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Mystery child to be placed for adoption after parents disappear

The identity of the girl is unknown Credit: ITV Meridian

A little girl whose identity is unknown and whose parents cannot be found should be placed for adoption according to a High Court judge.

The youngster was taken into care earlier this year after social services staff at West Sussex County Council became concerned as a result of a call from a member of the public. Council staff and police launched investigations - and made a public appeal -in a bid to trace the little girl's parents but without success.

Mr Justice Hayden, who has analysed the little girl's case concluded that the authorities have all decided that she should be placed for adoption. The judge said all "realistic avenues" had been pursued - although he urged anyone with information to come forward.

He said council staff had named the little girl Jade - and a paediatrician thought that she was about two.

Police said the youngster had been found in Crawley in March.

"We really need to find out who this little girl's parents are. She may have connections to Crawley and West Sussex as well as Tooting or south London more generally. We ask that anyone who may know anything about her speaks to us.

"We are appealing in particular to those in the local Crawley and West Sussex area, the wider Ugandan community, or anyone who knows of a woman who has been caring for a young girl meeting the description until recently."

– Detective Sergeant Alexis Witek


Charity calls for more children to be adopted by same-sex couples

Adoption charity PACT is calling for more prospective parents to come forward during this 'LGBT adoption and fostering week'.

Last year, one in 12 of those children adopted in England were given homes by same-sex couples, and the children themselves are often those most in need.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to adoptive parent Jacek Kacprzak and sons Adam and Brandon. We also hear from former Kent Magistrate Richard Page speaking to the BBC, and PACT's Jean Smith.

Adoption appeal for 22 children who need new homes

Twenty-two children in Southampton are in need of adoptive families to take care of them. The city council says it is looking for stable, nurturing and caring homes to house the youngsters.

Staff from the children's services department are particularly keen to hear from adopters living within a 40-mile radius of the city, who could provide a home for older children, siblings and children with special needs.

Southampton City Council is looking for adopters who can provide new homes for children

The local authority is holding an information evening at 6pm- 8pm on Tuesday 10th February at the Civic Centre in Southampton, SO14 7LY.

An adoption information evening is being held at the civic centre in Southampton

"We urgently need new adopters to come forward from Southampton and the surrounding area. To me adopters are real heroes who take on a huge but ultimately challenging and rewarding responsibility. We know that children have a significantly better chance in life if they are able to live in a safe and stable family environment and this is why it is so important that we continue to recruit more adopters.

We treat all enquiries fairly, provide full training and offer on-going support. Adopters can come from a variety of backgrounds or domestic circumstances from young couples and experienced parents to single people and same sex couples. So if you are considering adoption I would urge you to get in contact and come along to our event on 10 February."

– Councillor Mark Chaloner, Cabinet Member for Safeguarding, SOuthampton City Council

Dorset adoption service stars in ITV documentary

Bournemouth Council's adoption service will take centre stage as they are featured in a new ITV series tonight.

The four part documentary called 'Wanted: A Family of My Own' will be shown on ITV on Thursdays at 9pm.

The series will record the journeys of those wanting to adopt children as well as children who cannot live with their birth families.

The first programme follows Dan and Ania's story who approached Bournemouth adoption service about their wish to adopt a child.

The programme follows their journey including through their assessment by a social worker, through to her efforts in finding the right child to adopt.

Later, the programme follows Bournemouth adoption social worker Jess and her efforts to find a family for a child with multiple health needs.

It has been an interesting time for our award winning adoption service as they have risen to the challenge of carrying on with their service whilst playing host to camera teams visiting and recording their everyday work. We have been delighted at the sensitivity of the production company and also impressed with their knowledge and understanding of the adoption process. This has been key to the successful making of this programme and the result is a very sensitive and at times emotional portrayal of the work of our Children’s Social Care service and how it changes lives.”

– Kim Drake, Service Director for Children’s Social Care

West Sussex holds adoption open evening

West Sussex County Council's adoption service is holding a special open evening in Billingshurst.

The evening will give people a chance to think more about adoption and find out more about what it involves.

The event will take place on Tuesday 12th November from 7pm to 9pm at Billingshurst Community Conference Centre.

The aim is to give people a chance to meet the adoption team and learn what it takes to become an adoptive parent and offer a child a permanent home.

It is part of National Adoption Week which is organised by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering.

Choosing to adopt a child and offer them a permanent home is a wonderful thing, but it is also a life-changing decision.I would encourage anyone who is considering adoption to come along to the open evening to find out more about the process and what’s involved. Adoption is open to more people than you might think and parents can come from all walks of life, regardless of their marital status, sexuality, or cultural background.”

– Peter Evans, Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life


New adoption rules: three children or nothing

A council in the South is telling prospective adoptive parents they must be willing to take on three children. The local authority has closed its waiting list to those only willing to adopt one or two children who need a new home.

Officials say the only other circumstance in which they'll consider new applicants is if they can prove they can offer a home to a child with complex special needs. Our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford reports.