More than half (55 per cent or over 2 million people) in England who say they are ‘certain’ or ‘very likely’ to adopt a child describe themselves as ‘actively practising a religion’, according to research carried out on behalf of the Department for Education and published by national adoption information service First4Adoption.
There are more than 4,600 children in England currently waiting to be adopted and although the rate of adoptions has risen 15 per cent recently, many more adopters are needed.
However, many religious people don’t come forward to adopt because of myths about who can adopt, claim First4Adoption and Home for Good
– a church-based campaign to promote adoption and fostering, spearheaded by Care for the Family, CCPAS (The Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service) and the Evangelical Alliance.
The new research has been published to mark the launch of a dedicated adoption information line for faith communities on 0300 222 5950 by First4Adoption and Home for Good, to coincide with the first ever National Adoption Sunday held in UK churches last weekend.
The research shows that actively-religious people who are very likely to adopt are aware of the emotional benefits that adoption brings to a child in need and that by adopting they are giving something back to the community.
However, First4Adoption and Home for Good are concerned that many religiously-active people are held back from adopting because they mistakenly believe that they are not able to adopt.
As well as many believing the common adoption myths about not being able to adopt if you are over 40, single/unmarried, or already have children, actively-religious people also often wrongly believe that their faith will prevent them being approved to adopt say the two organisations.
Now, First4Adoption and Home for Good have joined forces to encourage more people from faith communities to consider adopting. First4Adoption, on behalf of Home for Good, will provide a dedicated telephone information service for people from all faith communities to speak to friendly advisors who can give them all the information they need about adopting.
Gemma Gordon-Johnson, Head of Service at First4Adoption, said she was delighted to be working with Home for Good, adding, 'I urge people from all faith communities to consider whether they could offer a loving home to the many children who need one and to give our friendly advisors a call on 0300 222 5950 to find out more.'
Adoptive parent and foster carer Dr Krish Kandiah, a Director at the Evangelical Alliance and one of the leaders of the Home for Good campaign, commented, 'We are very pleased to be working with First4Adoption, as it will provide those considering adoption with easy access to essential information.
'Through our network of 15,000 churches we can offer a fantastic route for finding and supporting adoptive parents. Working with First4Adoption builds on the work we are already doing with adoption agencies to encourage more people to consider adopting one of the many children who need a loving family.'
Other interesting research highlights from this group of actively-religious people who are ‘certain’ or ‘very likely’ to adopt are:
· the majority are men (52 per cent)
· one-third (33 per cent) are aged 35-54 years, including one in ten (12 per cent) aged 45-54 years
· around two-thirds are married/in a civil partnership (61 per cent) but 34 per cent are single.
If you have a question about whether you can apply to adopt, or if you want to know where to begin the adoption process, call the dedicated First4Adoption/Home for Good info line on 0300 222 5950
or visit www.first4Adoption.org.uk