Children’s charity and leading voluntary adoption agency, Adoption Matters is delighted to take part in a new nationwide campaign, launching on 16 September 2020. The #YouCanAdopt campaign aims to dispel myths around who is eligible to adopt and to highlight that there are still almost 3,000* children waiting for a family, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign launches as the number of adoptions in England has fallen by a third in the past four years and the number of children waiting has risen and the length of time they wait has increased.
To help people realise adoption could be something for them, the #YouCanAdopt campaign aims to break down barriers and misconceptions about who is eligible to adopt. People can adopt from a variety of backgrounds, including single people, those from all religions, people from the LGBTQ+ and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
Earlier this year, a new report revealed that over four in ten (45%) adults in the UK have considered adoption or would consider adoption in future. But, despite this, over six in 10 (62%) adults do not feel they know much about the adoption process and this lack of knowledge may contribute to many people not taking the important first step.
To help shine a light on the diverse range of families who have and can adopt, a new emotive film has been released featuring singer Sinitta and TV vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant alongside other families who are joining in encouraging others to consider adoption. In the film, the adoptive families recite a poem written by comedienne, writer and adoptee Joy Carter, which brings to life the stories of each of the families: the highs, lows and realities of adoption. Adoption Matters family, Amy and Ben Hathaway together with their six children also feature in the campaign film here:
Amy & Ben from Bolton share their amazing story of adopting six children. https://www.adoptionmatters.org/case_study/amy-ben/
Amy comments: “Ben and I adopted a baby girl through Adoption Matters and she is just amazing and keeps us highly entertained every single day! We also have five other adopted children who we adopted in Tanzania (none are biological siblings – they were five separate adoptions).
Our children are all Black African and we are white British so our story is not a ‘typical’ one. We chose adoption as our first and only way of creating a family. I have known since I was a little girl that I would adopt my children and they are all incredible.
It was very important that my children keep their culture and heritage – our house is full of African art; we fill our shelves with books which have Black main characters; we cook Tanzanian food, we still speak Swahili and we will always return to Tanzania for our holidays.
I found Adoption Matters to be really great. They were very open minded and supportive as I am sure other agencies may have been sceptical about us adopting a sixth child (and they also helped us adopt the most precious little girl in existence!)
I can honestly say that adoption is without a doubt, the best thing I ever did (6 times over!). I would never want to create a family in any other way. If you have love in your heart, have strength and passion to support a child no matter what, then adoption could be the right path for you.”
Ruth adopted her daughter aged 10 months in 2019, “I looked into Adoption Matters, I rang them and said I am a woman in her early 40s, living by herself, I’ve no idea how this is going to work and they basically said, we’ll help you. They took my hand and took me all the way through the process and made everything easy. The support I have received from my social worker at Adoption Matters, well she is like a friend, she has been with me from day one.”
Adoption Matters Chief Executive, Norman Goodwin CBE, is a member of the National Adoption Recruitment Steering Group, supported by the Department for Education (DfE), who joined forces to launch this nationwide recruitment campaign to raise awareness of adoption. Norman comments:
“We hope that this national campaign will help challenge some of the myths that still exist around adoption. There is a very wide range of people who have the motivation, commitment and love to be a great parent and there are many children who are waiting.
Here at Adoption Matters, we have worked hard to ensure that throughout the pandemic, we are here for people interested in adoption and to continue to offer support to our families and children. We want to continue to encourage people to think about expanding their family or starting their family through adoption. The thing you need most is the time, love and commitment to offer a child or children”.
Adoption Matters host regular online events for people to attend to find out more about adoption, our next event is 5th October 2020 – register your place to attend here.
*Of children waiting to be adopted 27% were over 5 years old, 5% have a disability, 17% were of a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background and 40% are in sibling groups.
1. Opinium surveyed 2,006 adults (aged 21-60) between 10th – 15th January 2020
2. Department of Education. Children looked after in England including adoption: 2018 to 2019 (Dec 2019)
3. Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board Headline measures and Business intelligence. (Dec
2019) https://coram-i.org.uk/resource/local-level-data quarter-4-2018-2019/
4. Adoption UK. The Adoption Barometer (July 2019) www.adoptionuk.org/the-adoption-barometer