Interest in adoptions in Bradford doubles in a year

Wharfedale Observer: Nic Haughton, manager of the Yorkshire and Humber Adoption Consortium. Nic Haughton, manager of the Yorkshire and Humber Adoption Consortium.

THE number of people enquiring about adoption in the district has almost doubled in a year.

The Yorkshire and Humber Adoption Consortium took 108 calls from the Bradford area between February and May in 2014, compared to 57 in the same three-month period last year.

Consortium manager Nic Haughton said the 90 per cent increase was "tremendous".

The organisation is currently running a campaign called Being Family - which involves 15 local authorities and two voluntary adoption agencies - to encourage people to adopt and bust myths about why they may be unsuitable.

He said there could be various reasons for the increase, including the campaign.

"It's one of these situations where there's been a really excellent partnership between what Bradford itself has been doing, the region as a whole and a two TV programmes on national television - both of which had a big impact on making people think," Mr Haughton said.

Being Family hopes that Father's Day will encourage even more people to think about becoming parents.

"Come on potential dads. I'm just doing a blog around Father's Day and the role of men in caring for their children. I'd use Father's Day as an opportunity to think about whether you might be a potential father," Mr Haughton said.

"We're certainly getting more interest from men. There's a lot of interest from all sections of the community, but there has been an increase in men - both same sex couples and single men."

Around 850 children in the county are waiting for a new home and there is an urgent need to find more adoptive families - especially people willing to look after older children, siblings and those with medical needs.

In Bradford, around 65 children are currently waiting to be adopted. In 2013, 77 children from the district were matched with adopters, up from 63 the previous year and 54 in 2011.

Nationally, the Department of Education says there are approximately 6,600 children awaiting adoption and only 1,800 approved adopters.

Mr Haughton said people were less likely to adopt children over four, groups of brothers and sisters or take on medical issues.

"I'm hoping we can encourage people to get an idea of the enormous fulfilment that so many people who've adopted these groups of children experience. I'm not saying that it's the easiest task at all, but if you look at these stories, they're massively fulfilling and I'm hoping people will see beyond that initial reaction," Mr Haughton said.

Being Family has now been recognised at a national level as Mr Haughton has been invited to join the Government's Adoption Support Fund Expert Advisory Group which will oversee the development of a £19.3 million Adoption Support Fund to help adoptive families.

* Anyone considering adopting can visit beingfamily.co.uk or call 0300 222 5934.

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