Julia's story

Julia shares her story of adopting her son when he was five

Up until a year ago, if you’d have asked me who my family were, I’d have just said my Mum and Dad and older brother – but now I am able to tell you all about my adopted son as well. He’s five and a half, and we’ve just had our special day in court to celebrate our adoption being finalised.

Back in 2009 I was diagnosed with leukaemia. In my first week of treatment, I was told the medication would make me infertile. There were some conversations about adoption in those early days, but following my treatment I pushed the idea to the back of my mind upon learning that I needed to be five years cancer-free before I could begin any kind of adoption journey. However, around that five-year mark, some strange and wonderful signs suddenly started appearing that quickly brought those thoughts back into focus.

My church featured adoption during a service, and very soon after I saw publicity for a Home for Good information evening that was taking place near me. I went along with a friend and spoke to the adoption agency that Home for Good partner with in my area. I wasn’t even sure that I could adopt as a single person, but I was assured that evening that this would in no way stop me from applying.

So, I did exactly that. I found the assessment process quite easy as I’m fairly open and good at talking! The only really hard bit was being the lone single person on the training days – I was worried I’d be seen as the odd one out who didn’t fit in. But my social worker assured me that I was in the right place and she supported me like a friend, all the way through to panel.

It was so good to have the Home for Good team to talk to throughout the whole process; their reassurance make things much easier. When I finally did meet my son to bring him home, it felt initially awkward, different to how I expected – nothing like the movies would portray. Again, it really helped that team at Home for Good could tell me this was ok and – even better – it was actually normal.

I’ve made new friends within church – mums who I didn’t have anything in common with before – and one in particular who is always on the end of the phone. During one tough moment, she and her daughter just came over straight away. I could trust her, she didn’t judge or give an opinion on what I should do, she was just there. Now she comes around every Thursday and I’m so grateful. I wouldn’t have expected her to be this person for me, which makes me realise you can’t plan everything, but have to trust that you will make relationships with the right people.

I have many proud mummy moments; I wasn’t around for some of his ‘firsts’ but I’ve taught my son things he couldn’t do before, and that’s amazing. At school the children made superhero cards around Father’s Day, which was a challenge, but he did one for me and wrote that I was his superhero ‘because you look after me’.

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In England, the average age of a child at adoption is 3 years old.

In Scotland, 73% of children adopted were under the age of five.

In Wales, the average age of children adopted during 2019/20 was 3 years old.

In Northern Ireland, the average age of children at the time of adoption was 3 years 10 months.

Across the UK there are children over the age of three waiting for adoption. All children and young people should be able to grow up in the family and setting that is right for them, and no child deserves to wait disproportionately because of their age.

To find out more, join us on Thursday 2 December for a special information session about caring for older children. Sign up here or visit our events page to register for an upcoming fostering or adoption information session.

Date published:
republished in November 2021


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