Kulli's blog - Support through adoption leave
- Kulli is our Supported Living Housing Manager
Kulli writes about his own experience of adoption and the support he and his partner had along the way to completing their family.
Did you know that same-sex adoption in the UK has been supported by legislation since 2002 and that it has been illegal to discriminate since 2010? Here's my story:
We had initially approached Blackpool local authority (where we lived at the time) and were given muted approval, but gently discouraged from starting the process then. They suggested that a larger authority may suit our needs better as we were a same-sex mixed heritage couple. In many ways, this advice ended up being the best thing for us; we approached Lancashire some months later and were warmly welcomed from the outset.
They were very open about the whole process, both the positives and the negatives. Then, after an initial assessment, we were duly assigned our social worker. We attended a three-day induction course which gave us a clearer idea of why children come into care and how we could provide the support and love they needed as their forever families.
The following months were filled with form-filling and meetings, which sounds much worse than it felt at the time. It’s pretty therapeutic to talk through your past and your reasons for wanting to adopt a child.
Our support network of close friends who came on the journey with us became closer still. Our social worker was brilliant and friendly but professional, and we respected her for being able to be close enough to us to provide the support we needed but objective enough to work towards approval at panel.
We met other adopters and foster carers along the way who are now part of our circle of friends, and we were lucky enough to be matched with our son within a year of our initial application in late 2016.
We are still in touch with all the team in Lancashire, and the post-adoption support team are in regular contact to inform us of upcoming events and training courses.
Our life has changed so much since we became parents; priorities change when you have children, but that’s the same for any new family. The first few days were hard work; having to become full-time parents overnight is tough, but it gets easier, and there are always those moments which remind you why you chose to adopt, whether it’s a smile, a hug or a giggle.
I was supported a lot through the Group’s ‘Family Friendly Policy’ and my manager at the time. I was allowed time off to attend meetings and appointments before my adoption leave. In essence, adoption leave mirrors parental leave following the birth of a child (to be honest, I didn’t know this until I read the policy at that time!)
In 2018, we decided to embark on the journey again, and we were matched with our daughter six months after – our family is now complete.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Kulli.
Kulli originally wrote this blog for LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering Week, which aims to increase adoption and or fostering for people who identify as LGBTQ+.