More adoptive parents are needed to give children in care a permanent home, the Director of Women and Children’s Services for the Western Trust has said.
Kieran Downey says since April 2011 until September of this year twelve children in the Western Trust area were in need of adoptive families.
He says the average age of those children is 2 and a half years old.
“For eleven of those twelve children, courts decided that adoption was their care plan; while one child was placed for adoption by consent. Some children will have experienced many moves and instability in their young lives.
“We need local adoptive families who can meet the needs of these children in our care and help them to feel secure, wanted and loved.”
The Director of Women and Children’s Services was speaking as the Trust hosts a number of events to mark National Adoption Week
The Trust is also aiming to dispel myths about adoption which can cause people to be unsure of what it involves and encourage people to come forward to adopt those children who wait longer for placement - older children, children with disabilities and brothers and sisters.
Pat Armstrong, Head of Fostering and Adoption Services for the Western Trust said: “It has been highlighted through public surveys, carried out by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), that various ‘myths’ distort the facts about adoption criteria and processes.
“It is interesting to see what myths exist about adoption; for example some people believe: anyone over 40 is ruled out of adoption, single men cannot adopt; you cannot adopt if you smoke, obesity excludes you from adoption, and you can only adopt a child that is of the same ethnicity and race as you.”
He continued: “In reality these myths can deprive children of a new start in life with a loving family.”
You can get more info online at the recently launched www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net