Adam and Kate adopt a baby
Adam and Kate were thinking about adoption when they heard about Concurrent Planning through a friend. They felt it would be a wonderful thing to do for a baby who’d had a difficult start in life.
“We first heard about Euan less than a week before he came to live with us and were formally asked to look after him just a few hours before we picked him up. Three days later we started contact with his birth family.
Contact with the birth family
"At first we found contact with the birth family hard. But we understood that it is part of the process and important for the child to socialise with their birth family. Then, if it’s decided they can return to live with them, they will have a bond.
“Euan’s birth mum and dad enjoyed seeing him and listened to the contact worker’s advice about how to look after him. There were frustrations, but they were with the system, not me or my husband. Our relationship with them was very amicable.
“I would think to myself, 'They’re his parents. I’m helping with the baby while they’re sorting themselves out'.
Developments in court
“However, after about six months, there was a hearing where social workers from the local authority gave evidence about the birth parents' capabilities as carers, and it began to look very unlikely that they’d be able to look after Euan. Then a relative put in an application to care for him. This was hard; a mystery person coming along.
“We took it a step at a time and finally the relative concluded she couldn’t take care of him either.
How you cope
“It’s funny the little things you do for self preservation. I like nice children’s clothes but I found I couldn't buy him things; I had to play it day at a time. I had a couple of friends with lovely things and I just used the borrowed clothes.
“There was one moment, towards the end of the process, when Euan wasn’t sleeping and we were lying on the bed and I was pretending to sleep to try and get him off. He reached out and touched my face. And I thought, ‘Who are you kidding, you love this baby so much’.
“Our social workers helped by arranging for us to meet a set of carers who looked after a baby who was returned back to the birth family. They reassured us that if it looks as if the child may return home you have a good idea early on and are supported. We always thought, 'If he doesn’t come to us, we’ve given him a good start'.
Reflecting on the process
“Concurrent Planning is intense and absolutely child centred. That said, I would be surprised if there were many concurrent carers who regret going through it.
“Today, Euan has a very happy life. He goes to a music class, little gym and playgroups. He’s outgoing and friendly.
"As soon as we had the Adoption Order, we started calling ourselves Mummy and Daddy, instead of our first names, from that moment all the walls came down."