Plea for new family adopters

AN URGENT appeal has been launched for more people to come forward to adopt children in need of a new family.

At the start of National Adoption Week staff from the Suffolk Adoption Agency and members of families who have been through adoption came together at Endeavour House in Ipswich to emphasise the need for more support.

David Johnston, head of corporate parenting at Suffolk County Council, said social workers worked very hard with children and their natural families to keep them together – but there were occasions when adoption was the best solution.

He said that there are currently 35 children in the county needing adoption – but it was often not possible to find enough families within Suffolk and they had to be adopted out of the county.

Graham Newman, county councillor with responsibility for children and young people, said the need for adoptive parents should not be underestimated.

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“We currently have 35 children needing adoption, but that number turns over during the year so over any one year we can have up to 80 children needing adoption.

“The county looks after about 800 children over a year – so the proportion of those needed adoptive parents is not insignificant.”

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The launch also heard from Paul, who lives in the west of the county with his wife Anna and two adopted sons.

He told the launch about the process they went through to finally adopt the children – from the initial meeting at home in January 2008 to getting their sons in July 2009 and finally hearing a judge ratify the adoption early this year.

The boys are now almost five and just two.

He told the gathering: “The first time they were together in the bath and splashing each other they did not really know each other but the sheer joy on their faces was wonderful.

“They have turned our lives upside down but we are so delighted they are part of our family.”

Ellen’s story:

ELLEN Ankers was just five when she went to live with the family that were to adopt her in Hadleigh.

It was another five years before the adoption process was completed – but Ellen told the launch that she had started calling her new parents mum and dad long before then.

Now 21 and working for a pensions company in Ipswich, Ellen told the meeting: “Being adopted was a massive event in my life. To me it marks the end of a life to be forgotten and the beginning of a life full of opportunities and, most of all, a lot of love.”

She told the launch she had no wish to make contact with her natural family.

“I was adopted for a reason – a good reason and I don’t feel the need to stay connected to my biological family because I know that I have completely more on.”

Originally from Norfolk, Ellen urged potential adopters to come forward.

“I think adoption is a very special thing – the opportunity to give a child a better life with responsible, loving parents I am sure must be extremely rewarding.”

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