A new regional adoption agency bringing Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council together to deliver joint adoption services in Lancashire launched last week (Wednesday 1 April).
Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool brings together expertise from both councils to simplify the adoption process, increase the number of adopters, improve the matching processes for children, and provide support for adoptive families.
Diane Booth, chair of the Regional Adoption Agency Board, said: “Working together will help us to speed up the matching process for children who are ready to be adopted, while also reducing the time that children spend waiting for adopters to come forward.
“It should also make it quicker and easier for potential adopters to be assessed and approved.
“At the heart of our new joint team is our shared commitment to help children waiting to be adopted find their family and support adopters through the process.
“All our staff are passionate about finding safe and supportive adoptive families for children who need them. We want children to be placed as promptly as possible and welcome any new measures that help to make the process easier.”
The new agency, operational from Wednesday 1 April, will:
• Recruit, assess and approve adopters across Lancashire and Blackpool
• Find families to meet the needs of children that are waiting to be adopted
• Provide adoption support services to adoptive families
• Run adoption panels
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.
Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool 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 and Blackpool or nearby.
Adoptive parents are needed for children from young babies up to eight years of age, and particularly for the following groups:
• Brothers and sisters who need to stay together
• Children aged over four, either gender
• Boys of all ages
• Children with special needs, disabilities or unpredictable medical issues
To find out more, please visit www.adoptionlancashireblackpool.org.uk.
Alternatively get in touch on 0300 123 6727.
Lancashire County Council is the host authority for the partnership.
There are currently 24 Regional Adoption Agencies across the country covering 112 local authorities.