The Regional Adoption Agency for the Black Country, Adoption@Heart, is supporting a campaign to encourage people considering adopting a child to come forward to find out more.

Today (Tuesday 20 June), a campaign has been launched by the National Adoption Recruitment Steering Group You Can Adopt which highlights the circle of support important to adopters. The campaign comes as new research reveals that 45% of parents in the West Midlands found support from other parents invaluable when raising their child. 

The new campaign aims to reach potential parents for children from certain groups that wait longest to be adopted (approximately eight months longer*) and sees a series of new films released featuring real life stories from those who have adopted and fostered children, and others who have been adopted themselves. The films spotlight the various means of support available throughout the adoption journey from adoption agencies, social workers, charities, employers, friends, relatives, peers, and more. 

Latest data shows there are 1,980 children waiting for adoption in England, with half of these waiting longer than 18 months since entering care. The majority of children waiting for adoption (59%, or 1,170 children) come from specific groups repeatedly facing the longest delays in finding a home. 

These groups include children aged five or over, children with additional or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from a Black and mixed heritage background. Compared to children without these characteristics, children from these groups wait an average of eight months longer from entry into care to adoption, a total of 32 months.

Children over five wait 16 months longer to be adopted from care than children under five, children with a disability wait nine months longer to be adopted from care than children without a disability and children in sibling groups wait seven months longer to be adopted from care than single children.
Meanwhile, black and mixed heritage children wait two months longer than average to be adopted from care, with delays caused because there are not enough Black and mixed heritage adopters coming forward to adopt children from the same background. This is why, as part of the campaign, a specialised recruitment drive will run to encourage Black and mixed heritage people to consider adoption. 

To help find parents for these children, the You Can Adopt campaign aims to encourage potential adopters by acknowledging that, while these groups of children will need additional support, the power of family and a permanent home can be transformational for these children, and a circle of support is available to help adopters on this journey. 

Lisa Preston, Adoption@Heart Head of Service, said: “The benefits of adoption for children who are unable to remain with their birth family are well known.

“This campaign is reaching out to people asking if they can come forward to consider adopting a child who will otherwise remain in care for longer. There is support available and, at Adoption@Heart, we will help you every step of the way. Adopting can change a child’s life and change an adopter’s life, please call us or visit our website to find out more”.

Sarah, an Adoption@Heart adoptive parent who adopted her little one over a year ago, said: “I got talking to my social worker about all the children that are in the system and a lot of children are Black African, Black Caribbean, or dual heritage, particularly boys, and I just felt like as a Black Caribbean single adopter myself, that I’ve got a lot to offer. 

“I’ve already given my own birth child a lot of love, a lot of background history on where he’s from, and to offer that to another child was our way forward.”

Sarah encourages more people to come forward to find out more and said: “If you’ve got that space and love to give any child, I would grab it by the horns and go for it because life is too short. Anything could happen and the joy that a child will bring you is immense.”

Sarah Johal, the National Adoption Strategic Lead, spoke about children who wait the longest: “While it may take longer to find the right family for some children, every child deserves the right to a loving, stable, and permanent home, which is why You Can Adopt is encouraging anyone considering adopting siblings, older children, children with complex needs or who are from the Black Community to come forward. 

“This campaign also recognises the importance of community in raising a child and highlights the variety of support available to adopters, from peer support, family days out, training sessions and workshops, therapeutic and financial support for groups of children with those additional needs. Adoption may not always be easy, but support is available at each stage and can positively change the trajectory of a child’s life forever.” 

Adoption@Heart is the Regional Adoption Agency for the Black Country, providing adoption services for City of Wolverhampton Council, Walsall Council, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Sandwell Children’s Trust.

Adoption information events take place every two weeks and are the perfect place for those who are ready to start their adoption journey or would like more information.

For more information about adoption and how to enquire about becoming an adopter, contact Adoption@Heart by visiting Adoption@Heart, calling 01902 553818 or emailing