Fran and Jake were in their early 30s when they decided that they wanted to adopt. Fran says, ‘We decided that we wanted to be parents, and we thought very hard about the way we wanted to do this – adoption just felt right for us’.
Fran’s work as a teacher had brought her into contact with children in foster care. She explains, ‘The two who particularly inspired me to think seriously about adoption were lovely children, doing really well in school and very much loved by their foster carers who were doing an excellent job of looking after them. As dual-heritage children they were in the minority in our school. It was very apparent that they were ‘in care’ because their foster carers were an older white couple – whilst this is not a problem in itself, it did make the children feel ‘different’, and other children knew that they were in foster care.’
Fran and Jake considered what it means to feel that you ‘belong’ to your family and community, and were saddened to find that there are many dual-heritage children waiting for new families. Jake says, ‘It really made me think – why do I want to be a dad, and what would it be like for any child joining our family? What a child of dual-heritage gets from us is the sense of belonging to a family where every aspect of their identity is valued and reflected in us – their parents – and the friends and family we have. It will help them to feel that they belong – that they have come home’.
Fran and Jake have adopted two little girls – lively beautiful and a lot of fun. Fran says – ‘We belong together. Our children know that their family shares their background and that this is something to take pride in. Their white birth mum and their black birth dad are like us, and that helps our daughters to value both parts of their identity’.
Jake added, ‘And I’m a dad, and we’re a family, which is why we set out on this adoption path. We are here for our daughters, to share their achievements, to support them when things are not so good, and to just love being together’.