Adoptive parents are being urged to come forward to help ensure brothers and sisters remain together, in the city.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is encouraging prospective parents to contact the authority, as part of National Adoption Week – which runs from today until 11 November.
In the city, there are 5 recently approved adoptive families, but 50 children in need of adoption. Of those children, there are 28 siblings who would directly benefit from being kept together. (October 2012 figures)
Councillor Gwen Hassall, cabinet member for social services, said: “We applaud the work and commitment of our adoptive parents across the city; and we work hard to ensure that they have all the support they need to make the adoption process as smooth as possible.
“It is hugely rewarding work, and we want to encourage more people to come forward as adoptive parents. It is really important that brothers and sisters are placed together, wherever possible, so that they can maintain that family bond and grow up together. There are a number of siblings in the city in need of being kept together, and I urge adoptive parents to come forward. It is also important that children remain in the city, where they have grown up, so that they benefit from surroundings that are familiar to them.”
The city council has launched a billboard campaign to encourage adoptive parents to keep siblings together. In order to adopt, residents need to be over 21, patient, and dedicated to offering someone lifelong love and support.
Karen, 35, and Howard, 47, have been married for 12 years. They live in Stoke-on-Trent, and adopted sister and brother, Jessica, 7, and Charlie, 5, respectively, two years ago.
Karen said: “We wanted to adopt two children and wanted to adopt locally, which is why we turned to the city council to help. We have had excellent support from the authority.
“The children also have a younger brother with adoptive parents nearby, and we ensure they are able to see and play with each other. It is really important to keep children together, it can be devastating for children when they have lived together with their birth parents, only to be split up. It is wonderful to see Jessica and Charlie together, to know where they have come from and how happy they are. It is also beneficial to us that their brother is nearby, it feels like we have gained another part of the family, and his adoptive parents have become good friends too.
“It is important that children stay in the city because the area holds memories for them, and also because there are other adoptive families and a good support network. I would encourage other people to come forward to adopt siblings, it is so rewarding.”
To find out more about adoption in Stoke-on-Trent, please call 01782 235020, email email@example.com or visit www.stoke.gov.uk/adoption.
For all media enquiries please contact Andrew Brunt in the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on