Adoption Now launches campaign encouraging black adults in the North West to adopt
Video report by ITV Granada Reports Correspondent and Presenter Elaine Willcox
An adoption agency in the North West have relaunched their campaign to get more black adults in the region to adopt.
Adopt Now created the 'You Can Adopt' campaign to raise awareness around the need to get more black adopters to come forward.
It comes after latest figures revealed black children are waiting longer to be adopted than their white counterparts.
Heather and her partner Emma are a Black Caribbean British same-sex couple who adopted two brothers in 2018.
Heather recalls the first time the couple met their two sons.
Heather said: "Years ago there was a cultural thing of 'oh no, there's no way I'm adopting' but I say go for it!
"There's no prejudice, I've had nothing but support from my family and the Black community.
"It has been absolutely fantastic and I think we've got to get passed things that have happened in the past and we've got to move forward. If that's what you want you've got to do it for yourself."
Adoption Now say 20% of all children they place (170 a year) are from BAME backgrounds and a proportion of those are from African heritage. Children from BAME backgrounds have historically waited longer for families nationally.
On average, black and mixed heritage children wait 21 - 28 months before finding loving homes. This can be up to 10 months longer than their white counterparts.
#YouCanAdopt campaign aims to address this issue by removing misconceptions and barriers that might be preventing black people from adopting and help them realise you can adopt, for example:
If you are single or in a relationship but unmarried
If you are over 45 (there is no upper age limit)
If you work full-time/are unemployed
Although it is no compulsory for children to be matched with adoptive parents who share the same ethnicity, many adoptive parents tend to seek children who share a similar history and heritage.
Because of this, a low number of black adopters is one reason more black children remain in the social care system.
Adoption Now's Head of Service Karen said: "We have children from a variety of different backgrounds waiting for adoption so we need families from all walks of life to come forward and provide loving and safe homes.
"If you're considering adoption chances are you can, so don't talk yourself out of it, instead talk to our friendly and professional social workers who are ready and waiting for hear from you."
Heather's message to anyone considering adopting.
Oldham Councillor and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Eddie Moores is urging people to consider adoption.
He said: "Every young person in Oldham deserves a loving home and a supportive family around them as they grow up."
"That's why I strongly urge all families across our borough to really think about adoption because it really does make a difference to the lives of young people."