Coram began an innovative adoption partnership with Kent in early 2012 which has so far resulted in some significant improvements helping benefit children and adopters alike.
Last year (2013/4), 145 children were adopted in the county, which means more vulnerable young people than ever in Kent face a brighter future.
However, despite this success, we are facing further challenges to find families for the children we have in our care. Due to a reduction in court orders for adoption, the children waiting for homes tend to be those for whom it is harder to find a match.
The majority of children waiting for homes are older, have disabilities or complex needs or are siblings so more homes are needed who can care for these types of children. There are also more boys than girls.
Several of the children waiting for homes have already been linked or matched with a family but KCC’s family finding team are actively looking for homes for a further 14 children*.
One family who knows how rewarding adoption can be are Mark**, 35, and Rachel**, 34, who adopted three sisters aged two, three and four, after struggling for years to conceive.
Mark said: “I always wanted a larger family – it’s what I know. The girls’ social worker knew we were interested in siblings and after a coffee morning, she showed us a video of them. That’s when I thought, ‘that’s it – they’re my kids’. I just knew. I run my own business and everything I do is with my head – looking at facts and figures. This wasn’t – it was a pure heart decision.
“We went for a walk and had a long chat and decided we wanted to move forward with it. KCC really worked hard to speed up the process as it is difficult to find a match for a group of three siblings and they didn’t want the children to spend any longer than they had to in care. From the first course we went on to getting the girls home was just six months.
“We went through all the pain to get to this point and looking back, I think if we had been able to have our own biological children, we wouldn’t have met our children and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I feel like I have the perfect life.
“I now talk to other adopters at information events as I want to give something back to Kent County Council. What they’ve given me is more than I can ever repay. Without them I wouldn’t have my family.”
Anyone who thinks they can provide a loving home for one of the children in our care or who wants to learn more about adoption, visit www.kentadoption.co.uk or call 03000 420 002.