“It’s clear to me that adoption is never an easy option for anyone.”

Lauren, 36, UK

I grew up not being sure if I wanted children, but after reading ‘A Child Called It’ I knew that adoption was something I would seriously consider.

When I came out and met my wife at 25, children seemed a bit further away again and I was OK with that for that for a while. But the unspoken societal expectation of normal is loud.

During COVID 2020 we discussed adoption again and began the process – it’s long and hard – and in July 2022 two 5-year-old twin boys were placed with us. It was incredible and devastating, the boys’ trauma had impacted them more deeply than anyone knew.

After 4 months it became clear that a family home wasn’t right for them and it was too much for my wife and I. We had to decide to give them up. It was horrific for everyone. Inevitably the right decision for us and I can only hope for them.

We were aware that my wife was autistic and the process made that much clearer. In the devastation since, I lost all ability to mask and discovered that I am also autistic and ADHD.

My wife and I have found the space to question the rules that society sets, the space to find the quiet, gentle life that suits us and our neurotype.

I loved our boys and am grateful for our time with them, but it’s clear to me that adoption is never an easy option for anyone and should never be given as a flippant solution to infertility.

I am grateful to step away from the pace of the world and find the life that works for us.