Adopting a child can be a very rewarding experience.
But the difficulties of the adoption process and the length of time it can take are often seen as barriers.
One North East council is now showing the way in speeding up the whole process, as Derek Proud reports
Darlington has come out as one of the top councils in the country for adoption.
A government study shows that over the past three years, 80% of children who entered care in the town waited less than 20 months before moving in with their adoptive family.
The government wants to speed up adoptions to help the hundreds of children in the North East waiting for families.
David Oliver and his partner adopted three little boys six years ago, when they were 2, 3 and 4 years old. He says the process was difficult, but new measures should help,
A new government map showing the number of children waiting to be adopted shows Cumbria and Durham have the longest lists in our region. Each has 48 children approved for adoption but waiting for families. To see the full map click here.
A new telephone hotline has been set up to give advice about the routes to adoption and the support available. It will be staffed by people who have already adopted children.
It is 0300 222 0022.