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Derbyshire County Council seek adoptive parents

EVERY CHILD deserves to know that they are loved - that’s the opinion of Derbyshire couple Natalie and Rob*.

They know all about the rewards of opening their home to a child in need as they decided to adopt with Derbyshire County Council.

While the process is intensive, the end results are life changing for everyone involved and they welcomed 16 month-old son David* into their family in 2012.

The couple also have a birth daughter and admit that it’s not all been plain sailing - just like any other family with a new child there’s been sibling rivalry and a period of adjustment.

Natalie, 43, said: “It took them a while to establish a relationship as he saw her as a rival for our affection. Now however they’re just like any other brother and sister and she is so proud to have a little brother.

“He is so funny and bright - he’s an absolute pleasure.”

The process of becoming an adoptive parent can take upto six months and there are several stages to go through including a medical assessment, training and personal references being taken.

You’ll be asked information about you, your background, your family and your support networks.

Natalie says: “You take a leap of faith when you adopt - but then that is exactly the same as with having any child.

“When David arrived he had his own readymade personality. He was resilient, frustrated and needing constant reassurance.

“But as time has passed he has settled into the family and has been welcomed and loved by everyone, just like any other child.”

There are around 630 children in care in Derbyshire and they all need loving, happy homes, whether permanently through adoption or by being fostered.

The council is particularly looking for homes for children with disabilities, sibling groups and older children.

Natalie says: “I think it is important that more people come forward to adopt because every children deserves to know that they are loved.

“They don’t chose to be born into the circumstances that they are but they should have the chance to have the best possible future.

“It makes no difference to me whether or not I have given birth to David - I feel the same about him as I do about my daughter.

“I think you just have to go out there with an open mind and explore the possibilities of adoption. There will be a child that is right for you.”

*Names have been changed

Adoptive parents must be:
• Over 21 years old
• Legally resident in the UK for at least 12 months
• Fit, healthy and energetic enough to provide a child with a family for their childhood and beyond
• Able to provide love, empathy, commitment and understanding
• Be flexible enough to adapt to the needs of a child who may have experienced significant trauma

You might not know . . .
• There is no upper age limit to adoption, we’ll consider it on a case by case basis
• You don’t have to own your own home – you could be in rented accommodation
• You do not have to be in employment
• You can be single or in a relationship, married, in a same sex couple or in a civil partnership
• You don’t have to be a parent already or qualified in any specific way
• A disability is not necessarily an obstacle to adopting.

You can start your application online at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/applytoadopt

You can also find out more about adopting, support and training at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/adoption or call 0800 083 7744.

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