There are over 2,000 children in need of a loving, permanent home through adoption in England. Adopt Coast to Coast, the Regional Adoption Agency for Durham County Council, Cumbria County Council and Together for Children (Sunderland) is calling for more people to consider adoption as a way to start or grow their families.
As well as finding homes for babies and children from across the North-East and North-West of England, Adopt Coast to Coast is looking for adopters for children who tend to wait longer for their forever home. This includes children over 4 years old, groups of brothers and sisters, children with learning difficulties, health complications or disabilities, and children from an ethic minority.
Adopt Coast to Coast is encouraging would-be adopters to be open to the needs of the children they could be potentially matched with and to consider the many benefits of adopting a child with additional support needs.
Paula Gibbons, Head of Service for Adopt Coast to Coast said: “Adoption has changed significantly in recent years, and we are keen to reassure people that we are very open to applicants from all backgrounds. Even if you’re in the early stages of thinking about adoption we would encourage you come and talk with us to find out more. People starting the application now could be matched with a child or children within just 6-12 months.”
Adopt Coast to Coast encourages applications from all walks of life, including single people and couples, applicants from the LGBTQ+ community, those with biological children. The team also offers support and guidance throughout the application process as well as on an ongoing basis for both parents and children once a new family is formed; meaning help is always available should you need it.
Adopters Debbie and Allan adopted a little girl when she was four years old, they said: “Our daughter has now been with us for over 6 years. She is an absolutely wonderful grown-up girl now. She is courageous, resilient, beautiful and has the biggest and kindest heart you could ever hope for. She has been through a lot in her life but with consistent love, structure, and support, she is thriving. Without doubt, it has been the hardest thing we have done but the rewards outstrip that 10 times over. So much so, we did it all again a few years later! Our advice is to be open to older children, they are full of love, potential and hope. You just need to unlock it.”
Families come in many different forms and Adopt Coast to Coast is keen to reassure the public that there is not a set tick-list of qualities they are looking for – in fact the only rules are that prospective adopters must be over 21 and have lived in the UK for a year. There is no upper age limit, or stipulations relating to employment, income, house ownership or sexual orientation. However, some criminal convictions such as violence against children would make applicants exempt.
Find out more
Adopt Coast to Coast hosts two online information events every month – to book a space or to find out more about adoption go to www.adoptcoasttocoast.org.uk or call 03000 268 268.