‘Adoption was the best decision’

Monday 22 May 2023

‘Adoption was the best decision’

Joanne had a grown-up family and had been a foster carer for several years when she first took the decision to adopt.

Joanne, 47, had fostered numerous children from all backgrounds over a 15-year period, so there was nothing unusual when Hartlepool Borough Council placed Harvey with her at three weeks old.

She initially thought her role would be the same as previously; she would provide love, care and safety for Harvey for a few months until he could be placed back with his birth family or adopted.  

However, Harvey had additional medical needs and had to undergo major surgery when just a few months old, and the pair developed an unbreakable bond.

For the first time, Joanne began to consider adoption.


“I just fell in love with him,” said Joanne, from Hartlepool.

“I was worried about where Harvey would be placed once his placement with me finished; I knew he would be loved but I was worried someone else would not fully understand his medical needs.

“I knew what Harvey needed and we had become so attached, so the decision was quite easy. Adopting Harvey was the best outcome for both him and me.”

After Joanne decided to look into adoption, social workers at Hartlepool Borough Council directed her to the newly formed Adoption Tees Valley. Harvey was one of the first children to be adopted through the new Tees Valley-wide service.

And now, five years on, life is good. Harvey is well and happy, and Joanne has gone on to adopt a second child - a little girl, Harriet, aged two.  

Joanne, who is single, is continuing to foster children and is loving parenthood the second time around.

“Life has been crazy – I didn’t think I would be a mam again at 42, but it’s truly amazing,” said Joanne.

“I had my own children when I was a teenager and they are obviously grown up, so when I started again with Harvey, and then Harriet, it was very different. I’ve done things differently this time around, but it’s been great.

“It’s wonderful for Harvey and Harriet to have each other and we have a big extended family who love them to bits. They keep me young.”

Joanne’s advice to future adopters:

“Never rule yourself out of adopting, even if you are older or single. It doesn’t mean you won’t make a great parent.”

Interested in finding out more about adoption? Call us on 01642 526400 or email info@adoptionteesvalley.org.uk