"We always wanted children. It was not just for altruistic reasons, we come from big close knit families and being gay did not hinder our intrinsic desire to replicate ourselves. But years ago when we were in our twenties it simply was not lawfully possible.
We adopted our first two children through the local authority. Things were very different 13 years ago when we first applied – both times it took more than two years but we were delighted to become parents to our daughter and son.
When it came to our third time, things had changed. The government has delivered proper timely targets and the adoption process has been made simpler. We approached PACT through recommendation and we found using an independent agency works very well indeed. They have the resources in place, the knowhow, the hands-on expertise and they treated us with courtesy, respect and professionalism. Despite the fact that there are currently more adopters approved than children available for adoption, PACT works extra hard to secure a suitable match to your needs.
Our appointed social worker at PACT understood our vision and ethos as a family unit and understood what child would suit us best third time round. The search and requirement net can be cast wider and further as you are not bound to take on children in-house from the local authority or any consortium, there are no waiting times and no moratorium periods to be able to look elsewhere if nothing is available within the local catchment area.
PACT has been great and our latest addition arrived five weeks ago - a beautiful baby boy aged one. PACT has been so supportive and upfront with the whole process. They have always demonstrated to have our interests at heart and they are a constant source of contact and support should the need arise.
Already we have used the FACTS therapeutic service which has helped us with transitions and Theraplay.
We know that we have a long and arduous road ahead, the honeymoon is still in full swing here at home, and eventually there will many mountains to climb. Three siblings all with extensive amounts of contact both direct and indirect add to the mixture; two dads, some health issues, some hearing impairment, some additional needs.... every day we fight our battles but we cannot win all wars!
Remember that the kids available for adoption are in care for a reason and one must always remember this. If your expectations are too high but the kids abilities are too low the gap is a tough one to bridge, now and in the future. There will be hiccups and challenges ahead, especially as they grow older and more issues arise but with the right support and experience who is to say that we cannot pull it off?
Good luck on your own journeys; from two very proud dads and three amazing little people aged 11, eight, and one."