“Rosie is a blessing”

A primary school teacher who adopted her daughter through a child-centred initiative is advocating the scheme to people wishing to adopt in Somerset, during National Adoption Week (17-23 October).

Suzie, a 49-year-old single mum from Shepton Mallet, became Rosie’s adoptive mum earlier this year through the Fostering for Adoption initiative.

Last month 31 children in Somerset had adoption as their plan, and a Fostering for Adoption placement will be an option for some of them.

Fostering for Adoption is an initiative for children aged 0 to 4 and older. It gives babies and young children in care greater stability in their early life, by placing them with approved adopters who have been temporarily approved as the child’s foster carers. This means that more of the child’s early months or years will be spent with people committed to becoming their adoptive parents. While adoption is very likely, it is still possible the child may return to their birth family if this is the best option for them.

But whatever the outcome, people who choose Fostering for Adoption will know they have made a significant difference to a child, and given them the best possible start.

Initially Suzie’s reservations about Fostering for Adoption put her off the idea. But when she found out about 3 year-old Rosie and her circumstances, Suzie decided she would consider Fostering for Adoption.

Writing in her detailed and reflective account on www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk, Suzie says: “With Rosie, the circumstances were different. The things I felt I was looking for – a child who was verbal and about whom there was quite a lot of information – came together. Rosie’s social worker had known her family for a long time. When this social worker came to my house to speak to me and my social worker about Rosie, she talked for almost two hours which brought Rosie alive. She sounded really likeable. Suddenly, Fostering for Adoption seemed the right thing to do.”

As to whether Suzie would recommend others to consider Fostering for Adoption, she says: “Yes! I feel fantastically lucky to have Rosie in my life. She is happy and I am happy. Fostering for Adoption seems a better option for children in care than a foster placement followed by an adoption, as it reduces the number of huge changes a child will experience and allows him/her to achieve permanence earlier.

“Also, I found it helpful to know Rosie while the very frequent contact was taking place, before the decision was made that she would be adopted. Those weeks gave me a glimpse into her original world and made me really think about what she was going through. I feel that I’m possibly better able to meet her needs as an adopted child as a result.”

Find out how you could Adopt in Somerset – visit www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk phone 0800 587 9900, ‘like’ the Adoption in Somerset Facebook page or follow @adoptsomerset on Twitter. You can read Suzie’s blog in full by clicking here: http://www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk/suzies-shares-fostering-adoption-story/

Or come to one of our next adoption information events, where you’ll get a chance to speak to people who have adopted and our social workers:

·        Tuesday 18 October, 7pm-9pm, Costa Coffee, Cornhill, Bridgwater, TA6 3BU.

·        National Adoption Week event: Thursday 20 October, 7pm-9pm, Wessex Hotel, High Street, Street, BA16 0EF

·        Monday 31 October, 7pm-9pm, Wessex Hotel, High Street, Street, BA16 0EF.

Please note that names have been changed to protect identities.