Thinking family? Think adoption

Leeds City Council is looking for ordinary people to do something extraordinary for a child in Leeds – become adoptive parents.

People who are interested in finding out more about adopting a child in Leeds are being invited to attend a pop-up information stall at Trinity Leeds, on Saturday (8 November).

As part of Adoption Week 2014 Leeds City Council is gathering together all the information anyone might need about adopting a child, into a pop up stall at the customer service lounge at Trinity Leeds, which will be open between 10am and 4pm.

Anyone visiting the stall will also be able to speak to an expert from the council’s adoption team to find out more about adoption, hear from adoptive parents, and discover what outstanding support can be provided throughout the process.

Leeds City Council is the largest adoption service in the north, and is currently looking for permanent homes for around 130 children. These children come from a range of backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common - they are looking for a home with patience, understanding and loving kindness from someone they can trust.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:

“Adopting a child or children is a rewarding, challenging and unique experience and one that is open to all. What we want to underline is that anyone can adopt, regardless of age, ethnicity or sexual orientation. There is often a misconception that only certain groups of people can apply - this couldn’t be further from the truth. What we need are people who have the commitment to make a real difference to a vulnerable child’s life.

“In Leeds we offer a unique and outstanding package of support to all adoptive parents so you would never be on your own if you choose to adopt with us.”

Potential adoptive parents who could adopt an older child (over two years old), a child with a disability or uncertain health and development, or a male sibling group are particularly needed at this time.

There’s no such thing as a typical adopter – the council has married and unmarried couples who adopt, single people and gay and lesbian couples. Some already have children of their own, some don’t – but all have the desire to bring joy to the lives of children who want a permanent home.

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.

In Leeds there has been an increase in adoption placements of 50% from 2009/10 to 2011/12 and a further increase of 35% to 2012/13 compared to the previous year. There has also been a further 17% increase in placements last year. The council adoption team were able to approve 76 households to adopt last year and are set to approve even more this year.

Fiona and her husband, have adopted siblings in Leeds. She said:

“We are so pleased we were able to keep the children together and hope that in years to come they will be able to support each other and talk to each other about their early days. Should they need any support from the professionals we know this will be available to them. Leeds City Council have an amazing post adoption support service which is available to both parents and children as and when required. My husband and I are proud to be adoptive parents and are extremely proud of our very special family.”

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

National Adoption Week is organised by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) and aims to raise awareness of adoption and encourage potential parents to come forward. There are an estimated 4,000 children across the UK needing adoption every year, many of whom will have suffered trauma in their short lives.

For more information about National Adoption Week visit www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk