Family Adoption Links, the new regional adoption agency bringing together adoption services from North Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland will be taking part in National Adoption Week for the first time this week.
The agency, which marks its first birthday on 20 October is proud to take part in the event which aims to educate and inform people about adoption in 2021.
During the week there will be a host of events, social media posts and videos showcasing adoption stories from the point of view of adopted children, adopted adults and adoptive parents.
Head of Family Adoption Links, John Harris, said:
“National Adoption Week is a unique opportunity for us to highlight that we still have children that have been waiting too long for their new family.
“During the week, we want to raise awareness on two fronts. Firstly about the kind of children we are family finding for which is children aged three years plus, those from sibling groups, children with additional needs and little ones from the BAME community.
“Secondly, we really want to start the adoption conversation and smash those myths about how long it takes to adopt, the process and who is eligible.
Someone who is integral to Family Adoption Link’s social media campaign during National Adoption Week is single adopter Helen.
“Being a single mum to an adopted child makes me want to tell others that they can do it. I’m surprised at the amount of people who do not know that being single does not stop you from adopting. It makes me want to spread the word.”
To mark the week, two new surveys have been released looking at the region’s understanding of modern adoption and exploring experiences of those personally involved. Despite the need for more to be done for the public to have a better understanding of adoption, one in five (18 per cent) adults say they would consider adopting in the future and nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) believe that adopting a child would be rewarding. In the past 10 years, 40,920 adoptions have taken place in England, the vast majority of which have been incredibly beneficial and positive to the children and families involved.
National Adoption Week brings some of these issues and voices to the forefront in an emotive short film by illustrator and adoptive parent, Garry Parsons. The four-minute animation features the life stories and real voices of six people including 19-year-old Tiegan who was adopted age four.
She said: “Being adopted has been an incredibly positive experience for me. I love my adoptive mums and I have good relationships with many birth relatives, but it is important people don’t look at adoption with rose tinted glasses. Growing up would have been much easier for me if people had a better understanding of adoption and how this shaped me as a person.”
Head of Regional Adoption Agency Family Adoption Links, John Harris, added: “With 2,100 children currently awaiting adoption, this campaign sets out to educate people about how to adopt. Despite the fact most people are likely to be able to adopt only 17 per cent of people in the East Midlands know something about eligibility, applications, and the support available to adopters, 20 per cent of adults say they don’t have a good understanding of how to start the process.”
A series of events offering insight, advice, and support to adopted adults, adopters, birth families and adoption professionals will be taking place from 18th October. To find out more follow the Family Adoption Links Facebook page.