AN East Staffordshire couple who adopted a brother and sister are helping to front a campaign to keep siblings together when they are adopted.
Just a year after Jason and James applied to adopt, they welcomed their two young children into their home – something they say brings a new reward every day.
A same-sex male couple in their 40s, the pair spent three years thinking about how adoption would affect both their lives and, more importantly, those of the children they might adopt, before deciding to find out more.
Jason said: “On the basis of what we had read, we had geared ourselves up for a hugely complex, very intrusive and impersonal process that would take about three years.
“We could not have been more wrong; the support was excellent and the whole process was far quicker than we’d been led to believe.”
The couple approached Staffordshire County Council’s adoption service in September 2010, and just three months later attended a three-day course held by the council’s adoption support group.
The course gives people the opportunity to find out more about what is involved in the adoption process.
A week later Jason and James were allocated a social worker, Lyndsey Hunt.
Her role was to guide the pair through the in-depth assessment process.
This included around 10 home visits, during which they were interviewed both individually and together about every aspect of their lives.
In September 2011, just a year after Jason and James first contacted the service, they had two children.
Jason said: “Sure we have tough days, like most parents do, but just being called daddy every day, and the many hugs we get, make it all worthwhile.
“We’d like to say a big thank you to Lyndsey, who helped us through the process and made our dream come true.”
The county council is currently looking for loving homes for 17 sibling groups.
More information is available by calling 0800 169 2061 or logging on to the council’s website at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/adoption