Alison became the proud mother of Jessica*, in August 2010. Alison is a single lesbian adopter. She came to PACT to adopt as the agency welcomes LGBT applicants. Alison wanted to become a parent but did not feel the need to have a birth child.
Jessica, a high-spirited ten year old, has settled well. Alison chose to adopt an older child because she wanted to be able to talk and share activities such as riding bikes and shopping together. Alison is a school teacher, and found her employer encouraging and flexible. She took almost the full year of adoption leave to which she was entitled.
Alison explains, “I had a really positive experience with PACT, I was concerned that being single would put me at a disadvantage compared with two parent families. My sexuality was never an issue during the adoption process. After approval my PACT social worker and the team in the office suggested the match with Jessica.
“Meeting her for the first time was terrifying! Easily the most stressful hour of my life. Making sure I didn’t arrive too early or late; wondering what this little person who I had read and heard so much about was really going to be like; overcoming my initial shyness and appearing to be in control and confident all felt very overwhelming at the time. However, it was fine, she had lots of questions for me that she had written down in a notebook with the help of her foster carer. She had had her hair done and was wearing a new, special ‘meeting new mummy’ outfit. It is a strange thing to do – meeting the little person who will one day be coming home with you for good, who is just as nervous of you. It is also quite different from meeting a baby I would guess as she could already, walk, talk and argue! The enormity of what we were about to embark on still surprises me at times.
“It’s been a real rollercoaster of emotions, sometimes it feels like we lurch from day to day. Other times it’s wonderful – really exciting to see how much she has changed over the years, to witness what a confident and caring young person she is becoming and to see her new found resilience to life. Hearing her talk of her future plans and hopes and letting her try things out for the first time – getting buses, learning independence, coping with school life. Listening to her cackling laughter and witty sense of humour – she has added so much to our immediate family and really brought a sense of life and belonging.
“As a lesbian adopter, joining New Family Social is a must – they have a weekend camping trip each year and it is very affirming to be with other LGBT parents and to meet other adopted/fostered children and to be able to talk to them and discuss any joys or concerns. They also have a forum on their website and local support groups/meet-ups which are very helpful and enjoyable.”