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Source: City of Coventry

Published Monday, 12 October 2020

Adoption Central England (ACE) is supporting National Adoption Week and the #YouCanAdopt campaign which sets out to debunk myths around adoption and urging people who are considering adoption to take the next step.

The national campaign reinforces that the key attribute for adopting a child is providing a loving, safe and stable home and that factors such as occupation, salary, the size of someone’s home, home ownership or age are not important.

Sarah*, a single adopter, talks about talking about adopting Theo*, a dual heritage 8-year-old with autism. Theo had four ‘chaotic’ years with his birth family followed by four years in foster care before being adopted by Sarah. Sarah explains: “Theo lives in the moment and is a very glass half full person, despite his autism he grabs every opportunity and lives life to the full.

“In the early days we bonded over a mutual love of theatre, music and cinema and we had our first holiday. All in all a nice honeymoon period of about four months. Then he really let me know he felt. 

“He ran away from me on many occasions, he would sit down in the street and refuse to move. He learnt a few choice swear words at school and used them to great effect.  All of these incidents ended with him sobbing in my arms.  One day when we were swimming, he came up to me in the pool and whispered very quietly in my ear, “mummy I don’t want to move house anymore, you won’t send me away will you?” He broke my heart, and I made a promise to him that I would never, ever send him away.  

“And things slowly got better. He learnt to trust me, to believe that it wasn’t an empty promise. He settled in school, made friends, and we enjoyed celebrating his birthday and Christmas together. He learnt to swim and ride a bike. We found our new normal.

“We have also started therapeutic life story work. Over time the therapist gained Theo’s trust and we would carry on talking for hours after the therapist left.  He started the work as a little boy in pain and emerged showing me glimpses of the young man he will become.

“I’ve also found support in a community in fellow adopters. You can’t beat peer support and advice. We are great friends with other single adopter families and we regularly meet up. It’s great for the adults because we all understand the children’s ‘quirks’ and they can be themselves without any judgement.

“Adoption is a hard road to walk. It will take everything you have to give. For me there are no regrets. I have an amazing son who inspires me every day.  I love him, he loves me – we are a family and that’s all that matters.”

Cllr Pat Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “I want to take this opportunity in National Adoption Week to thank all of our adopters for the incredible gift they have given to a child, and to encourage anyone considering adopting to take the next steps.

“If you think the size of you salary or home are barriers then please think again, the single most important factor is your ability to provide love, support and safety to a child who desperately needs it. With children from BAME communities disproportionately over represented in the care system, we’d love to hear from BAME and mixed-race families interested in adopting.”

If you want to find out more about adoption, visit their website or call 0300 369 0556

*Names have been changed in this story to protect identities

MIL OSI United Kingdom