The personal qualities that an adoptive parent needs to have are the theme of National Adoption Week this year.
Lancashire County Council is always looking for adopters, but from 15 to 21 October there’s a special focus on finding people with a compassionate nature who would be able to provide a loving home and who could support and look after a child.
Anyone considering adoption needs to have a caring nature, enjoy being with children and have a determination to stay with the child for life.
County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: “There are so many myths out there about what is needed to be able to adopt a child. Most of these aren’t true. What is true, and what we want, are people to come forward who are kind-hearted and loving, but who also have the resolve to stand by a child – to stick with them, until they are an adult.
“We need adoptive parents who are able to give a child a safe, permanent and loving family for life. They need to have the love and commitment to provide comfort, support and permanence, and give a child the opportunity to flourish.
“It’s a sad fact that some children are simply unable to remain with their birth family, for many different reasons. Adoption is one of the best ways we know of giving these children a new family.
“We want to encourage people from all backgrounds to think about adoption. What matters most to us is that you can help a child recover from the reasons why they came in to care and provide a loving home where you can support and look after a child throughout their childhood and beyond.”
Adoptive parent, Alice Conway, said: “The adoption process was a positive experience overall. We were able to form a good relationship with our social worker from early on in the process. The trust and rapport that we were able to build really helped us to relax, and to be ourselves.
“I’m sure that this transparency and honesty influenced the matching part of the process. The child that we have now adopted is so perfect for us.”
Consideration is given to anyone who wishes to adopt, regardless of their age, marital status, sexuality or gender. There are no strict rules about whether people should have jobs, their own homes or have their own children.
The county council is keen to hear from a broad range of prospective adopters, including single people and couples, same-sex and heterosexual, from all religious backgrounds or none.
It is also happy to consider people who have already adopted, already have a family, or are looking into adoption because they are unable to have children of their own.
The only legal requirements are that adopters must be over 21 and live within Lancashire or nearby.
Adoptive parents are needed for children from young babies up to eight years of age, and particularly for the following groups:
• Children aged over four, either gender
• Children with special needs, disabilities or unpredictable medical issues
• Boys of all ages
• Mixed-heritage children of all ages
Special adoption information evenings will be held during National Adoption Week for anyone thinking about adoption to find out more.
The first event will be held on Monday 15 October 2018 for anyone wanting to find out about two different types of adoption, so that more babies and young children can go to live with their permanent family more quickly:
• Best for Baby (Concurrent Placements) place babies and young children, aged up to two, with foster carers who may go on to give them a permanent home.
• Better Beginnings (The Fostering-for-Adoption scheme) is for children where there is no realistic prospect of a return to their birth family.
The second information evening to find out about adoption generally will be held on Thursday 18 October.
Both of these events will be held at County Hall, on Fishergate Hill in Preston, from 6pm to 7.30pm.
Following a short presentation, members of Lancashire County Council’s adoption team, including social workers, will be available to answer questions, talk you through the process and offer confidential advice.
There’s no need to book – you can just turn up, but early arrival is recommended, so that the presentation can start promptly at 6pm. People attending the information evening are also asked to stay for the whole session.
Free parking is available on the Arthur Street car park, next to County Hall, and the Pitt Street entrance is accessible for disabled people.
Other events being held across the county during National Adoption Week are:
• Monday 15 October at Clitheroe Library from 9am to 4pm
• Tuesday 16 October at Anytime Fitness, Chorley from 9am to 4pm
• Wednesday 17 October at St. Nicholas Arcade, Lancaster from 9am to 4pm
• Thursday 18 October at Freeport, Fleetwood from 9.30am to 4pm
• Friday 19 October at the Fishergate Shopping Centre, Preston from 9am to 4pm
Anyone interested in finding out more about adoption can contact the county council by calling the friendly adoption team on 0300 123 6723, visiting the website at www.lancashire.gov.uk/adoption and filling in the enquiry form or attending an information evening. More details are available on the website.
People can help spread the word about adopting with Lancashire County Council on their online channels. This can be done by following the county council on Twitter @LancashireCC and searching for #LancsAdoption for messages to retweet, and Liking the county council on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lancashirecc and sharing the posts about adoption.
By doing this people can help to spread the word to their friends and family, their colleagues and maybe the organisations they work with.