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Article date - 28 February 2020
Iain (38) and Andrew (36) adopted their son through Together for Adoption around 18 months ago after having wanted a child for a long time.
Next week (2-8 March) is LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week and the theme is ‘Why not you?’, which is designed to tackle some of the ongoing misconceptions that could deter LGBT+ people from exploring the options around starting a family.
Iain said: “We didn’t have any pre-conceptions about adoption but what we have noticed is that some of our LGBT+ friends don’t even think about adoption as a possibility.
“It’s only when some of our friends see us with our son, that you can see the cogs turning and they realise that this could be a reality for them too.
"Some people come over to Andrew and I and tell us what a great job we are doing when we’re out as a family, so we’re educating people without even knowing it.”
Iain and Andrew were keen to adopt a young baby so they could bring them up, teaching important values and life lessons from an early age.
They were keen to proceed with Together for Adoption after speaking with the team and realising the wealth of support the local authority led agency provides.
Andrew has even accessed various training opportunities through Together for Adoption, including supporting children on the internet and different father’s groups so the pair can be prepared as their son grows older.
Iain added: “We were impressed by Together for Adoption’s support offer – we’ve found the training really useful and we’re still in touch with the agency all these months later.
“We have an amazing group of friends; they’re leaders and career driven like us. Speaking with Together for Adoption felt like we were speaking with friends, they understood what we were looking for and always had the child’s best interests at heart.
“Since our son came to live with us, we’ve been trying to teach him loving family values, the importance of aspirations and being loyal and how to be trusting. These are lessons we will continue to instil as our family moves forward.”
Together for Adoption brings together the adoption services of Cheshire West and Chester, Halton, St. Helens, Warrington and Wigan.
Councillor Nova Charlton, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Protecting Young People, said: “Ensuring that children live in loving, stable homes is a key priority for us as corporate parents.
“There is a range of misconceptions among prospective adopters and fosterers regarding their eligibility for example, if they are single, in a LGBT+ relationship or of an older age.
“That’s why the theme ‘Why not you?’ is so important, specifically within the LGBT+ community.
“Iain and Andrew are proof that a same-sex couple can complete their family with support from Together for Adoption. It’s great to hear that their son is thriving being brought up in a loving stable family.”
Together for Adoption was developed following government changes announced in 2015 to the way adoption services operate by directing they be run on a regional basis by 2020.
For more information, head to Together for Adoption drop-in events which run every Monday-Thursday the first week of every month at Bewsey Park Community Centre, Troutbeck Avenue, Warrington, WA5 0BA, 1pm-2pm.
Or, if you prefer evening events, visit www.togetherforadoption.co.uk for future dates.