AN appeal for more people interested in adopting a child has been made by Darlington Borough Council - rated one of the best in the country for its adoption services.

The authority was recently recognised by the Government for its fast work in finding families for looked after children.

Research by the Department of Education found 80 per cent of children in care in the borough waited less than 20 months to move in with their adoptive families – a figure which stands 25 per cent above the national average and best in the North-East and Cumbria.

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Hilary Tillotson, manager for the Family Placement Service, has now urged anyone previously put off adopting by the thought of lengthy waiting lists to reconsider.

“People can be put off adopting because they think it takes years to be approved, this is by no means the case and we would urge anybody thinking of adopting to get in touch," she said.

“We work hard to place children with adoptive families as quickly as possible as it benefits both the child and their new family."

Rebecca Samuels waited less than a year to adopt two children with the help of the authority.

She said: “This accolade is really well deserved. You hear negative press about how long adoption takes and how intrusive the process is but I found it very straight forward, easy and speedy.

“I made my first phone call in April 2010 and my children were with me by April 2011.

“It is important to the children as they have to wait a long time for their future to be determined and it is really helpful to have really quick way forward as once their future is known they can move on.”

Cyndi Hughes, cabinet member for Children and Young People, added: “It’s important to remember that behind every statistic is a success story of a child in need of a loving home and an adoptive family offering the stability and nurture that they need.

“These figures show that Darlington children in need of adoption can be confident of finding a new family as quickly as possible.”

Adoption drop-in evenings are held on the first Monday of every month in Darlington Town Hall from 6pm until 8pm.

Anyone interested in adopting can also call 01325 388077 or email