North Yorkshire County Council is supporting the national Big Adoption Day campaign on 29 March – and is asking anyone interested in adopting to get in touch. The Adoption North Yorkshire team needs more people to give homes to its most vulnerable children.

County Councillor Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “Many of our children who need adoptive families are older. Alternatively, they may be part of sibling groups of two or more. Some children may also have additional needs and be delayed in aspects of their development. These children wait the longest to be adopted.

“We know that some people are deterred from applying to adopt because they have misconceptions about the eligibility criteria, but they really shouldn’t be. You don’t have to be a particular type of person, or in a particular kind of relationship to adopt local children though the County Council.”

Judith Hay, Assistant Director for Children and Families, is keen to reassure anyone thinking of Adoption that support is provided throughout the process.

“Your social worker will be the first point of contact and the person who will be with you throughout the journey supported by a team of staff – our expertise in this field has earned us a ‘good with outstanding features’ report from Ofsted,” she said.

Adoption North Yorkshire is looking for people like Rachel and Simon, who adopted their son Jack a short time after being approved as adopters.

“Bringing Jack home was a very emotional experience, just as we knew it would be but nothing can fully prepare you for that. He settled in with no problems at all. We were very lucky – he fits in so well with the whole family and they love him to bits.”

The team is also keen to talk to anyone interested in adopting a very young child through the County Council’s Early Permanence Scheme, where people first foster a baby and then go on to adopt them later if this is what  the court decides.

Mark and Paul adopted a young baby through Adoption North Yorkshire.

Mark said: “Our social worker worked really hard to understand our needs. We’d heard stories about probing questions of adoption social workers, but we were never made to feel uncomfortable or exposed. We’d also heard that the process can feel rushed – again, we didn’t experience this. We were made to feel in control of the process; again, this made us feel really well supported.

“The team have helped us to explore the benefits of this approach for the child, and the risks to us as parents. We’ve always been made to feel valued and important by Adoption North Yorkshire never ‘just a number’.”

Cllr Sanderson added: “Our first responsibility is to ensure the welfare of the children in North Yorkshire who have had a very unsettled start to life, and are waiting for adoptive families.”

If you think adoption might be for you, go along to one of Adoption North Yorkshire’s information events to find out more in a relaxed, informal way. Ring 01609 534032 to book a place, or go to www.northyorks.gov.uk/adoption