Leeds ,

Opt to adopt

As part of National Adoption Week 2015, taking place from 19th – 25th October, Leeds City Council is encouraging members of the public to make a life-changing decision and adopt a child.

To coincide with the national campaign led by First 4 Adoption Leeds City Council has organised an information event this weekend. People interested in finding out more about adoption, are invited to attend a pop-up information stall in the customer relations area of Trinity Leeds on Saturday 24 October between 10am and 4pm.

The pop up stall is designed to give those considering adoption the opportunity to talk to experts from Leeds City Council’s adoption team about the process and support available throughout. There will also be adoptive parents on hand to offer their advice. Councillor Lucinda Yeadon will be attending at 1pm to offer her support to the adoption team.

This year’s campaign ‘Too old at 4?’ highlights the shortage of people coming forward, across the country, to adopt older children, as well as those in sibling groups or with additional needs.

Leeds City Council is currently looking to find permanent homes for 57 children, some being in sibling groups of 2 or 3. Between 2014 and 2015 118 children were successfully adopted. The reduction in the number of children waiting to be adopted is due to an increased emphasis on placing children with extended family wherever possible.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for children and families said:

“Considering adoption is a huge decision for anyone. At times it is challenging, as parenthood is for everyone, but adoption is an incredibly rewarding and positive experience.

“People often assume that you have to be a certain type of person to adopt, but this isn’t the case.

“We want people who are committed to having a positive impact on a child’s life, and are devoted to providing them with a secure and loving home. In Leeds there is currently a demand to find permanent homes for older children who are most vulnerable and require more understanding and reassurance. We provide a wide range of help available to adoptive parents so that you would always feel supported.”

During National Adoption Week, Leeds City Council wants to highlight the importance of finding safe and loving homes for older children, often part of sibling groups, who sadly, are sometimes overlooked when it comes to adoption and need the patience and understanding from someone they can trust.

There is no ideal stereotype for an adopter – marital status, sexuality and previous parental experience do not have to meet certain conditions in accordance with the council. The main requirement is that future adoptive parents have the desire to bring joy to the lives of children who want a forever family.

Adoption is an exciting, challenging lifelong commitment. By adopting through Leeds City Council adoptive parents are supported throughout the whole process by a highly experienced, dedicated adoption support team rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. There is a comprehensive programme of pre and post adoption training and support – from stay and play sessions to more in depth workshops and help from a range of other adopters, professionals and organisations in Leeds.

Although any type of person can adopt, we do need people who understand that children who are waiting for adoption may have developmental delays or unknown development due to their background prior to being taken into care.

Visit Adopt4leeds.co.uk now for more information or call the council’s dedicated adoption recruitment line on: 0113 395 2072.

For more information about National Adoption Week please visit: www.first4adoption.org.uk/nationaladoptionweek