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As lots of you reading this will know, in 2014 I came to Uganda to volunteer for two months after finishing university. It was then that I met a 5 day old baby whose mum had just died. I looked after him, fell in love with him and ended up moving to Uganda to adopt him in 2016.
Whilst living in Uganda, I met Josh – my partner. A bit like Adam – he was not in my plan! But, does life ever really go to ‘plan’? Turns out, the best things in life are totally unexpected.
In 2018, we were visiting Josh's mum in the village and ended up coming home with his niece and nephew; Tallie and George. His incredible mum takes care of very many of her grandchildren but she herself is old and struggling. The children were not in a good way. Here, it is commonplace for grandparents, aunts and uncles to raise other members of their family – so Josh accepted them as his own without any hesitation.
In July 2019, my adoption of Adam FINALLY went through after a three year long, crazy and hard process. Soon, I hope to be returning to the UK to complete his adoption there.
But where does that leave Josh, Tallie and George? We have become a family and we all want nothing more than to be together. After many long discussions, we decided that we want to make things official. Josh hopes to formally adopt his niece and nephew and later we hope that I can apply for him to come to the UK on a partner visa with them as dependants (we still need to discuss with an immigration lawyer to see what our options are).
Right now, we do not have the funds to start the process. My plan was to get back to the UK and work, work, work so that I can send money out for it all. Realistically though, it would be a couple of years before we’ve got all the funds for us to be together again. However, I accept this and this is what our plan has been.
Over the past few years, I’ve had an immense amount of support from lots of incredible people who have been following our journey. Many of you, have suggested I start another fundraiser as you’d like to help me with the costs of keeping our family together.
I have been so hesitant to create one. You’ve all helped me out so much already – I feel so incredibly guilty asking for more. I don't believe everything should just be 'given' to me. At the same time, some financial help now would mean we could get the ball rolling this side. The sooner we start the process, the sooner we might be able to be together. If we could start the adoption process in Uganda - I could also work to save up the latter costs in the UK.
For this reason, I’ve broken down what I think the whole process will cost.
The estimated cost of Josh formally adopting Tallie and George in Uganda is as follows:
Short & Long Birth Certificates £50
Medical Reports £130
Criminal Clearance £14
Lawyer Fees (UG) £2385
UK Immigration Lawyer Consultation and Initial Advice £690
Estimated Transport Costs £265
These are just the main costs, there of course will be many other costs along the way (we are also hoping we are able to find the children’s biological parents ourselves. If we fail, we will also have to pay for a private investigator which can be very costly) – but the total estimate for the Ugandan process is around £3500-4500.
Later on, further UK lawyer costs, flights, visa applications, etc. for Josh, George and Tallie to join Adam and I in the UK are likely to add up to around £12,500, but I can’t know this figure for sure until we have a consultation with the UK Immigration lawyer…
TB Tests (Required) £160
English Language Test £150
UK Immigration Lawyer (approx.) £2300
UK Visa Costs £4392
Flights (approx.) £1800
Immigration Health Surcharge (2.5 years) £3600
I’m not adding these together to create a target. I don’t want to take advantage of people’s generosity. I just want to share with you the expected costs for the whole process.
It really going to be expensive, I estimate the total to be AT LEAST £16,500 (And we have to pay the Health Surcharge and Visa costs AGAIN after 2.5 years!). But I myself could never put a price on keeping my family together – and I’m not one to give up when things get tough!
These are costs that I've always anticipated I would be paying myself - but so many of you have told me to swallow my pride as you'd love to help us on our journey. I've realised I need to remember this isn't just about me, but about the kids too - and we are a family.
One thing I’ve learned through this crazy journey of adopting Adam is that love is what matters most. The rest will fall into place eventually.
Thank you, for anything you may decide to donate. I really don't expect anything - you've all helped so much already and I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve had, I truly am.
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