How can you be best prepared to adopt? As part of National Adoption Week, our adoption solicitor Sue Pryse-Davies gives us her top 5 tips for adoptive parents.
1) Gain child care experience
Prior to and during the adoption process, first-hand experience of child care is a must. When possible this should go beyond looking after children within the immediate family or friends and include nurseries, pre-schools or toddler groups. Advice and support from childcare experts is valuable and these connections could prove extremely helpful as an extension to your support network (for example, your adoptive children attending the nursery where you volunteered).
2) Find professionals agencies, lawyers and other adoption experts in your area
Attend informational meetings held by public and private agencies. Ask for leaflets and handouts. Talk with social workers, solicitors, agency representatives. Screen any agency or solicitor you think you might use. Check references.
3) Be honest
With yourselves, the social workers and any other person you meet along the way. Being confident to share how you feel about your adoption journey will always enhance your skills as a prospective parent as well as reinforce your status within the process. Honesty in adoption is perceived as strength and not as a weakness.
4) Trust the adoption team
There is a wealth of expertise and no shortcut or decision will be taken if it is going to compromise your potential as an adopter. They have your best interest at heart. It is particularly key that you develop a strong relationship with your social worker and when the time comes, with the foster parent.
5) Wait out the waiting game
Adopting can take a while — sometimes, longer than you expected. Keep yourself busy by doing all the things you won’t have time to do once your new baby or child comes home. Go on that dream holiday or finish off those DIY projects. Even after children are placed the process can take longer than anticipated and you should access the support of the professional agencies who are there to help as well as us as your solicitors. We will explain the court process and why it may take some time for it to be completed particularly if the biological parents are wishing to contest or raise issues.