MORE PROSPECTIVE adopters from black and ethnic minority (BME) communities are urgently needed to address the current shortfall.
That’s one of the key messages of this year’s National Adoption Week (October 14- 18). So if you live in London or surrounding areas and have ever thought about becoming an adoptive parent, Coram Ambitious for Adoption would love to hear from you.
Children awaiting adoption have often experienced very difficult early experiences and losses.
They therefore need unconditional love and support to help them form positive attachments and thrive in life.
For this small group of children, adoption provides the most successful route to the long term stability and emotional security most children can thankfully take for granted.
Prospective adopters across London are urgently needed to come forward as the latest figures show that the number of approved adopters in the capital fell by 27 per cent year-on-year, and the gap between children waiting for adoption and approved adopters has doubled over the same period.
Sue Lowndes, managing director of Coram Ambitious for Adoption says: “We encourage enquiries from prospective adopters across a diverse range of backgrounds and communities in London and surrounding areas. The most important thing is that they are able to provide safe, secure and loving families for vulnerable children.”
“We can teach our son about his heritage”
Lowndes continues: “We help to find adopters for children from different ethnic backgrounds, and focus on matching children with families who can respect and promote the child’s ethnicity, culture and identity.”
Veronica and David adopted their son Ethan through Coram in 2017 when he was 15 months old.
As black adoptive parents, they felt it was important to adopt a child of African or Caribbean descent so they would be best placed to understand and promote the child’s cultural heritage as they grew up.
Veronica said: “We feel very comfortable to teach our son about his heritage and are best placed to support him with any challenges and issues. In our culture, adoption isn’t something that’s always considered. I think we need to dispel myths around adoption.
“There are children who need a home and there are regular people out there ready to adopt. “I think that’s something that everyone in our communities could resonate with. Ethan has completed our family and it’s about letting others know that they can have this experience, too.”
Coram provides support and training to adoptive families at every step of the process, and afterwards whenever it is needed.
This includes parenting skills training, ‘stay and play’ groups, life story book training, and art and music therapy to help adopted children.
The first step for anyone interested in adopting is to join one of Coram’s free adoption information events, which take place each month.
These give prospective adopters the opportunity to learn more about the adoption pro – cess and speak informally to staff, social workers and experienced adopters. Upcoming events are taking place on October 16, November 5 and November 20, and places can be booked at coramadoption.org. uk/adoption-events.
Coram will also be hosting an Adoption Activity Day focused on BME children on October 19, open to adopters already approved.
“I would encourage you to come to an event”
Adoption Activity Days are a supportive, safe environment for approved adopters to meet with children waiting to be adopted. More details can be found at coramadoption.org.uk/adoptionevents.
Also during National Adoption Week, Coram will be sharing real-life stories, showing the many different types of adoptive families out there, de-bunking some of the myths surrounding adoption and releasing new videos with advice and information to help prospective adopters at every step of the way.
Lowndes says: “If you’re thinking about adoption this National Adoption Week, I would really encourage you to come to one of our information events, to learn more about the process, how we work and how we can support you as adopters. You can also take a look at our Adoption Information Pack to get an idea of what to expect.
“I hope you’ll be encouraged by Coram’s unique offer, our friendly and experienced team and the support and guidance we can give you throughout your journey to becoming a family and beyond.”
Coram Ambitious for Adoption is a Regional Adoption Agency, a partnership between leading voluntary adoption agency Coram and local authorities across Greater London, working to find permanent families for children. Find out more at coramadoption.org.uk.
Read more from The Voice Newspaper Adoption Supplement here.