A new campaign to recruit adopters will focus on sibling groups, older children, children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and children with complex health and disability needs.

Every year the Regional Adoption Agency (RAA), part of Adoption East Midlands, will seek families for approximately 160 children, with many falling into these priority groups.

The campaign will run during National Adoption Week from 14 to 20 October. The RAA was set up in April this year and incorporates Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council.

The Government’s vision behind the regionalisation of adoption services is to accelerate the pace of change to ensure those children, for whom adoption is the right path, are given the best chance of finding a loving and stable family as quickly as possible.

Adoption Service Manager for the RAA, Tracey Coull, said that finding the right adoptive family for children in care markedly improved their life chances and transformed their future.

She said: “We want every child to be in a loving, stable home and by coming together and joining forces through the work of RAAs, Councils can use the network to match children with the right families much more quickly.”

Tracey added that as well as celebrating adoption success stories, the RAA’s aim was to encourage more people to make the life-changing decision to adopt whilst dispelling the myths surrounding the adoption process and challenging unhelpful perceptions.

Some of the common myths the RAA has encountered surrounding eligibility to adopt include:

Thinking you need to be married

You can be single or living together. In fact, around one third of Notts adopters haven’t actually tied the knot

A belief that only heterosexual couples qualify

In fact, the RAA has several gay adopters

Middle-aged couples convinced they’re too old

As long as you’re able to meet a child’s lifetime needs, age is no bar as long as you’re at least 21. A recent adopter had celebrated her 50th birthday

A perception that having a disability will automatically disqualify you

Again, disability will not rule you out

Cllr Cheryl Barnard, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, at Nottingham City Council said: “We’re currently looking for homes for 33 children and we need 114 more adoptive families to cope with the ongoing increase in demand. But our main challenges will remain finding families for children aged over four, sibling groups of two or three, children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and children with complex needs.

“Adopting a child is one of the best things a person can do for a young person in care. It ensures they have a loving, stable home with parents who will stick by them through good times and bad. As part of National Adoption Week, I would urge people to take the first step and speak to our dedicated teams.”

Adoption East Midlands offers excellent packages of support to its adoptive families including social worker support during the assessment process and afterwards; a programme of activities for children and young people; and ongoing training and development.

If you wish to consider adopting find out more at www.adoptioneastmidlands.org.uk or call 0115 804 4567.