It is widely known in black communities that informal adoption is part and parcel of the fabric of our communities; we raise and nurture children that are not our biological children as if they were.
New data from the cross sector National Adoption Recruitment Steering Group highlighted that black communities have positive and views around adoption, with 80% stating that they have either adopted, or would consider adopting a child in the future.
As part of the annual campaign, which coincides with the national #YouCanAdopt campaign, Adoption@Heart, the Regional Adoption Agency for the Black Country, is keen to raise awareness of adoption and find homes for children currently waiting to be adopted.
The drive comes as the survey reveals that whilst motivations regarding adoption are overwhelmingly positive amongst the black community, there are several barriers and misconceptions that deter people from taking the next step.
This includes concerns around people feeling that their housing is not adequate (35%), finances not being in a good enough position (30%) and worries about their age (20%).
At a time when national statistics reveal that black and mixed-heritage children are disproportionately represented in the care system, a factor that 1 in 6 respondents was aware of, the National Adoption Recruitment campaign is raising awareness that the key attribute for adopting a child is providing a loving, safe and stable home and that factors such as occupation, salary, the size of someone’s home, home ownership or age are not important.
The data also revealed that there are several incorrect assumptions about the type of person who can adopt. Contrary to beliefs outlined in the survey, those for whom English is not their first language, single people and those who are not married an adopt.
Sinitta, singer and mother-of-two, said: “I would definitely encourage others to consider adoption. I always knew I wanted children and I tried everything from IVF to surrogacy to have them.
“All of those journeys led to heartbreak, except adoption. The feeling of finally becoming a mother was almost indescribable; it's just everything. It was everything I wanted and more. I love my children more than anything and I always say that love is thicker than blood.”
Carol Moses, Adoption@Heart Recruitment and Assessment Team Manager, said: “We know that children from black communities traditionally wait longer to be matched with a new adoptive family.
“This is why we are proud to be supporting this new campaign appealing for prospective black adopters to come forward and find out more adoption. Adopters come from all walks of life and all applications are welcome and will be treated equally.
“Being an adoptive parent can be challenging but it also brings great rewards. To anyone in the black community who is considering adoption, please contact Adoption@Heart today.”
Anyone can adopt, whether they are single, living together, married, a same sex couple, in employment or not working, or already have children or not. Potential adopters must legally be a UK resident and have been so for at least 12 months, as well as being aged 21 or over. They should have a spare bedroom and be able to provide a stable home for a child until adulthood and beyond.
Information events are held every two weeks across the region and are the perfect opportunity for prospective adopters to find out more and have your questions answered.
Further information can be found at You Can Adopt.