HSC NI Adoption and Adoption UK celebrate Adoptive Families18th October 2021
HSC NI Adoption and Adoption UK are celebrating the diversity of adoptive families as they launch Northern Ireland Adoption Week’s ‘Adoption Changes Lives’ campaign (18-24 October).
HSC NI Adoption is the largest adoption agency in Northern Ireland. Adoptive families are made up of couples and single people with or without birth children and include members of the LGBTQIA community.
A large gathering of adoptive families and professionals came together today for a virtual launch where guest speaker Shelagh Beckett, Childcare Consultant and author of ‘Beyond Together or Apart’ shared her insights on the importance of siblings being placed together in adoption.
Catherine Cassidy, Deputy Director of Social Care and Children at the HSC Board said: “I cannot over emphasise the importance of adoptive families to our Looked After Children, to their stability, security and their future”.
Julia and Hugh, who are adoptive parents to a sibling group said: “Adopting siblings was an easy choice for us. We always knew we wanted more than one child in our family. It makes sense to go through the process once and adopt two children. There are challenges but it is very rewarding to see our children who were so delayed in many areas due to their early life experiences, now flourishing in everything they do, and see their personalities shine. They have a shared experience and already at such a young age are helping each other to make sense of their past.”
HSC NI Adoption make every effort to keep brothers and sisters together to ensure their relationships are nurtured and maintained throughout their lives and to enable them to grow up and thrive together.
Sibling groups, children aged 4 years and over, and those with specific needs continue to wait the longest for adoptive families.
As part of Adoption Week NI, HSC NI Adoption are hosting 3 adoption virtual information sessions. These sessions are open to all members of the public if you’re interested in finding out about becoming an adoptive parent.
Supporting the campaign, Health Minister Robin Swann said: “As we celebrate Adoption Week, I am delighted that the long awaited Adoption and Children Bill is finally being considered by the Northern Ireland Assembly. We are seeing more children in care than ever before in Northern Ireland and for some of those children who are unable to return home, adoption will provide them with the safety and stability that they need. I am in no doubt that the provision within the Bill will improve outcomes for those children – keep them safer, improve their life opportunities and, importantly, a new permanent family with the comfort of knowing that everything possible that can be done will be done to make it work. It will also give adoptive parents the confidence that their commitment will be matched by a commitment to properly support them. The Bill will also deliver some of the key commitments in the Strategy for Looked After Children, aimed at providing earlier permanence and stability for children and young people in care.
“Now more than ever, we need prospective adopters to offer a safe, stable and caring home for children who cannot live with their family. Adoptive parents have the ability to transform the life of a child or young person. It is also important to acknowledge the vital role that foster carers play in providing vulnerable children and young people with a positive experience of family life. I encourage anyone who thinks they could offer a child a loving home through fostering or adoption to take that step and find out the difference they can make.”
Adoption UK is a leading charity providing support and advocacy for adopters. NI Director of Adoption UK EJ Havlin added: “We are delighted to celebrate NI Adoption Week and highlight the adoption community across Northern Ireland.
“We have a strong, vibrant local adoption community with some children who are adopted as siblings groups. To support all local adoptive families, Adoption UK provides peer support to fellow adopters, organises family events, specialist training opportunities, and advocacy services.
“Adoption can change lives and we want to encourage anyone considering offering a child a safe and loving home to come forward.”
If you would like to find out more about becoming an adoptive parent HSC NI Adoption are hosting three afternoon virtual adoption information sessions on 19, 22 and 25 October. To register for one of these events Call 0800 0720 137 or email contact details to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit adoptionandfostercare.hscni.net. Follow HSC NI Adoption on Facebook and Twitter.