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New #YouCanAdopt campaign launches

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Tower Hamlets Council has joined a coalition of adoption agencies nationwide, supported by the Department for Education, to encourage more people to consider adoption.  

In England, there are almost 3,000 children that need an adoptive family and the number of adoptions 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. 

Earlier this year, a new report revealed that 65 per cent of adults in London have considered adoption or would consider it in the future. But, despite this, 48 per cent of adults don’t feel they know much about the adoption process. Twenty-nine per cent admitted they don’t know if they are eligible and 27 per cent think they wouldn’t be able to adopt. This lack of knowledge may contribute to many people not taking the important first step. The new campaign aims to change this.   

Cllr Danny Hassell, Cabinet Member for Children and Schools at Tower Hamlets Council said: “The future of many children depends on potential adoptive parents taking the first step towards finding out more about adoption. We need to address misunderstandings and outdated views to ensure that nobody is discouraged from taking the first important step towards providing a loving home for a child in care. Some people assume that because of their age, sexuality or marital status they won’t be able to adopt, but that is simply not true, adoption is a great choice for people who want to become a parent.” 

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. 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 people (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 TV vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant alongside other families who are joining in encouraging others to consider adoption.  

In the film, 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 the 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. 

A survey of adults who have already adopted showed that collectively, two thirds (66 per cent) of people said a loving home and to be able to provide stability are the two most important things a person needs before adopting a child. Almost half (44 per cent) of people said their adopted child felt like part of the family within just a month and of the respondents that had biological children as well as an adopted child, three-quarters (75 per cent) reported a strong relationship between the siblings.  

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.”  

#YouCanAdopt.  

Residents can visit www.youcanadopt.co.uk for more information.  

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For more information about this release contact the London Borough of Tower Hamlets communications team on 020 7364 4389 or email communications@towerhamlets.gov.uk 

Notes to editors 

  • Research was carried out by Opinium Research 10 - 15 January 2020. There were 2,006 respondents from the UK aged 21 - 60. 
  • Use the following Dropbox link to download additional imagery and film content from the #YouCanAdopt campaign: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ie70vgofsmcaf39/AAAW18DGtRZofxuZ56J9thlKa?dl=0
  • The campaign runs from Wednesday 16 September 2020 to Tuesday 8 December 2020 across online and social media channels.
  • Of children waiting to be adopted:
    •  Twenty-seven per cent are over five years old.
    •  Five per cent have a disability.
    •  Seventeen per cent were of a BAME background.
    •  Forty per cent were in sibling groups.
  • Tower Hamlets Council is part of Adopt London East, a regional adoption agency, in partnership with Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Newham.
Posted on Thursday 1st October 2020