MYTHS around adoption are being dispelled during National Adoption Week.
At Portsmouth City Council there are currently 24 children waiting – half of whom are siblings who need to be placed together.
The council’s adoption team is trying to make the process as clear-cut for people who are thinking of giving a home to a child who would otherwise stay in care.
Adoption manager Jackie Clark said: ‘Some of the myths around adoption are that people think they might be too old, or they have to be married, or own their own home. We are keen to find parents for older children and siblings and there are many people out there from all walks of life who could provide the warm, nurturing family our children need.
‘The process of adoption is quicker than ever before, and training and support services are available throughout the assessment process and after a child has been adopted, along with access to regular adopter family drop-in sessions, for those who adopt from the council in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.’
Across the country, nearly half of all children looking for a family are part of a sibling group, but unfortunately there is a national and local shortage of adopters for siblings.
One new father of an adoptive child said beginning the process was daunting but added: ‘It was actually a bit easier than I expected it to be.
‘It takes a long time because they have to be thorough.
‘We have had fantastic support from the Portsmouth adoption team.
‘We had a really positive experience. It couldn’t have gone any better.’
Councillor Neill Young, who is responsible for children and education at the council, said adoption, whether it be younger children, older children or siblings, can be one of the most rewarding things you can do.
He added: ‘It is nothing short of life-changing for a child, and we need more families to adopt more children.’