Last week, Child’s i Foundation hosted the launch of the Adoptive Families Association. Prospective and adoptive parents gathered together to share their experience and discuss the issues surrounding adoption process.
According to the Chairman Kristian Sekyanzi, the main aim of the Association is to provide a platform for experience sharing, networking and peer support for adoptive parents and children.
“The formation of the Association has become relevant as parents have been going through different experiences on their adoption journeys, dealing with unfamiliar processes and delays that often get frustrating,” noted Sekyanzi. “The Association will serve as an advocacy platform to push for better streamlining of the adoption process in Uganda, to make it less strenuous for the adoptive families,” he added.
“My daughter has changed my life, I don’t a remember a life where I don’t get up every day and I see this huge toothy grin that welcomes me and welcomes the day. She has taught me so much; she has taught me to appreciate the small things in life,” says Astrid, one of the adoptive parents with a smile on her face.“
She adds that “the adoption process is not the easiest process, but it is extremely rewarding when you meet your child for the first time and embark on the journey together”. She is encouraging anyone who is considering adoption to contact the Association for assistance.
‘’I cannot remember life before my daughter, my life is so full,’’ said Astrid- Adoptive Parent
35 parents and 22 children attended the meeting. While the parents, at different stages of the adoption journey, shared their experiences and challenges, the children got spend time together and play in the bouncy castle.
The meeting also served as an informative Q&A session for the prospective adoptive parents.
Carol Bankusha, a member of the Alternative Care Panel at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, shared tips on how to prepare for the final step of the adoption process. She advised against changing children’s names until after the adoption is approved. She explained that changing a child’s name had the potential of affecting court procedures which could unnecessarily complicate the process.
The Association seeks to provide guidance not only to the prospective parents, but also to the social workers and government officials. It aims to normalise adoption in Uganda by advocating for abandoned children to combat myths and misconceptions in Uganda and Greater East Africa, and encourage other families to adopt.
Adoptive Families Association will create a support network for adoptive families and those interested in adopting, as well as the adopted children. The Association is currently obtaining legal status as a not for profit organisation.
“This is a great milestone for us as Child’s i Foundation, we are committed to making sure that all children grow up in safe and loving families, and the Association is one way is one way of ensuring that Ugandan children are placed in loving families and the adoptive parents receive the support that they need,” said Aidah Agwang, Advocacy manager Child’s i Foundation.
Meet some the members of the Adoptive Families Association as they come together to celebrate their new forever families.