Families needed for children facing year-longer waits to be adopted

Date Released - 29/06/2022



ADOPTION Now, Tameside’s regional adoption service have launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the children who wait the longest for adoption as part of a new national campaign.


Children aged five or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from an ethnic minority background are the children who often wait the longest, facing year-longer delays to find their permanent homes, than children without these characteristics.


While there has been a significant increase in the number of people coming forward to adopt, many are looking to adopt a single, very young child. The You Can Adopt ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ campaign aims to encourage the public to think a little differently and highlights the need for the right adopters for these specific groups of children.


The campaign, supported by Tameside Council, showcases the many life-changing benefits of adopting these children, explores the traits parents need to be resilient adopters, and highlights the support available to adopters and adopted children – demonstrating that while some children may be ‘harder to place’, they are not ‘harder to love’.  


Mark Owers, Chair of the National Adoption Recruitment Steering Group, said: “While some groups of children may be seen as ‘harder to place’, they are not harder to love. That’s why we’re shining a light on those children who typically wait longest to be adopted – such as brother and sister groups, older children, children of colour and children with additional needs. We urgently need to bust the myths and misconceptions that may exist around adopting these children and find parents who can give them a loving, stable, permanent home. Most potential adopters already have the skills and attributes they need to change the course of these children’s lives. While it might not always be easy, support is available, and adoption is so rewarding.”


In the North-West children from these groups represent 63% of all 270 children currently waiting to be placed with a family, according to the most recent data from the ASGLB (Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board, 2021/22). Further, 100 children from these groups in the North-West have been waiting for 18 months or longer to find a family.  


Tameside’s local adoption agency, Adoption Now is backing the campaign and hoping to find families for their longest waiting children. Karen Barrick, Head of Service at Adoption Now said: “Children from these groups can often wait longer because people don’t feel confident that they have the skills they need to parent them. But what we do know is that these children have many of the same everyday needs and qualities as any other child and for the other special things we are here to support you all the way. We’re urging people not to rule themselves out of a meaningful and rewarding challenge but to have a chat with us about our wonderful children and the many ways we support our families.”


People often don’t know about the range of adoption support services available which starts with preparation to adopt, and includes support groups, training, workshops, family days and specialised therapy tailored to families’ needs. There is also an Adoption Support Fund, set up by the Government, to pay for therapeutic services for adoptive children and their parents, as well as specific support for children with disabilities, including therapies and funding for specialised equipment. Adoption agencies provide ongoing support and advice to all their adoptive families. 


A touching film has been released, as part of the campaign, featuring children from these groups forming an ‘expert’ interview panel, asking real adoptive parents questions about what it takes to give these children a permanent home. Chris and Phil, adopted 3 children. They said: “We would tell anyone considering adopting a child with additional needs to look beyond what’s on paper - and instead see them as real children with their own unique personalities. You need to be realistic about your expectations of them- and instead see their development as stepping stones toward what they are able to achieve when nurtured. We are so happy we were able to give our children a loving home to grow and they make us proud every day”.


Councillor Bill Fairfoull, Deputy Executive Leader with a responsibility for Children and Families at Tameside Council said: “Having been adopted myself as a child, I know first-hand the huge difference this can make to a child’s life. Tameside Council proudly support the national effort to find safe, loving homes for all children waiting for adoption. I strongly encourage people in Tameside who are considering adoption, no matter where they are in their journey to watch this video and learn more about what it takes to be an adoptive parent."


“Every child, no matter their age, ethnicity or disability deserves the support of a permanent home and family. I hope that this campaign inspires people to take the leap and begin their adoption journey”.


If you’ve ever considered adopting and want to find out more about the children who wait the longest and the support available, find out more at youcanadopt.co.uk/alifelessordinary or call your local agency Adoption Now on 01204 336096.