A CHARITY which helps adoptive parents has been pivotal in the lives of one Burton couple.
Caroline and Peter adopted sisters Jenny and Katy in 2007 through Coram, the UK children’s charity which has been helping vulnerable children for 275 years.
Caroline said: “We decided to adopt after thinking about it for a year. Because a lot of children in the world need a home we thought we could help.
“We approached Coram in December 2006. The thing we had been advised to look at was not how quick it would go through but how they can help you afterwards. Once a child is placed with you that’s when it begins – we felt they had a fantastic range of post placement care.”
Caroline said that there are misconceptions that once a child is adopted everything will be wiped away and life will be wonderful.
She said: “No matter what the circumstances, they have a traumatic life. No matter if they have been removed at one month, one year or 10 years. At some point they have to acknowledge that.
“They need a lot of intervention and routine and different management teams to help them in life. We did a course a few years back called ‘when love is not enough’. It just proves that you can love a child with all your heart but they still need to understand how they came to this point.
“That’s where Coram have come in. They make sure your aftercare is good and you have a good relationship with the social worker – you can ask any questions, no matter how ridiculous they may seem. We talk as much with the social workers now as we did before.
“When you are having the initial assessment to adopt you have to attend group sessions so you can speak to other adopters. It’s really important. You get excited and want it to happen all at once. It’s a long process and people say it’s intrusive but it’s not intrusive at all.”
The charity will be there for as long as Caroline and Peter need them, and it also arranges activities for adopted children.
“All the children know they are adopted and go on a couple of camps a year,” said Caroline, “Parents support each other and understand each other’s thoughts and views. They are also rolling out a course for parenting adopted teenagers.
“It’s been amazing and is phenomenal to go into a room and talk about the high and low points of the week when everybody in the room understands.
“Coram know us and the children and we are eternally grateful. I don’t think we would be a family without them.”
Coram helps children and young people develop their skills and emotional health, they find adoptive parents and uphold children’s rights, creating a change that lasts a lifetime. More information can be found at coram.org.uk
The charity helps children and young people develop their skills and emotional health, find adoptive parents and uphold children’s rights, creating a change that lasts a lifetime.