Adopting with SSAFA
Adoptive parents Louise and Richard tell us about the struggles of adopting and how SSAFA were able to help.
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Louise and her husband Richard, who serves in the Army, adopted a little girl through SSAFA earlier this year. She tells us about the struggles of adopting and how SSAFA were able to help.
Our daughter has been with us almost a year now and the time has gone by so quickly. She has settled in very well and is a happy little girl. As with every family, there are good and bad days, some that take more patience than others but those special moments are priceless.
We had considered adoption for a number of years and after seeing the successful placement of children with a family member, decided this was the way we wanted to grow our family. We were concerned that a local authority may not understand the military lifestyle. SSAFA was the ideal choice for us because they were aware of the support and stability that a military family could provide an adopted child.
We had our initial meeting with a social worker in February 2012. We were given an overwhelming amount of information to consider but after thinking it through, we knew this was the path for us.
The next step was a Preparation and Assessment Group in July 2012. It was very beneficial and truthful, especially when discussing the backgrounds of looked after children and the issues that may arise when they become a part of your family. We also met other couples that we remain in contact with now. Afterwards the work on our adoption portfolio began in earnest. Our social worker was incredibly helpful. She conducted frank interviews and was very honest when it came to helping us decide what type of child would be best for our family.
We were posted in April 2013 and this delayed our going to the Adoption Panel but SSAFA were very supportive. In the end we went to panel on 4 June. We were so nervous but the panel members made us feel at ease and we were thrilled to be approved.
We began to receive profiles of looked after children. In August we were given the profile of a beautiful three-year-old girl and we knew immediately that she was meant to be our daughter. We visited her social worker and saw pictures and a video of our daughter which just confirmed how we felt. We later met her foster carers and nursery school teachers and learned more about her daily routines, likes and dislikes. On 5 November we were approved by the Matching Panel to become the parents of this lovely little girl.
Introductions with our daughter began on 18 November at her foster carers’ home. They made us feel very comfortable and spent a lot of time preparing our daughter for our visit. We gradually got to know her and on 25 November she came to live with her forever family.
SSAFA and our daughter’s local authority continued to carry out assessments and our social worker was always available to answer questions or give suggestions to help us settle our daughter into her new family. We submitted our adoption application to the court and the order was approved on 31 July 2014.
We would not change a thing about this process and greatly appreciate the continued support of SSAFA.