When exactly did you apply for adoption?
We applied in October 2019.
What were your first steps and how did the first meeting and the home visit go?
First, we arranged a meeting at OSPOD (child protective services office) in České Budějovice. The social worker explained everything to us and we made an appointment for a home visit. Until then, we also filled out a simple questionnaire which was given to us by the social worker. We also wrote our “resumes” and emailed it along with our photos.
On the day of the meeting, the social worker took a quick look at the apartment and we talked about why we wanted to adopt a child. Everything was in a very friendly and relaxed way.
How did the training and psychological assessment go?
The psychological assessment was provided by a regional psychologist. It lasted about 6 hours, but it went really fast. We answered a lot of questions and then talked together in a couple and then individually. It was all beneficial to me.
The social worker at the regional office discussed with us what children were up for adoption and we focused for the first time on our ideas about the adopted child.
Preparation courses took place over 2 weekends (Friday-Sunday) at the NGO Prevent 99. It was great. We met a nice group, the lecturers were perfect. I am still in touch with them and always enjoy participating in meetings they provide for adoptive parents. At the same time, Prevent is our companion.
Preparations are based on PRIDE program and are mainly focused on attachment and possible trauma of the adopted child.
How long did the process of assessing your application take and when were you placed on the list of future adoptive parents?
We were placed on the list in December 2020, so the process took 14 months.
How do you reflect back on this process? What did it bring you and in what way was it burdensome for you?
Sometimes it was a long wait for me to take the next step. I evaluate the whole process very positively and, above all, I learned a lot of information about adoption.
What were your ideas about the adopted child at the beginning, and how (if) did they change after being placed on the list of future adoptive parents?
From the beginning, we were open to accept a child of the majority ethnic group. During the process, we became tolerant to drug abuse and mental illness.
How did you use the waiting period and what was this period like for you?
The wait was long. We focused on building a house, I invested in my education, we spent time with friends. It’s been a long time, but in retrospect I don’t regret a single day.
After what time did the regional office contact you with the information that you were matched with a child? How did the phone call go and what emotions surprised you and what thoughts did you have?
The regional office contacted us after 16 months. My husband and I were driving together. As soon as I saw the social worker’s name on the display, I knew why she was calling. It was very emotional. Since it was before Easter, she read the entire file to us over the phone. So we knew all the information from the beginning. We were told it was not the standard procedure, I didn’t remember much information anyway, but I was glad for it.
How was your first meeting and how long did it take until you could take him home? How did you experience this period?
The next day we went to the the social worker’s office, then to our house for a check-up and quickly to the maternity hospital. A 5-day-old boy was waiting for us. I immediately joined him at the hospital, where we were together for a week. We were waiting for a court’s approval. My husband drove to see us every day. The nurses at the hospital were amazing. One was an adoptive mom herself, and talking together was a huge help.
What was accepting the new parental role like and how did you get used to the first months?
It was a shock. But beautiful. We all got along quickly. After a few days, I got sick (said to be very common, probably from the shock), but my husband helped. What was more challenging for me was that I was suddenly not in the daily sled at work and I missed (and miss) work. I held a very responsible and demanding position, and my brain was missing that work.
How long did the entire adoption court process take until it was finalized?
It was a quickie. The biological mother gave consent with the adoption 6 weeks after the birth, after another 3 months the judge transferred us to pre-adoption care. After 6 months we had adoption court. Everything was super fast, without complications, and I am incredibly grateful to the social workers and the judge that it all worked out so quickly.
My son already celebrated his first birthday with our last name.
Do you have any recommendations/advice for others who are considering adoption or are currently in the “waiting” period?
Do not hesitate for a minute. After years of pain and disappointment, we are happy. We are the parents of the most amazing son.
I would probably only advise those who are expecting to get a good night’s sleep 😀 I would also recommend thinking carefully about what kind of child they are able to accept. It is about their life and the life of the adopted child.
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