Adopting in the pandemic – two parents supported by PACT share their story

Posted On 15 Dec 2020 at 6:28 pm

PACT is an experienced and committed voluntary adoption agency which has been creating and supporting adoptive families across Sussex for more than six years and has been supporting families across the south east since 1911.

With children continuing to come into care throughout this pandemic, there is an urgent need for people to come forward and be assessed and approved as adopters to provide loving and permanent homes for children waiting.

PACT has developed remote alternatives to all parts of the adoption process and is welcoming enquiries from prospective adopters throughout this period.

Meet Sussex-based PACT adopters Sarah* and Ian* who went through the adoption process during the pandemic. They completed their family when their little boy came home in October, aged 14 months old.

Sarah said: “We always talked about adoption as a way of adding children to our family.

“We discovered that it would not be straightforward for us to have birth children so decided to make adoption our positive choice as the path we wanted to go down to grow our family.

“We are so convinced that the best thing for a child is to grow up in a loving family and we felt that we could offer that to a child that needed one.

“We heard about PACT through Home for Good. We knew that they had a reputation for being efficient and supportive, both in the process and afterwards.

“One of our key priorities was that there would be support longer term if we needed and we were really impressed with PACT’s training and support events that we could access after our child came home, as well as their dedicated therapeutic social workers who would be available for support.

“We went to an information evening which was really warm and welcoming. The social workers were ready to answer our questions and followed up with us after the event.

“There was no question for us, we knew we wanted to adopt with PACT.”

Speaking on the adoption process during the current pandemic, Sarah said: “It was strange, but I guess it was normal for us!

“We found it was a really positive thing to be working towards in a time where we were at home more and our usual diary of things wasn’t happening.

“We benefited from the extra time that we had to put towards it, with less commitments and not being out at work all day.

“I was worried that it would slow the process but, if anything, I think it probably made it a bit quicker. It was frustrating having to do everything virtually, when meeting someone face to face is far better.”

Sarah went on to explain what it was like to meet their son for the first time. She said: “In the strange virtual times that we are in, we had virtual introductions prior to meeting him.

“We were having a few video calls a day in the week before seeing him face to face so felt as though we had already got to know him a little bit.

“I think this made it all the more wonderful when we could actually see him in the flesh and hold him.

“It felt incredibly momentous, a day that had been so longed for and then all of a sudden you are on the floor and have a little one who wants to play and crawl all over you.

“The foster carers were brilliant at helping us to feel really relaxed in their home and had prepared him really well for knowing who we were (as much as he was able!) when we met him which was wonderful.

“Bringing our boy home and getting to know him has to be the absolutely highlight. It makes the whole process worthwhile and is definitely worth the wait.

“It has been the really normal things which we are doing together that have often been the most precious and the little moments where he comes to us for cuddles, his infectious giggle and watching him learn new things every day knowing you are part of that journey for him.

“It has also been great to put all the training into practice and understand how it fits and how it helps once your child comes home.

“I really feel that PACT prepared us brilliantly for the transition and the early days particularly, we will always be learning but I come back to things from training every day.”

PACT is appealing to anyone who feels they could offer a secure and loving family to a child or children to get in touch to find out more. PACT has a downloadable Guide to Adoption on its website at www.pactcharity.org.

You can also call 0300 456 4800 or email enquiries@pactcharity.org to contact their friendly enquiries team to ask any questions or book a place at one of their information events, currently being held online via Zoom.

*Names have been changed

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