Enquiries from potential adopters are falling across Somerset amid reports of fewer ‘young children’ being available. Somerset based Adoption Agency and charity, Families for Children, are appealing to those who have ever thought about adoption not to hold back, and possibly considering opening their hearts to an older child, sibling group or those with extra needs, who are waiting and will wait the longest.
Figures to the end of June* this year show that despite being an abundance of approved adopters waiting they cannot be matched to the some 47 children in local authority foster care, across the Southwest, for a permanent loving home.
The agency have spent a lot of time dispelling the usual myths that surround adoption including age, marital status and income however they face a new challenge as potential adopters are failing to come forward because it has been widely reported that there a fewer young children and babies available to adopt (under 3 years old).
Graham Pellew, Deputy CEO says, “Around 80% of those who come forward to adopt do so as a natural progression from a long and sometimes stressful period of trying to have children naturally, which may have included many failed attempts at IVF or similar. It is therefore only natural that their desire for a baby or young child is carried through into the adoption process and we respect that. Unfortunately at this time there are very few babies in foster care and as figures show because there is an abundance of approved adopters wanting for younger children they are easily matched.
What we would say though is firstly that the situation is constantly changing so those considering adoption should not wait. We would also like to stress that while there may be a ‘shortage’ of younger children available there are a core group of children who always wait the longest and it is these children we are asking people to consider”.
Who are these Children?
Sibling groups that need to stay together, and older children who are on their “last chance” to have a new permanent family…alongside children who have a label of special needs with sometimes a very high level of medical needs feature as ‘hard to place’;
That doesn’t mean that there are not people out there who would have the skills or the will to take them home, claim them as their own and give them a family they deserve.
These are the children that Families for Children search long and hard to find new parents for, and the best parents are those that are able to accept everything the children bring and love them anyway, take advice on parenting them differently and therapeutically, and be flexible about the change that inevitably occurs!
Families for Children are particularly keen to hear from people who would consider adopting the children who wait the longest and also live across Somerset. They urge people to take a look at the agency and how they can prepare and support you for life if you choose to adopt.
Please call them today on 01278 227027. www.familiesforchildren.org.uk