Adopter stories: Amy and Kirstie

‘It can be a very emotional process but it’s 100% worth it. We don't feel any different as a family. We felt just as valued as any other couple during the process.’
Two women

Amy, left, and Kirstie, with their son 'Archie'

Amy, 31, and Kirsty, 33, adopted their son Archie [not his real name] with Cumbria Adoption in May 2021, when he was 23 months old. 

The couple say they are pleased to see the LGBTQ+ adoption statistics rising in Cumbria. Latest figures for 2020-23 show that 1 in 4 Cumbrian children were place with LGBTQ+ adopters, double the figure from 2018.

“We have come a long way to have equal rights and surely it's a good thing as more children who need families are going to their forever home,” says Amy.

“We did have some initial concerns having experienced bullying ourselves, and we worried that our child would experience bullying because of having ‘two mums’, but our desire to give a child a home and a family outweighed those thoughts and we have had very good experience in nursery and school so far.”

The couple’s adoption journey began when they attended a Cumbria Adoption information evening.

“We did consider other options to become a family,” says Kirsty, “but once we attended the information event we knew adoption was what we wanted to do.”

They began the application, assessment and training process and were approved to adopt in November 2020. 

“Things went pretty quickly after approval,” says Amy. “The matching process was a whirlwind of emotions, and it went really quick.”

 “When we read about Archie and then met him at a ‘chemistry meeting’ we just knew we wanted to be his parents,” says Kirsty . “Especially seeing his excitement meeting our dog!”

The match was approved in February 2021. Archie came to live with his new family 3 months later and the final court Adoption Order was granted in October 2021.

“Bringing him home was a massive change for everyone and the first few weeks were really hard for us all,” remembers Kirsty. “Sometimes it feels like we've been parents for 5 minutes and sometimes 5 years! We feel like we've found our feet but then we may get another hurdle but wouldn't have it any other way.”

Amy recalls: “I think that it was a huge shock to the system with us all getting to know each other in the early days, you feel guilty for not feeling like a mum straight away.

“Now we are forever amazed by how much he has developed and how well he is doing but we will always be by his side cheering him on and advocating for him.”

The couple say they “love being part of the adoption community” and both felt very supported throughout the process, pre- and post-adoption, although it was difficult going through the process during the pandemic, without face-to-face meetings, and while being key workers.

They would both wholeheartedly recommend adoption for LGBTQ+ people and for everyone.

“It can be a very emotional process but it’s 100% worth it,” says Kirsty.

 “We don't feel any different as a family so don't let that put you off applying. We felt just as valued as any other couple during the process."