may have had a bad start in life.”

Becky and her partner who did not want their surnames to be revealed, adopted their son when he was just four months old.

The couple discovered they are both infertile and had no chance of having children of their own.

She said: “It was about our desire to be parents, but as soon as we started the process it was about our desire to look after this child who had a bad start in life.

“We feel very very lucky given that choice for him to come to us and make our dreams come true - it is a special and magical thing.”

She described the adoption process as difficult and intrusive but ‘worth every second’.

“It is far and away the most rewarding thing we have ever done,” said Becky.

“The first thing you do is go for fertility treatment.

“It just didn’t go to plan. I just didn’t go for adoption at first - even I didn’t want anyone else’s child . When you find out you are infertile it is easy not to do it, but there are so many children out there who need families.”

The couple went through a three year process for adoption which Becky described as like ‘walking through treacle’.

“The first stage is finding out about it. We had a visit from two social workers which lasted about five hours. At that point they decided whether they wanted us to proceed. And they did it was wonderful.

“Then there was the preparation group, nine days of training, learning all about different kinds of children waiting for adoption.

“You learn about children who have had a really hard time and it can be harrowing.”

Thee couple then had 10 months of home assessment.

She said: “It was hugely emotional. I kept a diary - I struggle to read it now, things were so uncertain you don’t know what the future is.

Then we were linked with him and then the matching panel - it was utterly draining.

We didn’t tell anybody at all about what we were going through - then at work told them I would be on maternity leave the next day!

“As part of the process you identify what you are looking for. We said we would foster up to age three and a sibling group if it was available. So that wasn’t an issue to us but it was so good to find out we had a little one .

Having a young baby was so magical, giving him his first proper meal, watching his first steps and hear his first words - something we thought we would never have.”

From Monday 3rd to Friday 7th November, Derby City staff will travel to neighbouring towns and cities to raise awareness about adoption and encourage potential adopters to get in touch. Experts will be on hand to talk about adoption, provide written information and promote the benefits of keeping brothers and sisters together, as siblings are harder to place together.

Events will be held at:

Wednesday 5 November (10am to 4.30pm) – Broadway Cinema, Broad Street, Nottingham, NG1 3AL.

Monday 3 November (10.30am to 2.30pm) – Bakewell Market, near the Crescent, Bakewell.

Tuesday 4 November (6.30pm to 8.30pm) – Fostering and Adoption Office, Perth Street, Chaddesden, Derby, DE21 6XX.

To learn more about Derby City Council’s adoption service, please visit www.derby.gov.uk/adoption or telephone 01332 640880.