We are currently in National Adoption Week. This week is seeing events held by charities and local councils all over the country in support of adoption, and it aims to provide information and encouragement to people who are considering opening their home to a child without a family. Since its first year in 1997, the scheme has gone from strength to strength, and is now reaching more people than ever.
I am a firm believer in the value of family: it can provide the love, support, safety, and companionship that children – and adults, for that matter – need to thrive. Sadly, for various reasons, many children are unable to get this. Adopting a child means becoming their family, and this can be one of the greatest gifts that can be given to a child who has had a tough start in life. The enormous importance of this is accepted right across the political spectrum, as can be seen with the Children and Families Act 2014 which helps get children out of care and into families, and was passed with huge support from all parties. Unfortunately, not enough people are choosing to adopt, and this is especially hard on the groups of children who often wait the longest for adoption – sibling groups, children with disabilities, children over 5, and children from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Adoption can be very rewarding, and make the huge positive difference to the life of a child. I support National Adoption Week, and urge everyone interested to find more information on the County Council website (http://tinyurl.com/HertsAdoption), or by going to the National Adoption Week website (http://www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk).