Today (Tuesday 20 June 2023), Adoption East Midlands is joining forces with agencies across the country to support a new #YouCanAdopt campaign to find families for children who wait the longest. 

The new campaign aims to reach potential parents for children from certain groups that repeatedly wait longest to be adopted and sees a series of new films released featuring real life stories from those who have adopted 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 care workers, charities, employers, friends, relatives, peers and more.

Each year, Adoption East Midlands needs to find adoptive families for approximately 170 children. Without enough families coming forward, children wait longer.

The majority of children waiting for adoption come from specific groups repeatedly facing the longest delays in finding a home. These groups include children aged five or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from a black and mixed heritage. 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.

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. 

For anyone considering adopting a child who would typically wait longer, Adoption East Midlands has professional adoption support teams who can offer a wide range of support throughout the child’s journey through to adulthood – you will not be alone at any step of the way. 

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.

Head of service for Adoption East Midlands, Shelagh Mitchell, commented:

“Adoption East Midlands is delighted to support this new national campaign that shines a light on those children who typically wait the longest to be adopted. We find families for children with a diverse range of needs and from a diverse range of backgrounds who need people to offer them a safe, nurturing and loving home so that they can thrive and flourish.

“Adoption East Midlands believes that support is vital for a successful adoption and works with families to identify the right support for them. We offer ongoing support to our children and families from their first weeks of placement through to support as an adopted adult and includes many different forms – whether support with identifying therapeutic services, help to answer a child’s questions about their adoption or connecting them with other adoptive families.”

Councilor Cheryl Barnard, Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education, said “ We have children in Nottingham City Council’s care who are waiting to join a stable, loving family. Adoption East Midlands is a partnership of councils across the East Midlands that finds loving homes for our children. I want to encourage anyone who wants to find out more about adoption to make contact with Adoption East Midlands. We always welcome enquiries from all walks of life and communities.”

We would welcome enquiries from anyone interested in knowing more about becoming adoptive families. If you live in or around Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby or Derbyshire and want to find out more about adoption, visit the Adoption East Midlands website or call  0115 804 4567.