A Nottingham mum who adopted two children has urged others to offer a stable home to youngsters as the festive season approaches.
Latest Government figures reveal a huge decrease in children being adopted.
The average duration of final period of care – when children are adopted in to families – has decreased from two years four months in 2014, to two years in 2017 and to one year 11 months in 2018 with many youngsters then being returned to the care system, according to National Government statistics.
Lisa France, of Wollaton, was one of thousands of people who decided to adopt a child. She was unable to have children so decided to visit her nearest care home alongside her husband Richard.
Lisa said: “I did my research online about the different options available to me.
“I contacted the care home about adopting a really young girl and I arranged an appointment to go and see them.”
Lisa said it broke her heart to see so many children in need of a loving home.
She was excited to finally take home a little girl and added: “I was looking for a girl about two to three years old, but when I saw a baby a couple months old, I fell in love with her.”
Holly, 21, and Millie, 18, were both adopted by Lisa and Richard. Holly was the baby Lisa found at the care home and Millie came along a few years later.
Holly’s biological parents were unable to look after her and had given her up for adoption.
Holly said: “I wished I had a chance to get to know my biological parents, but the only things I have to remember them by are some old photos of them holding me as a kid and a necklace my mum used to wear.
“I found out I have an older sister and have been sending her letter until I can meet her when I turned 18. My sister is married and has two kids, I remember that day specifically because it was the day I gained new family and became an aunt.”
Holly added: “I’m extremely blessed to have the family I have now. I’m happy I was able to grow up with them and I wasn’t moved from place to place. I have two amazing parents and a great younger sister.”
Less adoptions are now taking place due to two factors. The first stage is the time it takes to make a decision about a child for adoption. The entry to care has fallen from nine months in 2014 to six months in 2018. The second stage is the time between the decision to placing for adoption. The time of matching the child and adopters has fallen from nine months in 2014 to seven months in 2018.
Children are often taken away from their homes for a range of different reasons and placed in care homes or with other family members. Thousands end up in care homes and away from their families.
Holly said she hoped other children would have the chance to grow up in a stable environment and added families adopting a child can cause adopted children to feel a sense of protection, worth and love.
By Ishrat Hussain