A national campaign has been relaunched this month by Adoption Now to encourage more black adults to consider adoption, as figures show black children are waiting longer to be adopted.
Black and mixed heritage children wait on average 21 to 28 months before finding loving homes. This is around 10 months longer than their white counterparts.
Adoption Now is supporting the #YouCanAdopt campaign, which aims to address this issue by removing misconceptions and barriers that might be preventing black people from adopting, and help them realise you can adopt, for example:
- If you are single or in a relationship but unmarried
- If you are over 45 (there is no upper age limit)
- If you work full-time/are unemployed
While it is not mandatory for children to be matched with adoptive parents who share the same ethnicity, many adoptive parents tend to seek children who share a similar history and heritage, so a low number of black adopters is one reason more black children remain in the social care system.
The lack of black adopters, and finding permanent families for children of black and mixed-heritage backgrounds is a challenge faced by many adoption agencies.
Karen Barrick, Head of Service at Adoption Now, said: “We have children from a variety of different backgrounds waiting for adoption so we need families from all walks of life to come forward and provide loving and safe homes.
“So, if you’re considering adoption chances are you can, so don’t talk yourself out of it, instead talk to our friendly and professional social workers who are ready and waiting for hear from you.”
Councillor Eddie Moores, Oldham Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Every young person in Oldham deserves a loving home and a supportive family around them as they grow up.
“That’s why I strongly urge all families across our borough to really think about adoption because this really does make a difference to the lives of our young people.”
Heather and her partner adopted two brothers in 2018, she said: “Years ago there was a cultural thing of oh no, there’s no way I’m adopting but I say go for it!
“There’s no prejudice, I’ve had nothing but support from my family and the Black community.
“It has been absolutely fantastic and I think we’ve got to get passed things that have happened in the past and we’ve got to move forward. If that’s what you want you’ve got to do it for yourself.”
Anyone who wants to find out more about adoption can contact Adoption Now on 01204 336096 or visit www.adoptionnow.org.uk.
Adoption Now is a regional adoption agency covering six local authorities, including Oldham, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Bury, Rochdale and Tameside.