Suffolk: County launches new year hunt for adoptive parents
- Credit: Archant
New year, new family – that’s what 30 children in Suffolk are hoping for at the start of 2014.
And the county council is hoping to find more adoptive parents to take on the youngsters during the year.
It needs more people to come forward to provide “forever families” and social workers hope that a new year push will help inspire those wanting to adopt a child in need in Suffolk.
The council is particularly looking for families for sibling groups, older children and children with disabilities. Applications are welcomed from all sectors of the community.
Officials say many people think that they wouldn’t be allowed to adopt a child because they are not part of a “traditional” family set-up, but often this is not the case.
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Darren lives with his same-sex partner in west Suffolk, and the couple decided three years ago that they would like to adopt a child.
After a year of preparation, background checks, and training, George moved in with them 18 months ago when he was five years old. They had already decided they did not want to adopt a baby.
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George is now a lively seven-year-old and Darren said his arrival has helped to make the family complete – even though the youngster did have some issues when he arrived.
Darren said: “We had heard that the council would consider same-sex couples and single people as adoptive parents. And we both felt we were ready to become parents – we’ve been a couple for 16 years.”
The year between their initial meeting to discuss adoption and the final arrival of George was, Darren felt, the right length of time.
“It gave time for all the necessary checks to be made – and gave us time to decide if this really was what we wanted.
“There have been challenges for us, but there is always help and support out there – and we really do feel like a complete family now,” he said.
George has just spent his second Christmas with his new family.
“Last year he was a bit quiet and subdued at Christmas, but this year he’s really had loved it all. It has been really magical for us all,” said Darren.
Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for children, said: “Many people think that they wouldn’t be allowed to adopt a child but often this isn’t the case. So please don’t think we’ll turn you down because of your age, relationship status, sexual orientation or even if you don’t own your own home.
“What we really need are people who can offer a child or sibling group a loving and supportive family for life. Those who can help a child recover from the reasons they came in to care and help them go on to thrive in a new family.
“Initially, we are simply asking people to come forward and find out more about adoption. If you think you might have what it takes, please pick up the phone today.”
There are an estimated 4,000 children across the UK needing adoption every year, many of whom will have suffered trauma in their short lives.
Anyone interested in finding out more can call Suffolk Adoption Agency on 01473 265595 or visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/care-and-support/fostering-and-adoption/adoption