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#YouCanAdopt campaign launches in Havering to debunk adoption myths

carrie and david adoption
Published: Wednesday, 30 September 2020

A new nationwide campaign, #YouCanAdopt, is being launched in Havering and across London to dispel myths around who is eligible to adopt and encourage more people to consider adoption.

  • The number of adoptions in England has fallen by a third in four years but almost 3,000 children in England are still waiting to find their new family
  • Research shows that many adults have considered adoption, or would consider adopting in the future, but only 44 per cent believed they would be eligible to in London
  • A new emotive film featuring adoptive families has been released as part of campaign alongside a podcast series featuring a number of famous voices talking about adoption

Havering Council has joined forces with other local authorities across London to launch a nationwide recruitment campaign to encourage more people to adopt. 

Supported by the Department for Education (DfE), the campaign will raise awareness of the need for people from all walks of life to come forward.

In the UK, there are almost 3,000 children that are in need of an adoptive family and the number of adoptions in England has fallen by a third in four years.

In response, the new #YouCanAdopt campaign will bust myths around who is eligible to adopt and explore what the adoption process involves as well as highlight that especially during the Covid 19 pandemic, there are still children out there who are looking for their new family.

Havering Council is part of Adopt London East, a regional adoption agency, in partnership with Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

Councillor Robert Benham, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families, said:

“The future of many children depends on adults exploring adoption and taking the first step towards becoming an adoptive parent.

We need to address misunderstandings and outdated views to ensure that nobody is discouraged from taking the first important step towards adopting a child.

Some people assume that because of their age or marital status they won’t be able to adopt, but that is simply not true, adoption is a choice for people who want to become a parent.”

Earlier this year, a new report revealed that 65 per cent of adults in London have considered adoption or would consider adoption in future.

But, despite this, 48 per cent of adults do not feel they know much about the adoption process and this lack of knowledge may contribute to many people not taking the important first step.

With 29 per cent of people admitting they do not know if they are eligible to adopt and 27 per cent thinking they wouldn’t be able to, the new campaign aims to increase the number of people taking the first steps towards adopting a child.

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

The new data revealed that participants felt the following groups would be either ineligible to adopt or were unsure if they were eligible to adopt; over the age of 50 years old 57 per cent, single 49 per cent and LGBTQ+ 38 per cent.

The #YouCanAdopt campaign also aims to target potential parents from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, as these children traditionally wait longer to be matched with a new adoptive family.

The campaign aims to encourage potential adoptive parents to also consider adopting older children, sibling groups and those with complex health needs or a disability.

To help shine a light on the diverse range of families who have and can adopt, a new emotive film has been released featuring singer Sinitta and TV vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant alongside other families who are joining in encouraging others to consider adoption.

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 with over three quarters (76 per cent) of adoptive parents finding the support and resources helpful.

Carrie Grant, vocal coach, TV presenter and mum of four, said: “Our adoption journey began over eight years ago when we adopted our son, Nathan.

We already had three biological children, but we had room in our hearts and knew we had the opportunity to offer another child a loving home.

Adopting our son wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do and a fantastic thing to do.

He’s a Grant now, every bit as much as his sisters. I’d encourage anyone thinking about adoption to take the first step and find out more. It’s been such an incredible journey for our family.”

To find out more visit the You Can Adopt website and begin your journey towards growing your family.

The survey was conducted by Opinium Research between 10 and 15 January 2020. There were 2,006 respondents – UK adults aged 21-60.