As we mark National Adoption Week 2020, Coram Ambitious for Adoption is reaffirming its commitment to tackle racism through its policies and adoption practice.
Coram’s adoption service finds permanent loving families for children needing adoption, and champions best practice in the adoption system. As a children’s charity, a leading voluntary adoption agency and regional adoption agency, part of a London-wide partnership committed to improving adoption services for children, we strive to uphold anti-racist values.
Although the long-term sustained impact of institutionalised racism has sadly been entrenched in our society for many years, the more recent realities of racism have been highlighted by the appalling death of George Floyd, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities.
This confronts us all with the reality of how much needs to change to achieve true social justice in the UK. We believe we all need to take action now to tackle the systemic inequalities across society which affect the lives of so many of our fellow citizens facing racism and discrimination.
Black Lives Matter and Adoption
We know from the data that inequalities are also evident in the adoption system, with Black and minority ethnic children and adopters waiting longer for matching, and a workforce which does not represent the full diversity of the communities with which we work.
Coram is fully committed to anti-discriminatory practice and we have a long and successful history of finding families for children from a wide range of ethnic background. However, Black Lives Matter has caused us to pause and reflect, and challenge ourselves to do more; to listen, learn and take action, acknowledging our individual and collective responsibility to tackle racism and discrimination wherever we find it.
We are committed to building an adoption system which recognises the intrinsic worth of every child, family member and colleague, and the validity of their experience. We will work to ensure these values are translated into action to give all minority ethnic communities confidence in the respect, care and consideration they will receive from Coram, to recognise the impact of racism on their lives and the validity of all the experiences and emotions they bring to adoption.
Coram will take the opportunity presented by the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement to examine all relevant aspects of our practice and reaffirm our commitment to delivering an inclusive and diverse environment for all of our staff and service users.
We will work with others across the adoption system and beyond to tackle assumptions, bias and prejudice, celebrating and respecting the contributions that people from many different values, beliefs and ethnic backgrounds can contribute to a more open, equal and inclusive adoption service.
We pledge to work together with the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA) and the adoption sector as a whole to:
- Regularly review the data on the adoption of Black, Asian and minority ethnic children, and the recruitment and support of adopters for those children, sharing this data to take joint action to improve waiting times and services.
- Support our workforce, increase our understanding of the impact of discrimination and address the lack of diversity in both the leadership and wider workforce so that adopters of all ethnicities can see their experiences reflected in those who support them through their adoption journey.
- Celebrate the success of Black and minority ethnic adoptions and learn from the experience of birth families, children, young people and adopters to improve services and support.
- Work with the UK Government, the National Adopter Recruitment Campaign, Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board, Regional Adoption Agencies, Local Government and other partners to promote, support and deliver anti-discriminatory action across the adoption system, challenging racism and working for true equality.
To find out more about how Coram supports families from all walks of life through their adoption journey, visit the Ambitious for Adoption website:
Find out more about how we champion best practice, share our expertise and influence policy here.
Read about our work supporting adoption and fostering professionals across the sector through the CoramBAAF Adoption & Fostering Academy.