North Devon, Torridge and Torbay residents are asked to consider becoming adoptive parents

Two children running with a kite

Posted on: 6 August 2019

A shortage of potential adopters in North Devon, Torridge and Torbay is making it difficult to give children permanent homes, says the south west region’s adoption agency.

Kath Drescher

Kath Drescher

Adopt South West’s Service Manager, Kath Drescher, says: 

“We have approved adopters across the south west region, but we don’t have sufficient numbers in some areas, and having that geographic spread of approved adopters is really important.

“In some parts of the region we have a concentration of approved adopters, but sometimes we need to find the right match with individuals and families outside those areas.   And North Devon, Torridge and Torbay are areas where we currently have too few.”

The call comes as Adopt South West, the new regional adoption agency covering Devon, Torbay, Plymouth and Somerset, confirms that they have 117 children currently awaiting adoption, ranging in age from babies to school age children.

“Some of the children and babies currently waiting to be adopted have brothers and sisters,” says Kath.  “We always try to keep siblings together whenever we can.

“I talk to adoptive parents a lot and they will all tell me that their lives now feel all the more full and worthwhile as a family.  There’s no doubt that it’s hard work – any parent will tell you that – but it’s so rewarding.

“People may worry that it’s too much hard work, or that it’ll take years to get through the process.  Or they worry that their personal situation means that they wouldn’t be allowed to adopt.

“These are all natural worries, and they’re right to acknowledge them, if only at least to discount them.

“There is ongoing support, from our service and support from other adopters.  There is a thorough process – there has to be, of course – but it’s not as difficult or onerous as people first think.

“And barriers to adopting? There are actually few.  It’s more to do with a person’s natural ability, their personal skills, making sure they can provide a safe and loving home.  It’s not about race, religion, sexual identity, marital status, or whether they own their own home.”

Mark, an adopter in Devon, said:

“Surprisingly, the bit we were most anxious about was the intensive interview sessions with our social worker. We knew they would be intense and intimate, but they actually strengthened our resolve that we were making the right decision.  Our kids have been with us for a couple of years (where did the time go?) and so far the few problems we’ve had are the same problems any parent has, but we keep returning to the strength of our partnership and our awesome support network and nothing seems impossible.”

Read more personal accounts from adopters as they describe their experiences.

If you would like to chat to someone about becoming an adopter, even to help you decide whether it could be right for you, please call us on 0345 155 1076.  Or email us on adoptsouthwest@devon.gov.uk

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