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A drive to recruit new adopters across the country has launched today.
Together for Adoption is supporting the national #YouCanAdopt campaign, which aims to dispel the myths around adoption and to encourage more people to open-up their homes and hearts so children can find forever families.
Warrington Borough Council, along with four other local authorities, St Helens, Cheshire West and Chester, Wigan and Halton came together three years ago to launch Together for Adoption.
Since then, 125 new adopters have been approved meaning that more children and young people have been placed into loving homes.
Cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Matt Smith said: “Together for Adoption has been a fantastic joint effort between five local authorities with a deep-rooted commitment to help children find loving, long-lasting homes.
“Some of the biggest misconceptions around eligibility are that single people, older people and the LGBTQ community are not allowed to adopt, which is fundamentally not the case, so we’re supporting the national #YouCanAdopt campaign to empower these groups of people specifically.
“They could prove to be invaluable to a child or children and could offer so much love and care.”
In addition to attracting new adopters, the #YouCanAdopt campaign also aims to target potential parents for children from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds as these children statistically seem to wait longer to be matched with an adoptive family.
Debbie, 53 from Wigan is a single adopter whose daughter was eight when she was placed with her two years ago. Debbie said: “I always knew I wanted to be a mum. I wasn’t in a relationship and IVF wasn’t right for me, so the only other suitable route was adoption.
“I was definitely hesitant about getting in touch for a while because I thought there was so much against me. I’m single and I don’t have a lot of family in the area. But actually, my friend made me realise that my only barrier was actually me not making the call.
“When I first spoke with the team, they were so reassuring and within the first 10 minutes, they made it clear that all of the things I was worried about weren’t an issue. What was important was whether I could provide the best life for a child.
“It took a lot of courage to make the call. There are so many reasons for not having a child and it can actually be quite isolating. I was really scared of rejection but I knew if it was something I truly wanted, I needed to go for it.
“It’s amazing the difference my daughter and I have made to each other’s lives. I was worried she wouldn’t accept me but she has been exceptional. She has yearned for a family just as much as I’ve yearned for a child.
“Seeing her try new things and thrive at school is great. Age and relationship status hasn’t been a barrier at all – we’re the only ones standing in our way!”
For more information about Together for Adoption togetherforadoption.co.uk