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If you’ve spent any time on the Happy Mum Happy Baby socials over recent months, you’ll have no doubt seen James around those parts. A massive part of the HMHB community already, DIY lover, gardener, advocate for LGBTQ+ parenting and adoptive families and father of three James joined Gi on the podcast to talk about his journey to fatherhood and his experiences ever since.

James became a father in 2013 when he adopted his two daughters and their brother joined the family a few years later. James had always seen children in his future. He explained to Gi: “It’s one of those things I think growing up and exploring and trying to kind of get my head sort of straight, if you like if you excuse the pun, in terms of what my life was going to look like, that was probably the biggest thing to come to terms with around. Actually if this is who I am and I identify the way that I do, the thought of then not having children was always something that felt like it was a bigger deal than actually the coming out and all the other bits.”

 

Stability of a home

Having spent time with friends who worked in social care, it was always adoption James and his partner were drawn towards. He told Gi: “I think the reality of, or the opportunity I guess, to support a child who was already born, who was already here, that was already looking for a bit of a break, who was maybe slightly vulnerable or needed that stability of a home – that’s what we felt like we could provide so we never explored surrogacy. And I know lots of people that have and have just the most amazing family so what’s right for one isn’t right for another but for us it was it was adoption.”

 

Adoption panel

Having decided to pursue adoption James and his partner applied to through their local agency and got the ball rolling. Eventually they found themselves at an adoption panel to determine their suitability for adoption. James explained the process as it was in 2013, when he adopted his daughters.

“When we went through the process with our daughters we kind of got an instant decision. So you go to what’s called an adoption panel. You have a room full of people that have a real mix in terms of their experience but all having an affinity to adoption or children in care. So there was sort of retired teachers, there was a GP in the room, there was somebody that was a ex-social worker, there was somebody who was probably about 70 or 80 who had been adopted back in the 30s or something and they were kind of there from their perspective. There was people that were foster carers.”

“So there’s a whole room of people from that community and you sort of shuffle in, you get asked some questions and you kind of do your best to answer them, go back out the room, they leave the social worker in and have a chat about you and then you get called back in and the decision is quite instant.”

 

Enough to pull you in…and you’re hooked

Less than 10 days later, James got a call to say there were two sisters the adoption agency were interested in matching them with. A few days after the call, their social worker visited them and told them more about the girls. “She whipped out this sort of doggy bit of paper that she’d obviously had in her briefcase kicking around for ages and had like a t-ring on it which had this little it had this little little profile had like a couple of little thumbnail pictures and just like two or three lines.  Snippets of information that was enough to just kind of pull you in  and you’re kind of hooked.”

Listen to James talk about meeting his children for the first time, the joy of taking them home but navigating taking them from everything they’d known before, navigating life’s jigsaw puzzle and so much more, wherever you usually listen to your podcasts. OR you can watch the episode in full below.

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