This National Adoption Week, 16 to 22 October, Knowsley Council – as part of the regional adoption agency for Merseyside – is helping address some of the misconceptions about who can adopt.
It comes as Adoption in Merseyside (AiM) has revealed there are currently over 50 children across Merseyside, many in sibling groups, currently waiting to be adopted.
AiM, supports people through the adoption process regardless of their gender, marital status, religion or race. Many people think they can’t adopt because of a health condition, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
If you can provide love, time and commitment to a child then the chances are you can adopt.
Natalia and Steve’s story
Natalia and Steve always wanted a family. After failing to conceive following IVF they didn’t give up on their dream. With a loving home to offer they knew adoption would be their next best route to starting a family.
Natalia had been previously diagnosed with a mental health condition, bipolar disorder. Although her condition had been well managed for over 10 years Natalia was worried about how people would perceive her condition and the impact it would have on being able to adopt.
“We always wanted children and we knew that there were plenty of children that needed loving and stable homes.
“There is still plenty of stigma around mental health and I thought it could be a barrier if I wanted to adopt. But this wasn’t the case at all. My social worker couldn’t have been more supportive. We were honest and open throughout and everything went smoothly during the process.”
Natalia and Steve went on to adopt two children. Their advice for anyone considering adoption:
“We would actively encourage anyone thinking of adopting to attend an Information Session and contact AiM. Adopting a child can be challenging but it’s the best thing we have ever done.”
AiM has helped find loving, stable homes for over 370 children since forming as a Regional Adoption Agency. AiM has approved over 180 adoptive families over the last five years but there are still lots of children, including sibling groups, that need a safe and loving future.
Cllr Harvey, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:
“I’d urge anyone who has been thinking about adoption to reach out to Adoption in Merseyside and find out what it might mean for you.
“We have over 50 children waiting for their forever home and with half of those children part of a sibling group, we’re particularly keen to hear from people who would consider adopting siblings.
“AiM’s brilliant staff constantly strive to find the right match for our children and the more people we have taking that first step to turn their dream of having a family into a reality the sooner those potential parents and our children and can start making happy, family memories.”
AiM Recruitment and Assessment Manager, Elaine Jamieson, added:
“We actively encourage and welcome people from a wide range of backgrounds to apply to adopt. There are lots of adopters that have been successful in adopting that have experienced poor mental health. We look at how those symptoms are managed during the process to ensure people can cope with the needs of an adopted child and balance this with their own emotional wellbeing”.
Want to find out more?
Register for AiM’s online information event on Thursday 19 October at 6pm where you’ll be able to find out more about adoption from the friendly team. You will also hear from an adopter who will share their story and answer any of your questions.
If you feel like you could provide a loving home, visit www.adoptioninmerseyside.co.uk and request an information pack.