A new nationwide campaign, #YouCanAdopt, is being launched across London to dispel myths around who is eligible to adopt and encourage more people to consider adoption

  • The number of adoptions in England has fallen by a third in four years but almost 3,000 children in England are still waiting to find their new family*
  • Research shows that many adults have considered adoption, or would consider adopting in the future, but only 44% believed they would be eligible to in London
  • A new emotive film featuring adoptive families has been released as part of campaign alongside a podcast series featuring a number of famous voices talking about adoption

Havering and Barking and Dagenham councils have joined forces with other local authorities across London to launch a nationwide recruitment campaign to encourage more people to adopt.

Supported by the Department for Education (DfE), the campaign will raise awareness of the need for people from all walks of life to come forward.

In the UK, there are almost 3,000 children that are in need of an adoptive family1 and the number of adoptions in England has fallen by a third in four years.

In response, 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-19 pandemic, there are still children out there who are looking for their new family.

Havering and Barking and Dagenham councils are part of Adopt London East, a regional adoption agency.

Councillor Robert Benham, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families, 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 We need to address misunderstandings and outdated views to ensure that nobody is discouraged from taking the first important step towards adopting a child.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.”

Councillor Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care Integration in Barking and Dagenham, said:

“With a diverse borough such as ours, there are children from all backgrounds that are in need of a loving home and it’s such a shame that there are people out there that could provide a safe, stable and loving home but don’t even consider applying for adoption as they don’t think that they are eligible.

“This is a massive missed opportunity, as so many of these people could provide these desperately in need homes for these children. I echo Councillor Benham’s comments that we have to dispel the myths around eligibility, and I wholeheartedly support the #YouCanAdopt campaign.”

Earlier this year, a new report revealed that 65% of adults in London have considered adoption or would consider adoption in future. But, despite this, 48% 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.

With 29% of people admitting they do not know if they are eligible to adopt and 27% thinking they wouldn’t be able to, the new campaign aims to increase the number of people taking the first steps towards adopting a child.2

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 57%, single 49% and LGBTQ+ 38%.2

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.

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.5

Carrie Grant, vocal coach, TV presenter and mum of four, said: “Our adoption journey began over eight years ago when we adopted our son, Nathan. We already had three biological children, but we had room in our hearts and knew we had the opportunity to offer another child a loving home. Adopting our son wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do and a fantastic thing to do. He’s a Grant now, every bit as much as his sisters. I’d encourage anyone thinking about adoption to take the first step and find out more. It’s been such an incredible journey for our family.”

#YouCanAdopt. To find out more visit www.youcanadopt.co.uk and begin your journey towards growing your family.

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