Leeds City Council is looking for ordinary people to do something extraordinary for a child in Leeds – become adoptive parents.
As part of Adoption Week 2013 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, 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 can understand and reflect the needs of a child from a black, Asian or mixed heritage background are particularly needed, as are those who could adopt a child with a disability, or a sibling group.
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.
Eric and Suzanne, adopters in Leeds.
“For us the decision was fairly easy because we wanted a child to reflect our background. We wanted a dual heritage child and now we’ve got an absolutely beautiful daughter who’s changed our lives forever and it’s been a wonderful experience.”
Visit Adopt4leeds.co.uk now for more information or call the council’s dedicated adoption recruitment line on: 0113 395 2072.
Alan Wood, Deputy Chief Executive at British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF), said:
“The UK has one of the most open, liberal and supportive set of criteria for those interested in adopting a child. Adopters come from every sector of society, from 21 years up, from every income level, ethnic group, religious persuasion and sexual orientation. Most adopters have overcome various challenges in their lives and have the evidence to show they have emerged more resilient, more insightful and more child centred. These are the qualities that count.”
National Adoption Week is organised by 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