Could you adopt?

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Adoption in Merseyside is looking to find adopters for children who wait the longest for families.

Raising a child can be challenging and anyone thinking of adopting will need to have a strong support network. Support is essential for all parents – not just adopters.

Research found that:

  • 85% believe community is important in raising a child, such as church groups or parent organisations.
  • 60% have people they refer to as family outside of immediate family or blood relatives
  • Over a third (39%) of parents found support from other parents invaluable when raising their child, with a fifth (22%) finding help from WhatsApp groups (or similar) or online forums.

The latest available data shows there are 1,980 children waiting for adoption in England, with 990 of these (50%) waiting longer than 18 months since entering care. The majority of children waiting for adoption (59%, 1,170 children) come from specific groups repeatedly facing the longest delays in finding a home.

  • Children over five wait 16 months longer to be adopted from care than children under five
  • Children with a disability wait nine months longer to be adopted from care than children without a disability
  • Children in sibling groups wait seven months longer to be adopted from care than single children

Single adopter Steph adopted her little girl over lockdown. She attended an information session and then had a phone call. Steph’s adoption process took 12 months, from the initial phone call to welcoming her daughter into her family.

Steph said: “Like most single mums, I was worried at first and had doubts. I didn’t know if I would be able to look after a little person all on my own. The responsibility was a little overwhelming. However, I am lucky to have a great support network of friends and family.

I attended a therapeutic parenting course, which at the time I didn’t feel was necessary. However, I am so happy to have those techniques and tools ready to use in the future. The support team are there if you need them, they have a range of free online sessions which I have also attended”.

Adoption in Merseyside (AiM) provides support services for families and children at all different ages and stages of the adoption journey, from preparation to adopt to meeting children’s needs for the future. The Adoption Support Fund, set up by the Government, can provide access to therapeutic services for children and their parents, following an assessment of support needs.

Recruitment and Assessment Manager at AiM, Elaine Jamieson said: “We know things are tough for people at the moment and adopting a child can seem daunting but it’s also very rewarding. We provide a supportive environment for those going through the process and beyond. The training prepares people for the challenges and joys of parenting an adopted child. Training opportunities are also available for parents once they have adopted, our support team work with families across Merseyside to provide that additional help if needed.”

If you want to find out more about adoption, please visit www.adoptioninmerseyside.co.uk

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