Micah* is five and a half years old. He was adopted through PACT when he was 10 months old by his two mums, Sonya* and Alison*.
When they began the adoption process, Sonya said they were keen to find an agency that demonstrated inclusive practices, particularly for LGBTQ+ and interracial families, as well as an agency that had ongoing adoption support. Sonya is of mixed Black Caribbean and White British ethnicity and said she heard about PACT from a friend who is also LGBTQ+ and Black, who had a good experience with PACT.
After progressing through the adoption process, Sonya and Alison began the family finding stage and were looking through children’s profiles. When they saw Micah’s profile, they felt it would be a good match.
Sonya said: “He has a very similar heritage to me and I felt I could support him to understand his background and his birth family. There was some comfort in knowing that we might be able to connect through similar experiences. His birth family also shared lots of information and in some ways reminded me of my own family. We were never too worried about being parents to a child that looks like us, but weirdly the photos on his profile looked exactly like the photos I have of myself as a baby.”
Before they began the adoption process, the couple had already decided they wanted to adopt a boy. Sonya said: “We’d read a lot of reports and articles about boys, particularly Black boys, waiting longer to be adopted which is awful and we had no interest in contributing to that statistic. I’m so glad we decided to adopt a boy, he’s the funniest little ball of love.”
Reflecting on why it’s important for children to be matched with families who share a similar culture and ethnicity, Sonya said: “I think he gets a lot of comfort from having physical things in common with me. We talk a lot about our hair, our skin, and how we look different and the same. He struggled for a while to understand that being Black or mixed race isn’t a bad thing – all of the cartoons on TV associate the colour black with ‘bad guys’ and villains, so it can be confusing. Internalised racism starts early because of these things, so being able to say, ‘Look, I’m the same as you and I love being me’ can help counteract that.”
Micah understands that he is adopted and loves to read his life story book and ask questions. “He also thinks Prince Eric from the new Little Mermaid film is cool because he’s adopted too!” says Sonya.
When asked what have been the highlights of her journey so far, Sonya said:
The first time my son said ‘I love you mummy’. Seeing him learn new things. And listening as he confidently told a friend at school that he’s adopted and he has two mums.”
To anyone considering adoption as a path to parenthood, particularly any individuals or couples of Black or Black/White mixed ethnicity, Sonya says: “Go for it! Or at least join a PACT information session. It may seem daunting, but all of the best things are.”
*Names changed in line with confidentiality