Can you provide a safe and loving home for our most vulnerable children?
Adoption in Merseyside has found families for over 380 children in the past five years – but there are currently 55 children in Merseyside still waiting for an adoptive family.
A child under three can expect to wait around seven months to find the right adoptive family but over three years old the waiting time can double, with some children waiting up to two years.
There are lots of benefits to children joining their permanent family sooner. It means they can begin to feel settled, loved and part of a wider family network as soon as possible. Children need to feel safe and secure to be able to create attachments and relationships. During the adoption process, there is training available for prospective adopters to support their child’s healing journey.
There are many misconceptions about who can and can’t adopt. People can adopt if they are single, in a relationship, if they are renting, or if they have children.
18% of approved adopters in Merseyside were single applicants in 2022/2023 – the highest rate since the agency merged in 2018.
Single Mum Steph adopted her daughter a few years ago but was worried that she wouldn’t be able to adopt as a single person: “I always wanted to be a mum, I always thought you had to be in a relationship or married to adopt, but after going to an information session I found out that wasn’t the case.
“I did wonder whether I could cope with the challenges of parenthood while working, however, I have lots of support from friends and family, so I know I’ve got extra help if I need it.
“It took just 12 months to welcome my little girl home and it’s been an amazing journey so far.”
Head of Service for Adoption in Merseyside, Kath Dresher added: “Adoption has changed a lot over the years and AiM has become more flexible to encourage more people to adopt a child.
“We have changed the catchment area, so people outside of Merseyside can now apply and we have also changed our vaping policy. We take each application on a case-by-case basis and we aren’t expecting perfect people, because nobody is perfect.
“We welcome people from all backgrounds, races, and religions to come forward and think about adopting. The children are the priority, they need a secure and safe base to help them heal through their trauma and loss. People going through the process will be supported by our team on how to parent an adopted child through training sessions and therapeutic parenting techniques.”