Gay couple’s lives changed forever by a single email: ‘Would you adopt this child?’
A gay couple got news that they’d been approved for adoption – and that social workers had already found them a son.
Both Adam and Daniyal have always known they wanted to have children one day.
They first considered adoption when they were in their late twenties, but they ultimately decided to put it off, fearing that they needed greater stability before having a child.
“We had just changed jobs, we were about to move house, so we thought, it’s not the right time,” Adam tells PinkNews. “Now we’re on the other side of it, I would say we probably should have just done it earlier because there’s no perfect time.
“Whatever stability you think you have in your life, you don’t – it all gets turned upside down.”
Eventually, Adam and Daniyal started the adoption process. They were initially told that it could take up to three years after they were approved to find a match – but the process ended up being much faster than they could ever have anticipated.
Towards the end of 2020, they received confirmation that they had been successful in their adoption application. Remarkably, in that same email, social workers asked them if they would be interested in adopting Samad.
Every step we were just like, ‘This is the child for us.’
“I called the social workers and I was like, ‘I don’t think you’ve got the right people, I think you sent the wrong email and we’ve got our wires crossed,'” Adam says.
“And they were like, ‘No, no, we’ve been thinking about this for a while and couldn’t mention anything because you hadn’t been approved yet but this is the boy we think you might be matched with.’ We got told he was mixed-race and that he had been taken into care on day one or two after birth.”
Over the next couple of months, Adam and Daniyal went through the various stages of welcoming Samad to their family.
“Every step we were just like, ‘This is the child for us,’” Daniyal says. “You’re given lots of opportunities to say, ‘I don’t think so,’ or, ‘I feel like I’m not ready right now.’ It was very gradual and there were plenty of opportunities to reconsider.”
That eventually led to them having their first “chemistry visit” with Samad. Because of COVID-19, they had to be outside and remain two metres apart. Thankfully, the foster carer who was looking after Samad recognised that the set-up wasn’t going to help them form a bond with their new son.
“We broke the rules a little bit,” Adam says. “Once we met him, that 15 minute visit turned into like three hours. We just started playing with him, talking to him, feeding him. We got really involved really quickly.”
Straight away, they said they wanted to adopt Samad.
Samad came home weeks later
The adoption process meant Adam and Daniyal had to wait four weeks before they could bring their new son home. Because of COVID-19, they were told they wouldn’t be allowed to see him in that time.
“Again, the foster carer was a little bit more practical than the social workers were and said, ‘Well it’s my house, I can have guests around to my garden so come around whenever you want.’ So for the next four weeks, every weekend, we’d go and see him,” Adam says.
In March 2020, they started the handover process, where the child gradually spends more and more time with their new parents. Eventually, Samad came to live with them full time.
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“He started seeing us as his parents within a few weeks – it really didn’t take long at all,” says Daniyal.
“I say that because when he was scared he would come to us for comfort, so I think us being parents then started to hit home. This wasn’t just a child we were going to look after, we were now his parents. The first few weeks were difficult, but now he’s so much more independent, he has his own personality now, and that’s what we love the most – what he comes up with every day.”
Adam and Daniyal were both career-driven before they became dads, often spending long hours at work – but that’s all changed now. They look forward to getting home in the evenings to spend time with their son.
“That’s the amazing thing about having a kid,” Adam says. “They just want to be loved and they want to love you. It doesn’t matter who you are – if you’re receptive to that, it’s really rewarding.”
That’s why Adam and Daniyal are so eager to share their story as part of the “A Life Less Ordinary” campaign, part of the nationwide adopter recruitment push, You Can Adopt.
So many children are in need of loving, stable homes, but many end up waiting months or years before they can be placed with their new parents.
Sibling groups, older children, kids with additional needs and those from ethnic minority backgrounds are among those who wait the longest to be adopted. Many are forced to wait years as most prospective parents want to adopt a younger, single child.
Adam and Daniyal hope more people will rethink some of the rigid ideas about adoption and the the kind of child or children they’re interested in adopting – all kids need to be loved and cherished, regardless of their background.
“Be open-minded,” Adam says. “Your gut reaction is important, but I think if you’re open-minded, it can be really rewarding.”
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