National Adoption Week: Appeal for potential adopters to come forward
Local adoption agencies across the south west are working together this National Adoption Week to appeal for potential adopters to come forward.
In Adoption West we have 24 families who have chosen to adopt and completed their assessment and preparation. Of these three wish to adopt siblings. However, we do need many more people to make this choice.
Regional Adoption agencies, Adoption West, Adopt South West, Aspire Adoption and Cornwall Council and independent adoption charities CCS Adoption, Action for Children, Families for Children are specifically looking for adopters who will consider adopting siblings. We currently have nine groups of brothers and sisters who all need to grow up together. Nationally 60% of the children waiting are part of such a sibling group.
Our adopters tell us that they have adopted siblings for many reasons. One adopter said::
" I grew up with two sisters, they have always been really important in my life and I wanted the children I adopted to have a similar experience growing up.
"We always wanted a bigger family. Adopting siblings gave us this and enabled the children to stay together. It can be tough at times, but the children have a shared history and it helps us work through things together."
Terence Herbert, Wiltshire Council Director of Children and Education and Chair of the Adoption West Board, said: "There are many children who are waiting to be adopted, for some children this can take far longer than others. Wherever possible, we do our best to keep siblings together. It is often in the best interests of the children that we find families where they can stay together."
Alison Lewis, Adoption West Service Director says: "We're asking anyone who may have thought about adoption, to take that step forward and contact us. Please consider those children waiting longest, as part of a sibling group or because they are older than five years, have a disability or are from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds. Many of the children have experienced neglect and trauma. All of them need a loving stable home. They need support and love to help them overcome their troubled backgrounds and make sense of who they are. There's no denying being an adoptive parent can have many real challenges, but it also brings great rewards."
Cllr Pauline Church, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: "We are particularly looking for families who could adopt siblings; although we also need people who would like to adopt older children or those with more complex needs.
"You can be of any gender, single or in a relationship, of any cultural background or religion. You may already be a parent or you may not have had much experience of looking after children. The most important thing is that you have room in your family for a child or children and that you are strongly motivated to be a parent and care for them throughout their childhood and beyond.
"It is a privilege to be able to make a real difference to the life of a child in care by helping them move on from care and become happily adopted to live safely in a family forever."
All agencies want potential adopters to know that:
- The adoption process can prepare you for becoming an adopter within as little as six months
- There are children who need a new permanent family now
- Anyone over 21 can adopt and there is no upper age limit
- LGBTQ and intersex people can adopt
- Single people can adopt
- Adopters can be of any religion or none
- Disabled people can adopt
- Adopters will be fully trained before the child is placed
- Adopters are supported throughout the process and beyond
During National Adoption Week there are information events being held across the Adoption West region to discuss the process of becoming an adopter and the children who are currently waiting. In Wiltshire this is on Wednesday 16 October 10.30 am to 3pm County Hall, Trowbridge
If you're interested in finding out more, please get in touch with Adoption West by calling 03303 550333 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.