Number of children waiting for adoptive parents rises, prompting appeal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 October 2019

More people are needed to come forward to adopt children.

More people are needed to come forward to adopt children.

Archant

Children needing a place to call home and parents to love need your help.

There are currently 19 children on a waiting list, needing adoptive families in Devon.

Adoption are working together for National Adoption Week (October 14 to 20) to appeal for potential adopters to come forward in the county.

The number of people adopting has dropped to an all-time low in the county and the number of children waiting continues to grow.

Regional Adoption Agency, Adopt South West, and independent adoption charity Families for Children are specifically looking for adopters who will consider adopting a sibling group.

If adoptive families cannot be found soon then it is likely those brothers and sisters will be separated.

Local figures suggest 40 per cent of the children in Devon waiting for adoptive families are brothers and sisters in groups of two, with sibling groups waiting four times longer to be adopted.

Jim Fitton, of Families for Children, said: "The majority of people adopting for the first time choose to take a single child into their family rather than considering siblings.

"Also, it is often in the best interests of the children that a sibling group finds a family together rather than experience further trauma by being separated. This presents an extra challenge for social workers and these factors account for the high proportion of siblings in our region waiting for an adoptive family."

The agencies report that there seems to be a lack of potential adopters coming across the region and this could be lasting effects of the situation two years ago where there were very few children to adopt and an abundance of adopters waiting for children.

Kath Drescher, of Adopt South West, added: "There's no denying that having more than one child comes with real challenges, but it also has advantages and brings great rewards and will be there to support you all the way. We welcome LGBTQ+ adopters in the south west...

"We know the challenges of caring for siblings and offer strong support from when adopters very first apply, through being matched with the right child and the early days of children being placed with you, right the way through their childhood and teens."

If you're interested in finding out more, please get in touch with Adopt South West or Families for Children.

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