George* and Andrew* adopted siblings Cait* and Oliver*, aged eight and six, through PACT in 2016.
The couple said they chose to adopt through PACT because of the support and training it offered before, during and post adoption and because of the agency’s experience of placing children with LGBT adopters.
“It was during Brighton Pride that we saw the PACT stall in the park, we looked at each other and thought it would be a good opportunity for us to find out more. We were greeted by two friendly social workers and also a father and his son. We were made to feel welcome and that absolutely it was possible for us to have our own children.”
“We then attended the Fertility Show and gained further information there and very quick ruled out surrogacy and favoured the adoption route. We continued our initial conversation with the social workers on the PACT stand and booked in for an information evening.”
“We couldn’t imagine our lives without children now and it all started with an initial enquiry with PACT. This has been an amazing journey for us and if it is something that you are considering, when the time is right for you, PACT will be there to hold your hand throughout every stage.”
They said the staff at PACT made them feel welcome from their initial inquiry, and that they had been well supported throughout the adoption process.
“We had an absolutely amazing social worker who led us through the whole preparation process. We had weekly sessions that we took at our own pace to prepare to become adopters.
The training and social events provided through PACT enabled us to meet with other potential adopters going through the same process, and also experienced adopters, which we found incredibly valuable and supportive. We also learnt a lot about each other, how we were brought up, our strengths and challenges – all of which has made us stronger parents.”
They said meeting their children for the first time was “magical”.
“We had been waiting for this moment for a long time and when we actually met our children for the first time we seemed to instantly gel.
Due to the preparation work prior to the meeting, our children knew a lot about us and they asked us lots of questions to get to know more.”
George and Andrew said Cait and Oliver settled with them really well as they all adjusted to their new life together.
“We had to work together as a couple to set the boundaries and provide predictability and security for the children in our home as quickly as possible. We had to ensure that we worked together so that the children knew they would get the same answer from both of us. We all made mistakes and it was a steep learning curve but a process that we had to go through as all parents do.”
They said life as a family of four was fantastic.
“After 18 months, as we look back on past photographs and videos it is amazing to see the progress that they have made in all aspects of their lives and how we as a couple have strengthened our relationship together. We no longer have quiet lives, lie-ins or nights out clubbing, but this has been replaced with our beautiful family and all the experiences that go with that, such as attending their nativities, Christmas celebrations, family holidays, putting teeth out for the tooth fairy, hosting birthday parties and many more.”
*Names changed in line with confidentiality