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May 03, 2021
At just after 8.15 this morning, our adopter Owen and our senior social worker Sue spoke to Andy about the current national #YouCanAdopt campaign, which is focusing on the need to keep brothers and sisters together when they’re adopted. The full recording of Andy’s show is available here on the BBC 3 Counties Radio website – skip through to 2hrs 17mins 30secs to hear Owen and Sue in action.
SFCS is proud to be taking part in the national campaign, which is being presented by a coalition of National, Regional and Voluntary adoption agencies across the country, supported by the Department for Education (DfE).
Latest figures show there are currently 2,030 children waiting to be adopted in England. Of those, approximately 44% are in family groups of two or more.1 Groups of children wait an average of 17 months to be adopted, which is 36% longer (135 days) than individual children. More than half of these children (56%) wait more than 18 months for their new family.2
Owen and his wife Abi adopted three sisters with SFCS in July 2019. The youngest two are twins who are now aged four, and the eldest is now aged 5. The formal adoption order was granted just one week before the country went into its first lockdown in March last year. Andy and Owen discussed the difficulties of adopting during the pandemic, before Owen was asked what he’d say to anyone considering adoption.
Owen said: “The love that we receive from the children and the love that we can give them is something you can’t put into words. They truly have completed our family and, nearly two years down the line, they’re just our kids. The things they do inspire us to be better. It’s a wonderful thing – I’d recommend it.”
Sue is a Senior Social Worker at SFCS, and has extensive experience of adoption placements and adoption support. During the interview, Andy asked Sue why it’s so important to keep siblings together.
Sue responded: “These children have lost so much. They lose connection with their birth families and it can have an impact on their mental health, in the early days of being placed with new families, but also further down the line. [Being adopted with their siblings] is a way of remaining connected with their past.
“For those adopters who perhaps think, ‘Yes, we could cope with one child, then we’ll consider further down the line adopting another’… actually, this can carry challenges in itself, because you’re worried about whether the children are going to relate to each other, and if there could be further problems [between them]. But actually, when you adopt siblings, you know that there’s that bond together… and that’s quite a benefit.”
The full recording of Andy’s show is available here on the BBC 3 Counties Radio website – skip through to 2hrs 17mins 30secs to hear Owen and Sue in action.
A huge thank you to Sue and Owen for giving up their time on a Bank Holiday Monday.
1 Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board. Q2 2020 https://coram-i.org.uk/resource/local-level-asglb-data-q2-2020-21/
2 Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board. 2018-2020