As National Adoption Week gets underway today (Monday, 18 October), more than a dozen children in Norfolk are waiting for their forever families.
Norfolk County Council is calling on people from all backgrounds to consider adopting, as it looks to find loving homes for children in its care.
Most people can adopt and there is lots of support and training available for prospective adopters.
For Amy* and her husband, adopting has completely changed their lives. Parents to two-year-old Emma and one-year-old Jack, they started their adoption journey about two years ago.
Amy said: “The first time we met Emma and Jack, Emma came up to me and beeped me on the nose and my husband had to leave the room because it was so emotional. You don’t know how you’re going to bond and connect with the children but straight away it felt right and we fell head over heels in love with them.
“Jack was a very anxious baby when he came to us and didn’t eat or sleep much but he’s now reaching all of his milestones and he is a lovely little boy. Emma is a firecracker and has us in stitches every day. There’s been some bumps in the road but they’re wonderful children and we’re so happy to be a family.”
Amy said that despite some people’s perceptions that the adoption process can be complex, for her and her husband it had been straightforward and even enjoyable.
She added: “We met some great people when we were going through the adoption process and we’ve made some really good friends with other adoptive parents, so we can support each other.
“The social workers have been amazing and we’ve had some really useful training. You get lots of help and support, I think views that the process is difficult are quite outdated now.”
Emma and Jack are brother and sister and the council is always keen to hear from people that would like to become parents to siblings.
Many of the children waiting for adoption also have developmental or emotional needs, which can make it harder to match them with parents.
Cllr John Fisher, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council and a member of the Norfolk Adoption Panel, said: “There is no doubt that adoption changes lives – for both the adopters and the children.
“Most people can adopt – you can be single, married, in a couple, rent or own your own home. Loving parents can come from any background and walk of life and you could be the difference that a child or children need to achieve their potential.
“We have an outstanding adoption service in Norfolk and we’ll really look after you, as you go through the process of being approved and matched with a child. If you’re thinking about adoption, please do get in touch and we can answer any questions you might have.”
To find out more, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/adoption or call 01603 638343