Opinion: In my view - Children who need a family

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During National Adoption Week, we launched NCH Black Families, an innovative adoption service set up to find safe and loving homes for children from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities across the UK.

We developed the service after NCH research carried out in 2003 foundthat for every prospective black or mixed-heritage adoptive home, thereare three children hoping to be chosen. To fill this gap we developed aservice whose main aim was to recruit adopters from BME communities byaddressing barriers such as language and ensuring that service staffreflect a diverse cultural range, so that potential adopters know theirheritage and background will be understood.

It is harder to recruit adopters from BME communities, partly becausethey think they aren't eligible to adopt and partly due to thereluctance of BME adults to approach social services departments. At NCHBlack Families we actively engage with all communities to overcome theseissues and encourage more people to adopt.

Our pilot project in London has been a great success, placing more than50 children with safe and loving families since we were established in2003. By expanding the service to the Midlands and the north of Englandwe hope to be able to provide stable homes for more children of BMEheritage across the country. But to help us do this we urgently needmore people to come forward and consider adopting.

Unfortunately, a lot of myths surround adoption, and people wronglythink they aren't eligible to adopt. For example, in a survey we carriedout recently, we found that people think that unmarried couples can'tadopt, or that if you have a disability or if you are single you can'tadopt. But in fact, none of these are true!

That is why we are urging people from BME communities to come forward tofind out more about adopting, by calling NCH Black Families on 0845 6033398.

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