‘You Can Adopt’ campaign launches in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire desperately needs more adopters from across its diverse communities, who can offer children a permanent safe and loving home.
Charlotte and Peter Brown adopted a little girl in Oxfordshire  (photo from Oxfordshire County Council)Charlotte and Peter Brown adopted a little girl in Oxfordshire  (photo from Oxfordshire County Council)
Charlotte and Peter Brown adopted a little girl in Oxfordshire (photo from Oxfordshire County Council)

Vulnerable children in Oxfordshire are set to benefit from a new campaign, launching today Wednesday September 16, designed to dispel myths around who is eligible to adopt and encourage more residents to consider the role.

An emotive film features an adoptive family from South Oxfordshire; Charlotte and Peter Brown and singer Sinitta.

Oxfordshire is playing a key role in the national #YouCanAdopt campaign, which explores what the adoption process involves and highlights the need for more adopters.

Since early April, there has been a 14 per cent increase in enquiries to adopt with Adopt Thames Valley. However, considerable delays to court processes due to COVID-19 means there will be many more children who will need adopting come the autumn.

Oxfordshire desperately needs more adopters from across its diverse communities, who can offer children a permanent safe and loving home.

Most of Adopt Thames Valley’s assessment and training has transferred to virtual platforms to ensure the ‘recruitment’ process continues, despite the pandemic.

Earlier this year, a new report revealed that over four in ten (45 per cent) adults in the UK have considered adoption or would consider adoption in future.

But, despite this, over six in 10 (62 per cent) adults feel they do not know much about the adoption process. 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. This is not the case.

Teresa Rogers, head of Adopt Thames Valley, said: “We are very excited to be supporting this campaign and keen to encourage more people to explore adopting with us. As a regional adoption agency, we both assess adopters and family-find for children living in the region.

“While welcoming all to apply, we would particularly like to hear from potential adoptive parents who can consider adopting older children, sibling groups and those with complex health needs or a disability.

“We would also love to hear from more potential parents from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, as these children traditionally wait longer to be matched with a new adoptive family.”

To help shine a light on the diverse range of families who have and can adopt, a new emotive film is being released featuring singer Sinitta, and TV vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant alongside other families – including Oxfordshire’s Charlotte and Peter Brown. They are all encouraging others to consider adoption.

In the film, the 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.

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.

County Cllr Steve Harrod, cabinet member for children and families, said: “The future of many Oxfordshire 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 residents who want to become a parent.”

Sinitta, singer and mum of two, said: “I would definitely encourage others to consider adoption. I always knew I wanted children and I tried everything from IVF to surrogacy to have them.

“All of those journeys led to heartbreak, except adoption. The feeling of finally becoming a mother was almost indescribable. It's just everything. It was everything I wanted and more. I love my children more than anything, and I always say that love is thicker than blood.”

To find out more about adopting a child visit the following website: www.adoptthamesvalley.co.ukThe 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.

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