Urgent need for new adopters in North Devon

Posted on: 23 March 2018

Too few adopters in northern Devon is making it difficult to place children within the county, according to a leading adoption service.

Councillor James McInnes, the Cabinet Member responsible for Devon County Council’s adoption service, Devon Adoption, says more potential adopters are needed specifically in North Devon to give children permanent homes.

He said: “We have approved adopters in Devon available to adopt children, but the majority are in Exeter or South Devon, and sometimes we need to find the right match with adopters outside those areas, so we have to look further afield.”

“There are children waiting who haven’t yet been matched who could be suited to families living in North Devon and Torridge, who for a variety of reasons are unable to be placed with our current approved adopters.”

Devon Adoption, which is a part of the Adopt South West consortium, has 14 children currently awaiting adoption.

Lee and Mark from Barnstaple (pictured) adopted siblings several years ago. They are keen to let would-be adopters know how rewarding it can be for both child and parent.

Lee and Mark

Mark said:

“We came into the process expecting blocks and red tape that might stop us from getting anywhere. But far from it; our amazing social worker got us approved in six months.

“It was an intense path to approval, but it left us with determination and confidence in our abilities to care for and love our kids.

“We were waiting for questions about being a same-sex couple, but they never did, because it made no difference in our ability to care for our kids.

“There’s a lot of support from Devon Adoption, but in the end it’s all about knowing yourself openly and honestly. You don’t have to be perfect; but know your flaws and fears and plan for them.

“This part of the world is beautiful. What better place for a child to start their new journey with their new loving family. Our kids call us ‘Daddy’ and ‘Papi’. That’s what everyone always wants to know!

Jo, from Braunton, also adopted her children through Devon Adoption, and added:

“It’s the best decision we ever made. We adopted our children through Devon and had a very positive experience with support throughout. Our opinion was always listened to throughout the process and we continue to access support through a wide range of activities and services on offer.”

Legislation changed a few years ago to make it easier for potential parents to adopt. Now, adopters are from a diverse range of backgrounds, which makes it easier to find a match.

“Diversity is important, because children waiting for adoption come from diverse backgrounds,”

says Cllr McInnes.

“We actively encourage anyone to pick up the phone to find out more, or request information online.

“Yes, it can be a struggle at times, but we offer a lot of support to the children and to the families to make their new lives ahead of them a success.  And we encourage potential adopters to speak first hand to people who are adopting, to find out what they think.”

Devon Adoption is hosting an information event on Thursday 19 April, at 6.30-8.30pm at Barnstaple Library where people can talk to social workers, and families who adopt.

Or people can get in touch with the adoption team via www.adoptsouthwest.org.uk/northdevon or telephone 0345 1551 076.

If you would like a member of the adoption team to give you a call back, please follow this link: https://www.devonadoption.org.uk/thank-you/

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