Finding adopters for children who wait the longest

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Released: 2 August 2022

A new campaign ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ has launched to find parents for the children waiting longest to be adopted. These include children aged five or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from an ethnic minority background.

The campaign showcases the many life-changing benefits of adopting these children, explores the traits parents need to be resilient adopters, and highlights the support available to adopters and adopted children – highlighting that while some children may be ‘harder to place’, they are not ‘harder to love’.

If you live in West Sussex or the South East and want to find out about adoption, visit the Adoption South East website or call 0300 330 9470.

The campaign also offers additional support and information around adopting children from an ethnic minority background, as the reasons why children from this group typically wait longer are complex and different to those from other groups.

West Sussex County Council is part of Adoption South East, a regional adoption agency which finds permanent homes for children across the South East.

Suzanne Chambers from Adoption South East said: “ASE believes that support is key to a successful adoption and works with families to identify the right support plan for them and their adopted child. Support can come in lots of different forms - whether that is financial, support with identifying a therapist, help to answer a child’s questions about their adoption or linking in with peer support from other adoptive families.”

New data shows that 32% of people in the South East would consider adopting. The majority of these people said they would be open to adopting a child aged 1 to 4 (90%), with nearly 40% saying that they would not adopt a child with additional needs and 16% saying they would not adopt a sibling group. However, over 52% said that they would be more likely to consider adopting one of these groups if they knew about the range of support available.

As part of the ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ campaign, a new film has been released featuring children from these groups forming an ‘expert’ interview panel, asking real adoptive parents questions about what it takes to give these children a permanent home.

Jacquie Russell, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children & Young People, said: “Across West Sussex there are many children who are waiting to be adopted. If you are considering adopting a child, please get in touch with the team at Adoption South East who can provide all of the advice and support that you need.”

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