THERE has been an almost 10 per cent drop in the number of people coming forward to adopt children in the region amid rising numbers of youngsters in a need of a home.

Vicky Davidson Boyd, service manager for Adoption Tees Valley said she wants to turn the situation around to improve the outlook for the 30 children in the area currently waiting to be adopted.

She said: “It isn’t important how big your house is, if you own or rent, if you’re single or married, what your sexual orientation is, what religion you follow, or what job you have.

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“If you’re over 21, can offer a loving home, and will be open to us helping you learn about the needs of an adopted child, you may make an ideal parent for a child.”

During the pandemic, between April 2020 and March this year, 99 children in Darlington and Teesside were given an adoption plan by one of the five local authorities in the Tees Valley – a rise of 3.5 per cent.

During that period, there was a nine per cent drop in the number of adopters coming forward.

There have been 300 legal adoptions in the North East during the last year.

Ms Davidson Boyd said: “We believe the pandemic has had an impact on both increased numbers of children requiring a permanent loving family through adoption, and fewer adopters coming forward, and we want to turn that around.

“We know there are many couples, families and single adults out there who can offer wonderful homes to children, but who perhaps feel daunted by the process or feel they would be unsuitable. We are appealing to them to pick up the phone and talk to us.”

Today marks the start of National Adoption Week, which is focusing on modern adoption, by raising awareness and generating a better understanding of the different experiences in the adoption process, as well as breaking down the myths around who can adopt.

Adoption Tees Valley currently has 30 children awaiting adoption. Of those, around half are in sibling groups, waiting to be adopted alongside their brothers and sisters – typically waiting far longer than single children.

There are also a number of children aged four to six, youngsters who may have some developmental uncertainty, and children with dual heritage.

“We want to break the myths around adoption, especially around the perceived need for adopters to be in well-paid jobs or owning their own homes,” said Ms Davidson Boyd.

“Children need love, care, stability and understanding. Many children in our care have been through difficult times, have experienced uncertainty, and moves within the care system.

“They require, more than anything, the stability of a loving home, where they feel cared for and valued. Time and attention are everything – the material things don’t matter.”

She added: “Parenting always brings demands and challenges and adoption is no different, but our adopters say the rewards are life-changing and life-affirming.

“It can be tricky at times, but our social workers are amazing and support families every step of the way. We are encouraging people to get in touch with us to find out more.”

Adopters must be over 21, and couples must have been together for more than a year when they start the process. People with or without their own children are also welcomed as adopted children can benefit hugely from joining families where there are already other children.

For information email or call 01642 526400. Regular information events are held, which can be booked via the website, and they welcome adopters within a 50-mile radius of Teesside.

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