Devon adoption charity reaffirms commitment to finding homes for children who have waited the longest to find one

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 October 2020

Children in a play park. Picture: Shutterstock

Children in a play park. Picture: Shutterstock

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A Devon-based adoption charity is turning its attention to funding homes for those children who have waited the longest.

Michael Caines. Photo: Matt RoundMichael Caines. Photo: Matt Round

National Adoption Week runs through until Friday (October 17) and Families for Children is highlighting the need for adopters to consider adopting children who waiting the longest for families.

This includes sibling groups, children over five years old, youngsters with complex needs, Black and Asian children and those of mixed ethnicity (BAME); with a commitment from the charity to help support them when and if their help is needed.

Charity patron and celebrity chef, Michael Caines MBE, himself an adoptee of a transracial adoption placement, supports the work of the charity.

He said: “I grew up with a sense of knowing I was different but was adopted into an amazing family and never wanted for any love or felt that I was somehow missing out on something.”

Michael was adopted when he was six weeks old and his adoption story was always transparent.

Local families are supporting the charity’s campaign and speaking out about their own experience of adopting children who wait the longest.

Liza has adopted twice through Families for Children. Her first daughter was mixed heritage and her second dual heritage.

She said: “Initially I was open to adopting a child of any ethnicity as my family members are quite unique (in terms of ethnicities) and I am fortunate to have a diverse social network: My eldest daughter was adopted aged 2.5yrs, she is mixed heritage.

“She was completely the right match for me, and her ethnicity was something that I felt that I could help her with, and most importantly, she wouldn’t be isolated and would be one of many diverse people.

“With my second daughter, I actively sought a child who was dual/mixed heritage as I felt this would be a better match for my eldest and me.

“I think children who are BAME, do wait longer for adopters, largely as there are more white adopters than any other ethnicity, plus some white couples/individuals want a child who’ll ‘blend’ with them, or the adopter/s feel they can’t meet the needs of a BAME child in terms of their identity and cultural needs.

“And while I think it’s right to be cautious, white people can be supported to be actively anti-racist and adopt BAME children.”

Local mum Joy, has adopted four children, all with complex needs, through the charity.

She said: “Through no fault of their own these children wait far too long to be adopted.

“People get hooked up on their additional needs but when you tuck them up at night and all they want is a good night kiss you realise that actually every child deserves that.

“Making a positive change to their lives only changes yours for the positive.”

Same sex couple Joe and Reece adopted a group of three siblings.

They said: “When we met our social worker and we heard about the agency they were so welcoming that’s what made it feel amazing.

“We felt like any other couple considering adoption, there were no barriers to us adopting or negativity towards us being a same sex couple applying - it felt amazing.

“We do know as we get older there will be different challenges that will come up and certain situations, especially adopting a sibling group, but the main thing is we have the support from our adoption agency, our families and friends and other adoptive families. You know you’re not alone.”

Families for Children’s work is centred on supporting those families they bring together.

The charity can advise, offer therapy and counselling, or simply be at the end of the phone to ensure successful outcomes for children and their families.

The charity is particularly keen to hear from people who would consider adopting children who wait the longest.

Families for Children is urging people to take a look at the services they provide and how they can prepare and support you if you choose to adopt.


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