MYTHS surrounding adoption are being challenged in a bid to ‘find loving families for children who need them most’.
Staffordshire County Council is attempting to dispel the misconceptions as part of its sibling adoption campaign.
Mike Lawrence, the authority’s cabinet member for children’s wellbeing, said: “There are some long-standing myths about who can and can’t adopt and we owe it to the children in our care who are waiting for adoption to dispel them.
“At a time when councils are dealing with a national shortage of adopters, we can’t afford to let these myths stop potential families from coming forward.
“These myths add unnecessary delays to our search to find loving families for those children who need them most.”
The myths, which surface whenever the authority holds information sessions, include the need to own a home and be heterosexual, married, employed and a certain age.
But Councillor Lawrence said: “All the council is looking for is the right match between parent and child; race, religion, sexuality, age or income don’t affect the decision and even some criminal convictions need not be a barrier.”
The authority has 67 children in its care awaiting adoption, including 17 sibling groups.
Research has shown siblings settle more quickly into a new family because they provide support for each other.
However, they remain one of the hardest groups to find new homes.
Councillor Lawrence said: “Many people believe they can only adopt one child at a time.
“In fact, we are actively seeking to place sibling groups together, as staying together helps provide the stability children need.
“Furthermore, it means that parents only need to go through the adoption process once, meaning they can complete their families quicker.”
The adoption service claims to offer excellent support and training and says it places children with new families faster than the national average.
Its latest campaign features vidoes of real adopters at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/adoption
The authority’s adoption team will hold a live Twitter chat from 7pm until 8pm on Thursday, March 7, to give potential adopters the chance to speak to staff and adopters.
People can take part by following @StaffordshireCC on Twitter.
More information is available on 0800 169 2061.