Adoption books for same sex couples

Posted by Terri Lailvaux on May 07, 2012
Category : Adoption

 Are you a same sex couple?  Are you looking for a good way to explain to your kids why they have 2 mommies or 2 daddies?  If so, please have a look at this list of adoption books below.  These are all available on and can all be read to kids who have questions around the “Why”.

  1. Who’s in a family – Robert Skutch
  2. All kinds of families – Norma Simon
  3. The Family Book – Todd Parr
  4. Daddy, Papa and Me – Leslea Newman
  5. Mommy, Mama and Me – Leslea Newman
  6. A tale of two Daddies – Vanita Oelschlager
  7. A tale of two Mommies – Vanita Oelschlager
  8. Why am I different – Norma Simon

A beautiful story of adoption

Posted by Terri Lailvaux on May 05, 2012
Category : Adoption, Guest Writer

Our journey started right here… on this very website…

After visiting our local welfare organisation we immediately knew that these were not the people we wanted to walk this very important road with. Knowing very well that gay couples are not any adoption agency’s first choice or that of a biological mother, we decided to put the adoption process on ice.

Almost four years went by and the need to become parents just got stronger. We turned to everyone’s dear friend…Google. In the hope that this would turn up agencies that would consider giving a gay couple a baby. Instead Google led us to this site… Adoptmom.

We were weary in our approach as we got turned away so many times before, because of the fact that we did not meet society’s standards… Man + Woman = Parents. We sent Terri an e-mail asking for her assistance and within hours we set-up a counselling session for the next day. We could not believe how at ease she made us feel. She understood our need to be parents better than anyone else, and within spending only an hour with Terri, we were well informed on how the process will work, what we can expect in costs and which private agency will be able to assist us. We were overcome with joy! Things were finally looking like they were coming together. We will be ever grateful to you Terri! You have become not only a shoulder of support, but a friend.

We got in touch with Procare in Pretoria the very next day and within 24 hours we had our first session booked. We started off with an induction, where our social worker explained to us the procedures, legalities, paperwork and financials in detail. More sessions followed in the following weeks, all of them as interesting as the next. We had the most amazing social worker that ensured we understood the reasons for these sessions and put us at ease by ensuring we knew what to expect.

Our last and final session involved a panel interview. This was the day we were told we would become parents. Unfortunately we could wait anywhere between 2 week to 18 months. The waiting period did not faze us at all. One thing was for certain… We were becoming parents! Our biggest and greatest wish was finally coming true…

I just celebrated my big 3-0 birthday… 29 November to be exact. What happened on the 30th of November we will never forget, neither the excitement nor the emotions. We received that very important call from our social worker. We had been selected! Our baby boy was born earlier in the month and that we would be meeting him in the February. This was going to be a long and torturous wait, but worth every while! This was after all the biggest birthday gift anyone could ever ask for.

This gave us the necessary time we needed, to move rooms around, start decorating the baby room, arrange 3 baby showers, yes 3, and ensure we had everything in place for our baby boy’s arrival. The excitement was building! We were booking flight tickets to Cape Town, arranging accommodation, packing, unpacking, and packing again. Just to make sure we had everything.

Finally the day arrived… With very little sleep (our first night of many to follow) we met our social worker at the airport on the Sunday morning. Tickets in hand we were beyond excited to meet our son. And not wanting to miss our court date first thing on Monday morning, we decided to fly in the day before. Our social worker kept us busy that entire Sunday with a trip to Franschhoek and Camps Bay, trying to distract our excitement, knowing that we were only hours away from meeting our baby.

Monday morning broke and I will never forget that day’s events. My husband, me and our social worker sat around the breakfast table at the guest house, going over what to expect in court. We tried enjoying the breakfast, trying to subdue the excitement just for a little while longer… With no such luck!!

We arrived at the court. We were shown to a little wooden bench in the corridor of the court, while our social worker finalised all the paperwork. We were in and out of court in 25 minutes.

We arrived at the house of safety where we would be meeting our son. With a lot of effort we patiently waited for the social worker to bring our son through the door of the living room. The door handle turned, the door swung open and in her arms was the cutest, most gorgeous boy… our son. He greeted us with the biggest smile and we greeted him with tears of joy accompanied with smiles, giggles and many, many kisses and hugs.

We had our son and that was all that was important. The rest of the world passed by in a blur as we were returning home with our baby boy. We could not stop starring into each other’s eyes, even as we settled in for our first night as a family.

Thank you to Terri and Procare for your support and guidance. We will forever be grateful to you both!

Lots of love,

The two and a half men  (Red our blog here)



Movies about Adoption

Posted by Terri Lailvaux on April 16, 2012
Category : Adoption

This is a collection of movies about adoption.  Mostly they are real tear jerkers but they are also warm and fuzzy!


A story about teenage pregnancy and choices.  This film is very well done and warm-hearted.  PG 13.


A film about a Philadelphia schoolteacher whose long-lost birth mother  reappears at the very moment her daughter is careening into a midlife crisis. Abandoned by her husband and still grieving the death of her adoptive mother, the emotionally fragile teacher enters into a relationship with the father of one of her students just as her biological mother, an eccentric talk-show host, appears on her doorstep attempting a reconciliation


A couple discover that the baby girl they’re trying to adopt is being auctioned off to the highest bidder. The couple become part of a sting operation to bust the baby-selling ring.


This drama about interracial adoption is serious and affecting.  The adoptive parents face off in a court battle against the drug addicted birth mom.


A drama centered around three women: A 50-year-old woman, the daughter she gave up for adoption 35 years ago, and an African American woman looking to adopt a child of her own.


A widowed science fiction writer who adopts a boy who claims to be from the Red Planet. The writer believes the child acts strangely in order to process the difficulty he has had in his young life, but soon both he and his sister begin to wonder if the boy might be telling the truth.


Mr. and Mrs. Little drop son George off at school on their way to the orphanage to adopt a child. They fall in love with Stuart who is charming, insightful, unselfish — and a mouse. Despite warnings against “inter-species” adoption, they bring him home. Stuart manages to surmount enormous obstacles.  But he still wonders about his birth parents. Stuart faces the biggest decision of his life when two mice show up claiming to be his birth parents.


A heart-wrenching tale of a recently released ex-con who uses a legal loophole to locate his son, who was adopted by an upper-crust family shortly after his father was incarcerated. When Rip Porter went to prison, his wife, Wendy couldn’t handle the responsibilities of being a single parent. Wanting the best for her newborn son, Joey, she put the boy up for adoption. Adopted by Jack  and Molly Campbell, Joey now enjoys an idyllic life with his new parents in a small town just outside of West Palm Beach, FL. Then, one day, Jack and Molly receive a troubling phone call from the social worker who assisted with the adoption: Rip has just been released from prison, and he’s eager to start a new life with his wife Wendy and son Joey. A judge has just issued a ruling stating that the Campbells have no choice but to return Joey to his biological parents — but what if Jack and Molly were simply to disappear with Joey, like dandelion dust, never to be seen again.

ANNIE – The Classic!!

During the Great Depression in New York City, a plucky red-haired scrapper named Annie  is the voice of hope for her fellow orphans who live under the supervision of drunken floozy Miss Hannigan. Annie’s spirit is fueled by the belief that her real parents dropped her off at the orphanage with a half of a locket, promising to return for her with the other half. One day, the dingy orphanage is visited by the sophisticated Grace Farrell, personal secretary to conservative politician Oliver Warbucks. In order to improve his image, Grace brings Annie to the Warbucks estate for a week long visit. Annie quickly wins the hearts of servants and politicians alike, eventually even bringing her song of hope, “Tomorrow,” to President Roosevelt in Washington. Warbucks and Grace even go so far as to perform a public search for Annie’s parents, creating an opportunity for Miss Hannigan, Rooster, and Lily to scam their way to the reward money.


If you know of any more please let me know and I will add them.




Adoptmom on the Dr Mol Show

Posted by Terri Lailvaux on April 14, 2012
Category : Adoption

Well, for those of you that missed it on SABC, here is the YouTube clip from the Dr Mol Show. It is a 4 minute segment on my adoption story. Enjoy!

Hello Terri,

“Wow, I just saw you, Alex & the whole family on TV, just now – I can’t even begin to tell you how I feel, I’m really touched. Did you see how Dr Mol’s audience reacted? – oh cutey. I’m really inspired by your story, it was so miraculous that I coincidentally switched as I could not watch the one which aired on Friday, when I remembered I thought may be I already missed your story, until Dr Mol said “After the break, Terri … …” I screamed with joy.

Thank you for being a source of such inspiration!”


I found this interesting concept on Parent24 which offers the theory that all people should look at adopting existing children before creating new life.  Read the article and I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

Comment on my Facebook Page

spiritual adoption

2012 Is a great year to consider adoption

Posted by Terri Lailvaux on January 12, 2012
Category : Adoption

Hello everyone and happy New Year!!
With almost 2 million adoptable kids in South Africa, I would like to appeal to all out there to consider adoption as an option.
Obviously it is not for everyone BUT if you think it might interest you, please contact me and let me tell you more about it. The system in South Africa is relatively easy and fast by comparison to many countries. We have lots of kids, lots of amazing social workers and a whole bunch of loving potential parents!

I hope to hear from you soon and let’s make a new forever family.



Adoption in SA is MUCH easier than in England

Posted by Terri Lailvaux on November 08, 2011
Category : Adoption

A story taken from The Guardian  –  Written by Miranda Heathcote

My husband and I had been living in Africa for nine years when we decided to adopt a child there. The research we did before embarking on the adoption process had us feeling cautious, but with our hearts in our mouths we pressed ahead. When it turned out that as South Africa residents for more than five years we could be treated as nationals, the process was surprisingly straightforward. We used a private agency – unencumbered by excessive bureaucracy, they place more children more quickly and more successfully than the government – set up for mothers in situations termed “crisis pregnancies”. With very high national rates of abandonment (it is not uncommon to hear of newborns being left under bushes and in rubbish bins), the agencies exist to make adoption a viable alternative for young women.

A few months later the call came: our daughter had been born and was with a foster carer. For eight weeks after leaving the hospital, during the “cooling off”, she was cared for by a woman who had successively cared for nine other newborns. We agreed that the need to remove a child after placement is much more destructive than an initial wait.

There must be a happy medium between this relatively swift process and the lengthy delays experienced in the UK – a route between the twin goals of keeping a child out of care and wanting to avoid problematic placements. My Manuella is now a happy, bouncy three-and-a-half-year-old. Her new birth certificate cites us as her parents, saying it is “as if she were born to” us. I have to agree.

adoption button

An appeal for adoption help

Posted by Terri Lailvaux on November 05, 2011
Category : Adoption

Hello to all of you. I received an email (edited below) and I thought I would post it and see if anyone out there can assist this family with their adoption process. If you think you can, please contact me and I will forward their details to you.

“We are trying to adopt a little girl from Lesotho.

Our daughter worked as a volunteer teacher in a Children’s Home in Lesotho and developed a special bond with a traumatised little girl (Thandiwe) who was abandoned with her brother who has died recently (we also tried to adopt him).

As a family we travel to Lesotho as often as possible to spend time with her and we spend Christmas there every year. You have no idea how rewarding giving 60 children presents and a cooked Christmas lunch can be.

Every children’s home and orphanage is bursting at the seams and some kids are lucky to get one meal a day. Most of them get no funding from the government. They rely on good people who give up their lives to raise these kids with what little they have.

The Children’s home where Thandiwe lives was overjoyed when they heard we wanted to adopt her, until we approached Social services. We have hit one brick wall after another!!! We have been trying for a year just to get Social services to return our emails.

We have encountered many kind and helpful people BUT it all rests with social services. I have approached Lawyers to register an NPO on our behalf so that we can help to educate kids like Thandiwe but nobody is interested. Only the basic needs are provided for some of these kids and they do not stand a chance of getting an education.

It seems that the Lesotho government will not allow their children to be adopted by South Africans. We are desperate to adopt Thandiwe and we would really appreciate any help or advice from the public, attorneys, social workers or social services.


3Talk with Noeleen SABC3 logo

Adoptmom talks adoption on 3 Talk with Noleen

Posted by Terri Lailvaux on November 01, 2011
Category : Adoption

Hi everyone,

Noleen will be doing a programme on Adoption this Thursday so please make sure you watch it.
3 Talk with Noleen

I am one of the guests on the show so I would love to hear feedback!


Adoption – Making mixed families

Posted by Terri Lailvaux on October 26, 2011
Category : Adoption

Taken from: Parent24
Many upwardly mobile black couples are choosing to adopt non-related children, rather than take in their brother or sister’s children.

There has in the past been an issue around the adoption of non-related children in black communities, despite the fact that it is common to take in related children such as nephews and nieces. However, according to Pam Wilson who heads the adoption team at Jo’burg Child Welfare, this attitude is changing.

These couples know they will be spending a lot of time, love and money on the child and they don’t want the child to finally return to their family of origin after months of bonding and getting to know that child. However, Wilson adds that the trend is not reversing fast enough to cope with the large numbers of children currently needing adoption.

Nombulelo Mabombo, assistant director at Jo’burg Child Welfare, says that traditionally it has been expected that black families take care of their own communities and extended families. But more black families recognize that due to circumstances such as HIV/Aids there are more and more orphaned children that need to be cared for. Mabombo says that black families are extending their support beyond their own communities to offer orphaned children a loving home.

Black child, white folks
Marihet Infantino of The Child and Family Unit (CFU) at Jo’burg Child Welfare, says that white families have become more comfortable with adopting black children. This is particularly the situation with younger couples. In the case of white couples adopting, the extended family are usually the most vocal about their concerns of having a black niece or nephew or black grandchild.

Infantino says that there are numerous challenges that face white couples who adopt black children.

Infantino tells a story about an experience she had with a mother and her adoptive daughter. The mother struggled to deal with and care for her daughter’s hair and when the child came home one day asking for blonde streaks, the mother decided to find a salon for African hair. The women at the salon explained to the mother how to care for her daughter’s hair with certain treatments and products. This experience was stressful for the mother and is a small example of the complexities of such an adoption.

Language can also be a problem. In the case of an open adoption, where the birthmother still has contact with the child and the adoptive parents, some black children struggle to communicate with and relate to their birth parents as they get older and more accustomed to their new environments.

‘These children may also be labeled as “coconuts” by their peers at school,’ says Infantino. This is a common phrase for black people who live more western lifestyles. In turn these children may start to feel alienated from their friends and their cultural heritage creating questions and concerns around their identity.

Infantino recommends the rainbow support group where inter-race adoption parents can get support and advise on how to care for their children as best as they can.

The challenges associated with adopting a child who is different to you should not make you hesitant to adopt. The orientation and screening process are designed to help and support families with their integration.

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