In the final of our four-part series, find out how Christine and Ian overcame the challenges they faced during the Concurrent Planning process
Part Four – Our Challenges
The challenges of this process are pretty easy to sum up
- Getting to know a new child, and freaking out that you might do something wrong whilst he’s in your care, e.g. falling over, bumping their head – all the typical worries of new parents!
- Worrying that birth parents will hate us and cause conflict. In all the training and meetings we’ve never heard of this happening and it certainly didn’t happen for us.
- The uncertainty over whether the child will stay with you or return home. Our biggest advice is to just focus on the six months they are with you initially. Focus on caring for the child, giving them the love and attention they need. You’re obviously going to become attached, it’s natural. But during the process of contact sessions and review meetings, you’ll generally have an idea of how the future is looking for the child, plus you’ll hopefully be building a relationship with the birth parents, which will help you to understand and cope with the final decision.
- Should the child return home, then you will know that you gave that child a wonderful six months of care, and helped them to develop in those critical early months, setting them up for their future. The uncertainty of this process seems to be one of the biggest concerns to people, but it’s really how you look at the situation, and your reasons for wanting to adopt. If you’re looking to give a child a home with security, love and the stability they need, for however long they need it – then this is a great option.
- Figuring out how life looks for your new family. For us, this was one of the biggest challenges. We didn’t want our birth child to feel any less loved, so needed to split our parenting time carefully between the children. This worked well, but it did mean there wasn’t much time for us as a married couple. Thankfully, during the application process, you work through the various areas of your marriage to prepare you for this. We already knew the strengths of our marriage and this made it easier to focus on a few months less ‘couple’ time, since this what we had signed up for! It makes it so worthwhile when you see the placed child doing so well.
We are huge advocates for the Concurrent Planning Process, but we recognise it’s not right for everyone. If you’re considering this, have questions about it, or just want to understand it some more, then we highly recommend the Caritas information events and support groups. It will help you understand your reasons for pursuing adoption, and ultimately help you decide whether Concurrent Planning could be the right choice for you.
Christine and Ian.
You can listen to Christine reading an extract from part 4 here