During LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week (5 to 11 March), North Lincolnshire Council is helping to raise awareness for the need for more foster carers and adoptive parents in North Lincolnshire.
Are you lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and considering fostering or adoption? North Lincolnshire Fostering and Adoption service wants to hear from you.
The service welcomes interest from people who have different experiences and backgrounds, and different things to offer.
They are holding a phone-in event on Thursday March 8 from 1pm to 7pm for anyone interested in fostering or adoption. Call the team on 01724 297024. You’ll be able to speak to them confidentially and ask any questions you have.
The phone-in is an opportunity for anyone who has ever considered fostering or adoption to find out more details. By calling, you are not committing to anything. You can simply find out if fostering or adoption is the right path for you.
There are many myths about fostering and adoption around who can and can’t foster. As part of LGBT Fostering and Adoption Week, the sevice is taking the opportunity to dispel these myths and spread the word that all sorts of people can adopt or foster.
In the latest Ofsted report on North Lincolnshire Council’s Children’s Services, the Adoption and Fostering Team was rated ‘outstanding’ for the services they provide.
Councillor David Rose, cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: “Our message is clear for all potential adoptive parents and foster carers, we need more foster carers and adopters now.
“We want to raise awareness that we welcome interest from anyone who is interested in fostering or adopting. There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ adopter or foster carer. All we ask is that you can offer time, commitment, patience and a loving and stable home – with some resilience along the way.
“Making the decision to adopt or foster is one of the biggest steps that anyone can take but it is also one of the most rewarding.
“It would be fantastic to hear from prospective LGBT adoptive parents and foster carers. If you have ever thought about adopting or fostering, get in touch to find out more details.”
All sorts of children need all sorts of families. NLC is not just looking for adopters and foster carers during LGBT week but would love to hear from anyone interested in fostering or adopting at any time.
You don’t have to live in North Lincolnshire to contact them. Or, you may not be thinking about fostering or adopting yourself but you may know someone who is interested. If you do, ‘spread the word’ that North Lincolnshire needs adopters and foster carers now.
Details about fostering and adopting in North Lincolnshire can be found at www.northlincs.gov.uk/fostering or www.northlincs.gov.uk/adoption.
Jade and Sam’s fostering story
Jade, 32, and Sam, 30, a same sex couple from North Lincolnshire started to foster two and half years ago.
Jade said: “My mum is a foster carer and it inspired me to do the same so we contacted the North Lincolnshire Fostering and Adoption Service. They were really supportive and welcomed our interest. We haven’t looked back since then.
“We have fostered seven children mainly on short term placements. We’ve always cared for older children and in doing so, have found something we have a real passion for and now wouldn’t want to look after a different age range. Fostering teenagers is really rewarding. When they make the smallest of achievements, it’s fantastic. The smallest of changes to these young people makes such a big difference.
“Fostering isn’t for everyone, but for the right person, the rewards are huge. It’s a challenge on a daily basis, it makes you reflect on your life and no day is the same but we wouldn’t change anything about being foster carers.
“For anyone considering becoming a foster carer, I’d say you need patience and complete acceptance because you can’t change these children and young people. They are who they are and you have to accept them for that.”
Diana and Elouise’s adoption story
Diana and Elouise a same sex couple from the local area decided to adopt last year (2017).
They said: “We’ve been together for 12 years and have been discussing starting a family for the last nine years or so. We kept making excuses and putting it off; the house was too small, we were focused on our careers, how would we afford it and would we have the support of our family and friends. Over the years we became financially stable, bought a larger house and had friends and family who were prodding us to adopt.
“Two years ago we decided that we were going to get married. As the planning commenced and it became clear we were going to be having this huge child friendly wedding, Diana commented about it being a shame we wouldn’t have our own children there.
“We knew there were a lot of children out there needing the security and opportunities we could provide, so adoption became the obvious pathway to us.
“In January 2017 we attended an information session at North Lincolnshire Council and had a chat with a social worker who later became our social worker. We officially began the adoption process in February 2017.
“We saw our social worker more often that we did our families. At times the process was very intense but out social worker always made us feel at ease even with the most sensitive or emotional topics.
“We attended the adoption approval panel in August 2017 and received the final approval as adoptive parents three weeks later. Throughout the whole process we have been treated like any other couple. We didn’t think our sexuality was made a deal about at all. The only time it came into things was when we were questioned about how we would deal with other people’s opinions.
“We were always interested in older children and sibling groups as these were the most in need and we were aware early on that the older the child, the less likely they will find a forever home as most people we met wanted babies.
“In December 2017, we were linked with a sibling group. We’ve since had a lot of information about the children, lots of meetings with social workers and foster carers and a few informal ‘bump into’ meetings with the children. The children will soon be living with us. It is all very exciting and there is lots to prepare.
“Since being approved we have been invited to several training events and have attended a day on sibling groups.
“Although we are expecting the next year to be very challenging, we are looking forward to legitimate reasons to buy Lego, having lots of imaginary cups of tea and family days out. We’re also over the moon that the children will play a role in our wedding.
“North Lincolnshire Adoption service need more adopters now. There may be something you think will hold you back but if you are not sure then give North Lincolnshire Adoption a ring or go along to one of their information events.”