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Lincolnshire Police inspector opens up on ‘challenging’ adoption process

A detective inspector with Lincolnshire Police has lifted the lid on the challenges he faced in adopting his daughter. Det Insp John Treharne and his wife Jeanette decided to adopt a child after facing difficulties having their own biologically.

However, the experience was much lengthier and more drawn out than he initially expected. He said he was visited around 40 times by social workers and said that every facet of his life had been ‘pored over in detail’.

He said: “My wife and I suffered difficulties in having our own biological children and we came to the decision we wanted to adopt a child. During that time, we asked why were there these disparities in policies?

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“I was only allowed time for two appointments off, as the secondary adopter. It was so very different to having a birth child as it involves having to be approved at an adoption panel, the introduction of a child from care into your household, and the need for extra time for that child to bond with you.”

The issue seemed to be prevalent for adopters working in the force. DI Treharne added: “I spoke to a number of other people in the force who had gone through this.

“To be able to adopt, every part of your life is poured over in detail – they speak to your family, friends, assess your house, assess how you are going to be as a parent.” While both John and Jeanette were ‘very well supported’ by their managers, he felt there was still an ‘obvious impact’ in adopting a child that may have attachment issues, emotional problems, or some form of trauma.

In an attempt to help officers adopt children more easily, Lincolnshire Police has implemented several new policies.

Among them are five days’ paid leave for attending pre-adoption appointments, two weeks’ worth to allow for an adopted child to settle into their new home, and a paid day off to celebrate the day when a court officially acknowledges the adoption.

Hayley Measures, from the police’s equality, diversity and inclusion team, said: “The adoption leave procedure mirrored the maternity leave statutory entitlements for leave before and just after the adoption takes place.

“However, hearing John and Jeanette’s adoption experiences, and having spoken to other couples across the force who have adopted, it is clearly a very different and emotional journey for adoptive parents.

“I was happy to help develop their proposals as I could see that these would make a positive difference to supporting both adoptive parents pre- and post-adoption.”

DI Treharne is now living happily with his daughter and crime scene investigator wife Jeanette.

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