Across the UK, 4,000 children are waiting to find an adoptive family, but for one in four, it is likely to remain nothing more than a dream.
That depressing statistic is compounded by the fact that, for every year a child waits to find a family, their chances of being adopted reduce by 20 per cent.
So that’s why every year, Scottish Borders Council is one of those backing the British Association of Adoption and Fostering’s National Adoption Week.
The annual initiative is for anyone who would like to help change these sad statistics, so that every child waiting in care finds somewhere they can feel safe and loved.
Since its launch in 1997, National Adoption Week has gone from strength to strength, reaching people across the UK wanting to know if they can adopt.
SBC is encouraging residents from all walks of life to come forward as potential adoptive parents during National Adoption Week, which runs from November 4-10.
Stella Everingham, Acting Director of Social Work at SBC, told us: “Every child deserves a permanent home that makes them feel safe and cared for.
“There are children of all ages here in the Borders who, for various reasons, cannot be brought up by their birth parents. We are calling on all residents who may be considering adoption to get in touch with us and find out more about what is involved.”
Adoption is a legal procedure in which all parental responsibility for a child is transferred to the adopters and, like all parenting, is a lifelong commitment.
As there is no such thing as an ‘ideal’ adoptive family, social workers consider what prospective adopters have to offer to a child or teenager rather than focusing on their marital status, income, age or whether or not they own their own home.
“As long as you are mature and thoughtful, happy to make space for a child in your life and are ready to commit to the challenge of adopting, we would like to hear from you,” she added.
Prospective adopters can find out more by calling 01896 662799 or online at www.scotborders.gov.uk or www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk
National Adoption Week is important in reminding people of the backgrounds of children waiting for adoption and the difference adoption can make to a child’s life.
It can be hard work, but the rewards are huge and it can transform a child’s life forever.
National Adoption Week also attracts people wanting information on their own adoption or about a child they put up for adoption. There is advice and support for them and those wishing to help the campaign.