Nicola had always wanted a family, but hadn’t found the right partner to make the commitment to parenthood. She had considered adoption as a possibility, and read and researched the routes available, before taking the next step and going to an information event.
I adopted Oliver through the Early Permanence Placement (EPP) scheme where children are placed with a foster family with a view to adoption. He came to live with me when he was just one day old. I cared for him first as a foster carer and went on to adopt him once the court agreed that this should be his permanent plan. I first got to know about him three weeks before he was due to be born. After that, everything happened really quickly. The social workers, and in fact everyone involved, put in lots of hard work and went over and above to ensure that his placement with me went smoothly and without delays.
Taking Oliver home from hospital when he was just one day old has been a blessing. To become a family unit with him from the very start of his life means we have developed a really strong connection and bond, and this has given him the best chance of achieving early security in his life.
Oliver seemed to recognise me as his mummy very quickly: he knew my voice, my smell, and the way I held him when he needed soothing. I am sure one of the reasons our bond grew so strong, so quickly was being able to give him so much one-to-one time. He was such a happy and contented baby, thriving and growing fast, and quickly settling into a routine as soon as he came home. He loved swimming and bath-time, and still does - a real water baby!
My family and friends have enjoyed watching Oliver grow and develop into the happy little toddler he is now, as he approaches his second birthday. We’ve just had our first holiday together at Centre Parcs and he loved it!
I was surprised at how positive and open the Adoption Team was to me as a single adopter. I felt wanted and supported throughout the process. EPP may not be the right route for everyone - it does have its risks, the biggest being that a child could be placed back with their birth family if the court decides that this is the right thing to do. Anyone thinking of this option also needs to consider carefully whether they could support a child’s contact with their birth parents during court proceedings, and whether they have both the resilience and family support that’s needed during this time.
I always held on to the knowledge that should things not work out as I hoped, then I had done everything possible to ensure that Oliver had a secure home and the best start in his early life that every child deserves. Now that things are finalised and I have formally adopted Oliver, I can look back at those early days. I am just so grateful it was largely a positive experience from start to finish.
Oliver is now approaching his second birthday - he is a happy and healthy little boy, and as far as his adoptive status goes, we have almost always experienced positive responses from the other mums we meet in baby and toddler groups and local fun clubs. Oliver settled in really well at my local nursery when I needed to return to work, which I’ve now done part time. And, although I felt somewhat nervous about it at the time, I did agree to meet his birth mother, and she explained to me her decision to give him up for adoption. One day, when he is older and the time is right, I will share this with him. Until then, we will continue to fill his childhood with happy memories of our own.