Released: 9 October, 2020
This National Adoption Week (12–18 October, 2020), Adoption South East is highlighting the need to find families for some of the most vulnerable children within our region, the children who wait the longest for a loving home. These include those in sibling groups, older children, children with complex health needs and also children from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.
In the UK, there are almost 3,000 children who are in need of an adoptive family - yet the number of adoptions in England has fallen by a third in four years.
Last month a new national adoption recruitment campaign #YouCanAdopt was launched to raise awareness about adoption and bust myths around who is eligible to adopt and to encourage more people to register their interest. Applications are welcome from people aged 21 and above, regardless of marital status, race, disability, sexuality or gender.
Michael Wilson, Head of Adoption South East, said: "We want to use the national #YouCanAdopt campaign and National Adoption Week as an opportunity to bust some of the myths surrounding adoption. We need adoptive parents from all backgrounds who are compassionate, resilient and willing to give a child a safe and loving home to help them flourish.
"If you are considering adopting, I would encourage you to get in touch. You can chat with one of our friendly team, ask a question online or request an invitation to one of our regular online information events. Meanwhile, there is lots of helpful information on our website about how the adoption process works.”
Ruth, an adoptive parent from the South East region, explains why she and her partner Mike decided to adopt. She said: “Mike and I had talked about adopting when we first got together, however we went on to have two children and it wasn’t until they were a bit older that we started to think again about adoption. I’m white and Mike is black so we wanted to adopt a child who reflected our, and our children’s, mixed heritage.
“We adopted our daughter earlier this year and our three children have had an amazing time getting to know each other over the lockdown period. We’ve had the support from Adoption South East whenever we’ve needed it and we feel really lucky to have had such a positive experience with our daughter settling into our family.”
Adoption South East brings together the adoption services from West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council, Brighton and Hove Council and Surrey County Council, making is easier to find permanent homes for children who need them across the whole region.
Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at West Sussex County Council, said: “Dispelling the many misconceptions around who can adopt is really important in breaking down the barriers which often prevent people from applying. I would encourage anyone considering adoption to contact our adoption service, who can discuss how adoption can work for you and your family.”