Buckinghamshire sees purple to celebrate adoption

Published: 12 October 2018

Purple ribbons are decorating Buckinghamshire's towns to celebrate National Adoption Week, and to ask the question: could you adopt?

Nationally there's a shortage of adopters, and this is also true in Bucks. During National Adoption Week (15 to 21 October 2018), the County Council's adoption team  and their supporters are using purple ribbons across the county to draw attention to the fact that adopters are needed, and to get people to consider whether they, or someone they know, could help transform the lives of children in need of a loving, supportive family.

Buckinghamshire's public statues have been joining in the campaign too, with Roald Dahl's Matilda in Great Missenden and Aylesbury's Earthly Messenger (aka David Bowie) sporting purple in support. Everyone's welcome to take part, with pictures of ribbons in every corner of Bucks being shared via social media #AdoptBucks.

County Council Cabinet Member for Children's Services Warren Whyte said: "Purple ribbons are a decorative way of making a serious point: a stable family life through adoption can transform the lives of children who for different reasons can no longer be with their birth parents. I'd ask people to take a moment to consider whether they, or someone they know, could be the family for a child awaiting adoption."

There are currently 21 children in Bucks waiting to be adopted, and the County Council adoption team holds regular information sessions where you can come along, without commitment, to find out what's involved in becoming an adopter. You will learn how the right match is made between parents and children, and how as an adoption family you'll then receive ongoing support which was considered by Ofsted to be a 'considerable strength' of the service in Buckinghamshire.

There's also an information line if you'd like to speak to one of the adoption team - it's open weekday afternoons from 1pm on 01494 586349. And if you'd prefer to discuss things face to face, there's an informal drop-in session at County Hall, Aylesbury, 1pm to 4pm on Tuesday 16 October.

Notes

Upcoming information sessions are:

  • Tuesday 6 November - Chesham Town Hall

  • Monday 3 December - Green Park, Aston Clinton

Informal drop-in session:

  • Tuesday 16 October - County Hall, Aylesbury

The information line is 01494 586349. It's open Monday to Thursday 1pm to 5pm and Friday 1pm to 4:30pm. Full information at www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/care-for-children-and-families/adoption/becoming-an-adoptive-parent

Recent figures show a 7% increase in children awaiting adoption across the UK, and in the South East of England, children waiting to be adopted outnumber adopters by 3:1. There are several misconceptions that can prevent people coming forward to become an adopter:

  • You have to be married or in a relationship to adopt. No: 13% of adopters are single.

  • Being LGBT+ will count against you. No: there is no discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender status. 14% of adopters are LGBT+.

  • Older people can't adopt. Not true: 72% of adopters are over 40 and 12% over 50.

  • People can't adopt while previous children are still living at home. This isn't true, though the agency will consider the age gap.

  • You can't adopt if you have a disability. Untrue: disability will not automatically exclude you from becoming an adopter as long as you're well enough to care for your child.

For further information please contact: Graham Skeggs, on 01296 382444 or out of hours on 07825 430978