Lucy and Vicki adopted their little boy through the Early Permanence route to adoption. He joined them as a newborn in 2023, and in this Q and A, they share their experience with us.

Hi Lucy and Vicki, could you give us a brief introduction to your family?

We are Lucy are Vicki and have been together for six years and married for five. We have a little boy who we adopted through ARC who is now one year old.

Could we ask when did you know you were ready to adopt? Is it something you considered for a long time?

We had talked about adoption for a while, and it was always something in the back of our minds. We went through IVF on three occasions and after one failure and two miscarriages we looked more into adoption. With Vicki being adopted herself, we knew a bit about adoption but after finding out more information we knew that adopting was right for us. 

How did you come to choose ARC as your adoption agency?

After our last miscarriage we received counselling from our clinic and after we mentioned adoption they recommended ARC as her friends had recently adopted with them. We looked ARC up online and they stood out by far compared to the other agencies around. We loved their stance on LGBTQ+ and we contacted them for more information. 

We are very glad you did. How did you find going through the adoption process?

We found going through the adoption process a good experience. It prepares you for possible situations whether that be good or bad. It helps you prepare for parenthood and the training is very informative. After meeting our social worker and being able to build on that relationship your form with them on your journey to panel and beyond is amazing.

Could you tell us about what happened next in being matched with your son, and your experience of Early Permanence adoption? 

Early Permanence is an alternative route to adoption where a child is placed with approved Early Permanence carers under a fostering arrangement until a decision is made about adoption within the court system. While many babies and children go on to be adopted, sometimes it is decided that it is in the best interests of the baby or child to return to their birth family.

Early Permanence was something we were always keen to explore while going through the adoption process. After being approved, we had been contacted by our social worker with a few potential profiles when we received a call about our little boy who was to be placed under Early Permanence. We were notified about him 18 days before he was born. We met with his social worker a few days before his birth and then he was placed with us at 32 hours old!

Early Permanence for us turned out to be a bigger challenge than we first expected and probably the biggest challenge of our lives. H was dropped off at our home by his social worker a day after his birth. It was very surreal to have such a tiny baby suddenly in our lives. We definitely didn’t sleep that first night! 

Acting as foster carers soon came second nature to us. From packing his bag for the contact centre, to keeping his daily diary, to meeting our fostering social worker - all became the norm. H would go to contact three days a week initially, which then went to five days for an hour & a half each time. We would write in his contact book to birth parents and on occasions they would write back. He would be collected and dropped off by contact workers. 

The biggest challenge came following a contact session when a ‘mark’ was found on his body. H was taken to hospital as standard protocol, and we were unable to see him for 3 days, before he was eventually returned to our care. The ‘mark’ was since identified as a birth mark. The feeling that we might never see him again was heartbreaking and by far the hardest thing for both of us. We definitely wouldn’t have got through such a hard few days without our social worker and others at ARC. 

The uncertainty that Early Permanence carries is hard at times but being able to give a child the best possible start to life, no matter how long they stayed with us made it worth it. When we found out H was staying with us it was a mixture of relief and elation. We have both said from the moment we both first held him he 100% felt like our child. 

You have clearly had quite the journey! How important has support been to you along the way?

Support has been very important throughout our adoption journey, especially doing Early Permanence. Having a good support network and a strong relationship is key to adoption. You need to be able to talk about how you are feeling and be open to accepting help when it is needed. 

When we have needed support, we always knew we would be able to approach ARC and our social worker no matter how big or small. Post adoption support from ARC has been great. We couldn’t have asked for a better social worker and the whole ARC team have always been very approachable.

What has been the best thing about adopting and becoming a parent to H? Would you recommend adopting to others?

Despite the challenges we have faced through Early Permanence it was still 100% worth it to have the amazing little boy that we have and are proud to call him our son. We would recommend Early Permanence to others looking to adopt too, as growing that attachment from such an early age helps your child to feel secure. 

Best things about adopting H is seeing his cheeky little smile every single day. He has made us the family we always wanted, and we couldn’t imagine life without him. He really does brighten up our lives! 

We’d also recommend ARC to others considering adoption. As they are a small adoption agency you get to know everyone who works for ARC which is lovely. You don’t ever feel like you have been forgotten about – they have their adopters and children at the heart of the agency, and they make you feel like family.

They are amazing with LGBTQ+ people too and this was one of the main reasons we chose them in the first place. Anyone can be a parent if you have patience to give, love in your heart & the caring in your soul. Our son knows that we love him, he doesn’t care that we are a same sex couple, we are his people.

Thank you so much to Lucy and Vicki for sharing their experience with us, which we know is so helpful for people considering whether adoption is the right path for their family. 

If you’d like to have a chat with us to find out more about adopting with ARC, please complete our enquiry form - we’d be delighted to help you.