Adoption@Heart, the Regional Adoption Agency for the Black Country, has joined forces with a coalition of national, regional and voluntary adoption agencies across the country and the Department for Education (DfE) to launch the nationwide #YouCanAdopt recruitment campaign.
In the UK, there are almost 3,000 children that need an adoptive family, while the number of adoptions in England has fallen by a third in 4 years.
#YouCanAdopt seeks to bust myths around who is eligible to adopt and explore what the adoption process involves. It will also highlight that especially during the coronavirus pandemic, there are still children out there who are looking for their new family.
Earlier this year, a new report revealed that 39% of people in the West Midlands do not know if they are eligible to adopt and 34% thought they wouldn’t be able to.
Some of the biggest misconceptions around eligibility are that single people, older people, and those who are LGBTQ+ are not allowed to adopt, which is not the case.
The new data revealed that participants felt the following groups would be either ineligible to adopt or were unsure if they were eligible to adopt; over the age of 50 years old 70%, single 44% and LGBTQ+ 37%.
The #YouCanAdopt campaign also aims to target potential adopters for children from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, as they traditionally wait longer to be matched with an adoptive family, and to encourage people to adopt older children, sibling groups and those with complex health needs or a disability.
To help shine a light on the diverse range of families who have and can adopt, a new emotive film has been released featuring singer Sinitta and TV vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant alongside other families who are joining in encouraging others to consider adoption. It sees families recite a poem written by comedienne, writer and adoptee Joy Carter which brings to life the highs, lows and realities of adoption.
Mark Tobin, Service Head at Adoption@Heart, said: “The future of many children depends on adults exploring adoption and taking the first step towards becoming an adoptive parent.
“We need to address misunderstandings and outdated views to ensure that nobody is discouraged from taking the first important step towards adopting a child.
“Some people assume that because of their age or marital status they won’t be able to adopt, but that is simply not true, adoption is a choice for people who want to become a parent.”