‘You Can Adopt’ campaign launches in the Thames Valley

Vulnerable children in the Thames Valley are set to benefit from a new campaign, launching today Wednesday 16 September, designed to dispel myths around who is eligible to adopt and encourage more residents to consider the role.

An emotive film features two adoptive families from Adopt Thames Valley; Lucy and Oliver Thomas and Charlotte and Peter Brown (see adoption stories); and singer Sinitta (pictured with her mum, Miquel Brown).

Adopt Thames Valley is playing a key role in the national #YouCanAdopt campaign, which explores what the adoption process involves and highlights the need for more adopters.

Since early April, there has been a 14% increase in enquiries to adopt with Adopt Thames Valley. However, considerable delays to court processes due to COVID-19 means there will be many more children who will need adopting come the autumn.

So at Adopt Thames Valley we desperately need more adopters from across its diverse communities, who can offer children a permanent safe and loving home.

Most of Adopt Thames Valley’s assessment and training has transferred to virtual platforms to ensure the ‘recruitment’ process continues, despite the pandemic.

Earlier this year, a new report revealed that over four in ten (45%) adults in the UK have considered adoption or would consider adoption in future. But, despite this, over six in 10 (62%) adults feel they do not know much about the adoption process. This lack of knowledge may contribute to many people not taking the important first step.

Some of the biggest misconceptions around eligibility are that single people, older people, and those who are LGBTQ+ are not allowed to adopt. This is not the case.

Teresa Rogers, Head of Adopt Thames Valley, said: “We are very excited to be supporting this campaign and keen to encourage more people to explore adopting with us. As a Regional Adoption Agency, we both assess adopters and family-find for children living in the region.

“While welcoming all to apply, we would particularly like to hear from potential adoptive parents who can consider adopting older children, sibling groups and those with complex health needs or a disability.

“We would also love to hear from more potential parents from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, as these children traditionally wait longer to be matched with a new adoptive family.”

To help shine a light on the diverse range of families who have and can adopt, a new emotive film (view here) is being released featuring singer Sinitta, and TV vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant alongside other families – including Berkshire’s Lucy and Oliver Thomas and Oxfordshire’s Charlotte and Peter Brown. They are all encouraging others to consider adoption.

In the film, the adoptive families recite a poem written by comedienne, writer and adoptee Joy Carter, which brings to life the stories of each of the families: the highs, lows and realities of adoption.

The film also dispels some key misconceptions about adoption using a recurrent theme – you can adopt. It is being released online and across social media during the campaign. A podcast series is also being released, featuring famous voices such as Anna Richardson, Sinitta, Harry Derbidge and Annie Price, who talk to families about the adoption process and the journey they took to adopt their children.

Sinitta, singer and mum of two, said:

“I would definitely encourage others to consider adoption. I always knew I wanted children and I tried everything from IVF to surrogacy to have them.

“All of those journeys led to heartbreak, except adoption. The feeling of finally becoming a mother was almost indescribable; it’s just everything. It was everything I wanted and more. I love my children more than anything and I always say that love is thicker than blood.”

The adoption process has evolved over the last few years; it is simpler and quicker than it has been previously and there is a lot more support available.

Adopting a child is rewarding and life changing. If you can provide a safe, loving, stable home for a child or children who need it, the chances are you can adopt.

To find out more fill in our online enquiry form, call 0800 731 0171 or email ATV.iwanttoadopt@oxfordshire.gov.uk