What members say about NFS

There is a huge amount of positivity in NFS – not just about adoption and fostering as a positive choice – but about the benefits of being part of a strong community. Here’s what a few of our members say about their experiences:

‘This group is the best support we have found in this process. It would be great for it to be more visible and for the support it provides to be readily available for new members.’

‘The response [to a topic I posted] was great … The rest of the forum has been great for research, anticipation of what we might experience, or even just gaining knowledge of support/expectations/problems or highlights.’

‘New Family Social has been an invaluable source of encouragement, support, and inspiration for us. We started our adoption process in October 2007 and joined NFS in May 2008…. This helped us enormously in deciding to proceed with our process. We have since been to other meetings and found the atmosphere very positive for anyone new to the group. The NFS online discussion groups have also been invaluable to share concerns or doubts and ask questions. I consider the message boards to be part of our support group.’

‘I am not sure that we would have continued with our adoption process without NFS. Living outside of London we were not aware of other same-sex families and meeting other members through NFS was instrumental in making us realise we were not “the only gay prospective adopters in the village”. They have also provided support when we’ve faced difficult times in our adoption process.’

‘The atmosphere in the group is enormously welcoming. We were impressed that the NFS website and members of the group have made very clear that the group welcomes people at all stages of adoption, and conversations on the boards and get-togethers explicitly convey information from people further along in the process to those not quite so far along.’

‘The message boards are very active. This experience, even at this relatively early stage of our membership, has allowed us to make friends with people in a very similar situation in many ways: adopters, male adopters, gay adopters, fathers with primary childcare responsibility. Although, no doubt, a more general group would provide opportunities for us to meet people who have one or more of these features in common with us, NFS allows access to all of them in a single package, as it were. Similarly, although we can only predict or repeat what adoptive parents in the group have said to us, we are sure that our children will similarly benefit from the opportunity to mix with other children equally similarly situated to themselves.’

‘… it was great to meet some of you today and hear the different stories and have something of a sense of community! …  Our son really enjoyed meeting the other kids and running wild as always.’

‘Everyone made us feel very welcome (we can see why you do/will make lovely parents). It’s really bizarre but we now feel part of something, this makes the whole thing more real. The prep group and the books we’ve read are all theoretical but today, being able to ask people questions and hear everyone’s experiences, made such a difference. We’re looking forward to seeing you all again in the future and reading your posts online.’

‘I think the group is brilliant. It supports a group of people who look to me like a brilliant resource for children who need accepting parents.’

‘… We’ll definitely be calling on those of you who have already been matched for some advice as we get closer to our first meetings with children’s social workers and we look forward to seeing the rest of you at the next get-together.’

‘We leave every meet-up feeling energised and feeling that we need to stick to our journey, in spite of the obstacles. When it comes to drawing up our ecomap, NFS will be way in there, towards the middle.’

‘We’ve never been part of anything that is specifically for people who are gay and have never been involved in the “scene”, so it was a bit new to us to join a group. I guess it took us a while to see how it would benefit us. Obviously now we have Chrissie, we can see the benefits to her for the future to meet with other children with same sex parents.’

‘We had already adopted our son when we were invited to join NFS. As adoptive parents we have found it a valuable source of information. We’ve particularly enjoyed the meet ups. We also find that it’s beneficial for our son as he can see for himself that he’s not the only child with two dads. We can see this aspect becoming even more important as our son approaches his teens.’

“The world can be a tough place and children have to deal with many bad things, I believe that our children will be better prepared to deal with any teasing they may receive, if they know that our family is not so unique. We have become friends with a number of couples whose children are discovering that having two mums or two dads is not so unusual.”

‘Just being able to contact other gay men/lesbians going through the same experiences is validating enough. Sharing this experience has really helped us to think about some of the questions our Social Worker is asking of us. The group has opened up new ideas and ways of thinking for us. As a couple who live so far away from the capital we’re really becoming dependent on just seeing that others are out there, even though we might not live very close to them we can still communicate. We’re really glad our social worker passed on the details, it’s taken a lot of stress away from the “unknown”.’

‘For me, one of the clearest things that NFS offers is a group of people who have nearly all chosen adoption as their way to become parents. In the general adoption world, there is the feeling that most people are there after trying to have children another way. The energy and positivity of the group is really important and the acceptance of the children and their differences and the different way they need to be parented is refreshing.’

‘We also wanted to say how much we all enjoyed yesterday’s meet-up. We enjoyed speaking to everyone and it was great to see so many families together. It certainly made us feel less isolated and we look forward to meeting everyone again soon and maybe some of our closer neighbours even sooner. We are already planning for the next meet in October! Our boys especially wanted to say how much they enjoyed meeting other kids.’

‘It’s just so important to have a place where we can discuss issues relating solely to LGBT parenting, without fear of discrimination or judgement. The meet-ups are so important to so many prospective parents, parents and children, and I know that when we have a child placed with us, we’ll make great use of them to ensure our child is able to make friends with other children who have LGBT parents.’

‘One of the best things it provides is opportunities for adoptive children of same-sex couples to get together. I believe it helps them understand that there are many children like them and they can share their experiences.’

‘… We found it really useful to meet and talk with everyone there. We can learn so much from each other and this group is a vital support group for the issues which we face either going through the process, or indeed once children are in placement. Looking forward to future meetings!’

‘…I wanted to say what a great idea this group is. I’m so happy we heard about it. From reading through the very first thread I came across I knew this was going to be helpful. It seems that others are going through or have gone through the same thoughts we are currently having – are we doing the right thing? Will we be able to cope? It’s great to read the advice given by all.’

‘It was great meeting all the people we’ve spoken to today and just seeing how many people are around who have adopted successfully, or are in the process of doing so. It was truly inspiring to meet you and to see the kids as well. We went today with a few doubts about whether to go ahead with our own process, as we couldn’t picture what our lives would be like with all the uncertainties surrounding [it], and after we left we had a chat and have decided to move forward with our home study.’

‘Gay adoption is different and there are issues that don’t normally arise and it is invaluable to know that there are many others in a similar situation, either going through the process or like us already have a child placed. Being able to discuss topics such as the prejudice that we and our son might meet in a respectful and encouraging environment is great. The message board is full of useful and relevant information specific to gay adoption, and we would recommend any gay couple that’s interested in adoption to sign up.’

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