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Single mum supporting Liverpool’s ‘You Can Adopt’ campaign says her little girl has given her the best life ever

1 year ago

Single mum supporting Liverpool’s ‘You Can Adopt’ campaign says her little girl has given her the best life ever

A single mum from Liverpool is encouraging people to become parents for a new local and national campaign: ‘You Can Adopt’.

Steph, a learning mentor from Wavertree, adopted four-year-old Danielle* almost two years ago after fearing she’d never fulfil her dream of becoming a mum.

And she says: “Being a mum has exceeded every expectation I had and now I can’t wait for the excitement of every new stage.”

Steph adds: “To anyone thinking about adopting, I’d just say make the phone call. There’s no pressure, no expectation.

“But if you don’t do it, you could be missing out on one of the best things that could ever happen in your life.

“Whenever I mention my little girl’s adopted, people say ‘oh I’d love to adopt a child’ and I just say ‘why don’t you?!’.” 

The ‘You Can Adopt’ campaign is launching next week on Tuesday, June 20, to highlight the necessary circle of support networks that can aid those who adopt a child.

It comes as new research reveals more than a third (39%) of parents found support from other parents invaluable when raising their child.

And as latest data shows there are 1,980 children waiting for adoption in England, with 990 of these (50%) waiting longer than 18 months since entering care.

Steph, who works in a Merseyside Primary School, had always had a maternal instinct, but says life had never created the circumstances in which she could have a child of her own.

It was in lockdown, when the urge to be a mum over-rode everything and she finally made the phone call to find out more about adopting.

“To be honest,” she explains, “it was in lockdown when I was lonely and on my own, and I thought don’t want to do this or be like this for the rest of my life, I didn’t want to be alone forever.

“It wasn’t just about me being lonely of course, I had always wanted to be a mum, but being single I thought it just wasn’t going to happen.

“Initially I looked at fostering but when I looked into it I didn’t think it could work because I work full-time and being a foster carer I’d need to be constantly available – so I started to wonder about adoption.

“I spent a couple of weeks with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, one giving reasons why I could do it, and other giving reasons why I couldn’t. In the end I just made the phone call – and the rest is history.”

It took just 12 months while the adoption panel considered her application and Steph went on adoption courses before, in August 2021, she finally became mum to Danielle.

“There were times when I wondered if I was being fair to her, because I’m on my own, but I thought surely she was better having one loving parent than being in the care system for the rest of her life? I have so much love to give.”

Steph went on a therapeutic parenting course – ‘which a lot of friends with children of their own have said they’d find useful’ – and there is an official support network along with online courses available.

“I am so lucky.  I have a brother with two children, my dad, and an auntie who is very close to her, and so I have lots of support and Danielle has so many people around her who love her. Knowing I have people I can genuinely call on at any time of day or night, makes the world of difference.

“It – she – has completely changed my life.”

She goes on: “And the moment she went from calling me Steph, to mummy Steph, to mum was just amazing, and a massive thing.

“Of course we’ve taken it slowly.  There are behavioural issues, and emotional outbursts – she has been through a lot – but she is a well-rounded, functional, lovely little girl.

“It’s the little things that mean so much, like listening to her say her sounds in the car – and it makes the hard times all worth it.

“The other week when it was half-term we went out every single day, to Rainhill Gala, to the Monkey Forest in Stoke, to Martin Mere, to Blackpool for the day, to a puppet show at Shakespeare North Playhouse… and I said ‘she has a great life this little girl’.

“And then I realised, so do I.  Because now I’m getting to do all these things with, and because of, her!”

To find out more about adoption, go to AiM, Adoption in Merseyside on the website HERE.

* Danielle’s name has been changed to protect her identity.

Get the latest for Liverpool HERE.

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