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Have you considered fostering to adopt?

Published: 31 July 2018

One Surrey family shares its story

Foster to adopt is when a child is placed with foster parents who are also approved as adopters. This means that the child does not have to move to another foster home if they do not return to their birth parents.

This can be challenging for the foster carers as the court may decide that the child should return to the care of their birth parents or a relative and sometimes contact with the birth parents is maintained during the court process.

Following some heartbreaking attempts at IVF, *Katie and *Ben decided to adopt, first a little boy, but then they were asked to foster to adopt his biological baby sister. They talked to Surrey Matters about how it hasn't all been easy, but how everything was worth it in the end.

"Both Ben and I work with children and even on our first date we had discussed how we both wanted to have a family in the future. So when years later we discovered we were unable to have children of our own it was devastating. We attempted IVF but when that didn't work we decided that we would look into adoption.

After a really intense assessment process, there was a period of waiting until our social worker matched us with a little boy. When we met him we felt an instant connection. He's such a cheeky, clever, funny child and with the support, training and advice provided by our social worker he is now a happy well adjusted little boy.

About a year later, the council contacted us and said that his biological baby sister had come into care and would we consider fostering her? For us this was a tricky decision. Although, it was likely that the birth family would not be able to care for her either, in which case we may have the option to adopt her, this wasn't guaranteed and there was always the possibility that she might return to her birth family. Our first reaction was to say no, but after chatting it through, Ben and I decided that we wanted to care for her and she came to us on a foster to adopt basis.

Fostering was very different from adoption and we found it tough sending the little girl off to regular contact visits with her birth family. But eventually the decision was made that adoption was a better outcome for her and we adopted her too.

Because it was a foster to adopt situation our relationship with her developed in a different way, nothing was certain. But now we have a cheeky, determined, walking whirlwind on our hands. We have less sleep than we used to, much less time to ourselves or together as a couple. But we could not be happier with our gorgeous little family."

If you think foster to adopt is for you, we would like to hear from you. Call 0800 096 9626 or for more information visit the Surrey County Council adoption website.

*names changed.

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