Making the decision to adopt a child is an excellent way to extend your family. Whatever the reason for you wanting to adopt – whether that be fertility issues, age, or the type of relationship you’re in – adoption can be incredibly rewarding.
Starting a family
Many couples dream of starting a family of their own, but for some, this isn’t always easy. The NHS states that around 1 in 7 couples may have difficulty conceiving, so rest assured that you and your partner are certainly not alone.
Infertility can cause strain in a relationship and you may find that you’re taking feelings of frustration and anger out on your partner. It’s so important to communicate your feelings with one another to form the basis of a happy and healthy relationship, especially if you’re planning to adopt.
Other ways to start a family
There are several different routes you can take to starting or growing your family.
Adoption is a wonderful way to do this and give a vulnerable child a loving home. With thousands of children coming from unstable and troubled backgrounds, it’s great if you feel you can provide them with a loving and comfortable new home. If you’re looking to move forward with the adoption process, it’s worth seeking the support of a specialist children’s solicitor to help you with the process.
Surrogacy is another alternative and is designed for those couples where pregnancy cannot be sustained. The process involves choosing a healthy woman who is willing to carry your baby and give birth to them for you.
IVF is a procedure that is typically used among couples who are finding it difficult to conceive. The treatment involves sperm and an egg being harvested from each partner, which are then combined in a lab. If the combination succeeds, embryos will be implanted into the woman’s uterus.
It is worth noting that the legal realities of surrogacy and IVF are different to each other and to adoption, therefore seeking the advice of a lawyer is recommended.
The process of adoption
You can either choose to adopt through a local authority or a voluntary organisation. First4Adoption is a government-run website that provides the latest adoption news and information.
The first stage of the adoption process in England and Wales starts with initial checks, exploration, and registration. This stage includes background checks and the gathering of references by your chosen adoption agency, and this typically takes around two months to complete.
The second stage involves training and assessment and usually takes around four months. Here, a social worker will assess you and see if you’re a good fit before presenting a case to the adoption panel.
If your case is approved, you’ll then be taken through the matching process, in which your agency will work with local authorities to find a suitable child for you. Once found, the child will move into your home and you’ll be able to apply to the court to become their legal parent(s).
Don’t forget to seek out the right support from friendly and knowledgeable family solicitors who will guide you through each step of the process, handling your case with professionalism and care.