National Adoption Week encourages families to adopt children

Sunderland City Council are to hold an open evening for National Adoption Week at the Aquatic Centre on Wednesday October 19.

Winter Garden and Mowbray Park
Winter Garden and Mowbray Park

Sun FM reported that 63% of the people in the North East region have knowledge of adoption and fostering. National Adoption Week, brings together a large network of people who perhaps might be looking into Adoption options.

Councillor Louise Farthing said: “Adopting a child is a life-changing decision and we realise it is not one that people will make overnight and many people believe that they would be unsuitable for adoption.”

South Tyneside Council are holding events in this region from the 17 October to the 23rd October 2016. An open evening was held on Thursday 20th October on Barrington Street in South Shields.

Councillor and Lead Member for Children and Young Families, Joan Atkinson said: “Adoption is not without challenges but from speaking to people who have adopted children, I know the rewards are huge. I would encourage anyone who thinks that adoption might be for them to come along to the open evening and find out the facts.”

Adoption can be a very hard process. People in different situations respond in various ways. Some of the children are separated from the biological parents since birth. Some of these people are able to find their parents when they are older.

We spoke to a Sunderland University student from Cleadon Village in South Tyneside to hear about her experiences. Mandi Purvis said: “I was adopted in 1965 when I was three weeks old. My adoptive mother told me I was a ‘chosen baby’ which was what the welfare department coached adoptive parents to say. I used to think that my real mother had died until I was about fifteen years old.

“At this point, I understood more. I never felt rejected or abandoned although I was aware I was somehow different to all the other children. At 26 years old, having had my first child I decided to try and find my birth family. My adoptive mother told me that my mother had been a 14 year old girl from Blaydon in Gateshead who was brought to Sunderland to have her baby. After I was born she kept me at a Mother and Baby Home which was opposite Sunderland hospital. After three weeks I was taken from her against her will.

“My mother was sent back to school. I made contact with my birth family and it was good to know where my roots were but sadly after a couple of meetings we just drifted. This time I did feel rejected. I was brought up by my adoptive mum and dad but I just wanted to be accepted by my blood family. I never was. Today I often wonder who my father was. I know he was fifteen at that time. I don’t think I will ever find him. I have always felt lonely and lost throughout my life as if I was looking for a home. Maybe it’s a psychological throwback to being snatched away from my mother at just three weeks old. Who knows?”

Parents sometimes go through agencies and do thorough checks to find out whether these will be suitable. In some cases applications are made for the adoption process. But looking at adoption as a whole, children can sometimes encounter challenges while living with their adoptive parents. Parents and children come from all walks of life and it can sometimes take a long time for young children to be matched with suitable parents.

One parent, Helen has already contacted South Tyneside Council. She said: “Having researched the independent adoption agencies and local authorities, South Tyneside, in our opinion, stood out as one of the best. We felt we had nothing to lose so we filled in an online adoption enquiry form. We were contacted within 24 hours with a follow-up home visit in the same week.”

Helen added: “Adoption is a lifelong, life-changing commitment. There are huge challenges involved in becoming a parent to an adoptive child and there are huge rewards.”

Many people have various reasons for why they want to adopt. Some people spend a long time discussing before they start the adoption process. Many ‘would be’ parents are currently being encouraged to give these children a loving home.

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