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Family That Adopted Nine Children with Down Syndrome Get Asked Why They're Ruining Their Lives

Lois Oladejo
Apr 02, 2022
01:40 P.M.
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Since adopting nine children with Down syndrome, the Patterson family has been resented and accused of ruining their children's lives. Were they affected by the negative words? Find out.

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In 2018, the Patterson family in the United Kingdom, dedicated to helping out children stuck in the foster care system, adopted three children with Down syndrome, making it nine kids they had adopted with the disorder.

Pam Patterson and her husband, Gerald Patterson, began what became a family affair by adopting four children with Down syndrome — James, Alice, Molly, and Riley. 

Pam Patterson and her husband, Gerald Patterson with their adopted children, James, Alice, Molly, and Riley. Roger Bull, and his wife with their adopted children, David and Timothy. Roger's daughter Jenny Bull and her adopted children, Isabel and twins George and Tomas in a group family photo. | Source: facebook.com/autismdisabled

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Pam's brother, Roger Bull, and his wife Leigh followed suit, adopting two kids with the disorder — David and Timothy. Then, in 2018, Roger's daughter Jenny adopted Isabel and twins George and Thomas, who also suffer from the disability. 

Although looking after the nine children has not been easy, the Patterson family will not have it any other way. Here's more about the intriguing story.

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HOW THE ADOPTION STARTED

In the 1980s, Pam and Gerald went to social services and asked to adopt only children with disability. The couple had volunteered with kids with Down syndrome and were convinced that many adopters would look twice at kids with the condition.

During an interview, Gerald revealed that adopting children with Down syndrome had always been his desire. He added:

"I couldn't have gone for any other disability. Straight away, we loved them all, so much."

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So, after Gerald and Pam welcomed the first four, other family members followed. Since receiving the children, the family has admitted that their lives have been better and they would not change anything.

OTHERS' THOUGHTS ABOUT THE ADOPTION 

Even though the adoption experience has enriched the family, it has not been an easy feat, as other relatives and friends of the family have been less understanding about adoption decisions. 

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Pam explained that they had been subjected to mean comments from passers-by, doctors, friends, and relatives. She also noted that some of them asked why they were ruining the lives of their adopted and biological kids. She said:

"They felt we'd ruined our biological children's lives, too. Some of our friends whose lives had never been touched by special needs, couldn't understand why we'd done it either."

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The Pattersons paid no attention to the negative remarks and focused on giving their children the best. Gerald relayed:

"It's challenging, but it's the route we chose to take. We chose knowing what we're taking on, we're taking on forever."

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DETAILS ABOUT THE ADOPTEES

The Pattersons could not be more thankful for their decision to adopt these children. Although some of the children still have challenges, they are loved nevertheless. As of 2018, James had very little speech but lived in the moment.

On the other hand, Alice is a sports lover. She represents Great Britain with the British Disabled team and is a gold medal-winning gymnast. 

Molly has impressive body language, and Riley's heart complications have been fixed. As for Isabel, she can walk effectively, despite having difficulties initially.

As of 2018, George and Thomas could not speak, but they had great personalities. Overall, the Pattersons know they have a long way to go, but they are ready for what the future holds.

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