An adoptive family from Liverpool are featuring in a new national campaign which is being launched to encourage more people to consider adoption.
Andy, Craig and their daughter star in the #YouCanAdopt campaign backed by the Department for Education which aims to debunk myths around adoption and find families for the almost 3,000 children that are in need of an adoptive family, with the number of adopters in England having fallen by a third in four years.
The new #YouCanAdopt campaign will bust myths around who is eligible to adopt and explore what the adoption process involves as well as highlight that especially during the COVID pandemic, there are still children out there who are looking for their new family.
Earlier this year, a new report revealed that 37% of adults in the North West have considered adoption or would consider adoption in future. But, despite this, 69% of adults do not feel they know much about the adoption process and this lack of knowledge may contribute to many people not taking the important first step.
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 65%, single 45%, and LGBTQ+ 34%
The #YouCanAdopt campaign also aims to target potential parents from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, as these children traditionally wait longer to be matched with a new adoptive family. The campaign aims to encourage potential adoptive parents to also consider adopting 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.
In the film, Andy and Craig and other adoptive families recite a poem written by comedienne, writer and adoptee Joy Carter, which brings to life the stories of each of the families: the highs, lows and realities of adoption.
Andy and Craig said: “We always wanted a family and decided to start the process to adopt. The process was quite hard for us, it was very intrusive and in depth, but we understand why this has to be done. It was an emotional process as it delved into our past and the reasons why certain situations happened and how we dealt with that. The training was also self-reflective and made us think about how we would parent our own child.”
The film also dispels some key misconceptions about adoption using a recurrent theme – you can adopt. It is being released online and across social media during the campaign. A podcast series is also being released, featuring famous voices such as Anna Richardson, Sinitta, Harry Derbidge and Annie Price, who talk to families about the adoption process and the journey they took to adopt their children.
A survey of adults who have already adopted showed that collectively, more than two thirds (66%) of people said a loving home and to be able to provide stability are the two most important things a person needs before adopting a child. Almost half (44%) of people said their adopted child felt like part of the family within just a month and of the respondents that had biological children as well as an adopted child, three quarters (75%) reported a strong relationship between the siblings.
The adoption process has evolved over the last few years; it is simpler and quicker than it has been previously and there is a lot more support available with over three quarters (76%) of adoptive parents finding the support and resources helpful.
Vicky Swift, Senior Social Worker from Adoption in Merseyside 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.”