Children’s charity relaunches adoption agency

Barnardo’s Scotland had stopped 15 years ago but rise in number of children requiring adoption led them to relaunch service.

A leading children’s charity has relaunched its adoption agency amid a rise in the number of children in need of a home.

Barnardo’s Scotland stopped the service 15 years ago when there was a focus on keeping children, where possible, with their own parents.

However following a number of high profile abuse cases there has been an increase in the number of children needing adoption.

The UN Convention states that every child has the right to live in a family environment. Yet the latest figures show many youngsters in Scotland are being denied that right because of a lack of adults willing to adopt.

In 2010 there were 16,000 children are living in care in this country. Just 218 were eventually adopted. A majority of the children involved were between the ages of 5 and 15.

A steady rise in the number of children seeking a permanent home has led Barnardos to relaunch the Adoption Agency it wound up in the 1990s.

Stephanie Stone from Barnardo’s Scotland said: “Up until a few years ago social workers worked very very hard to keep children at home wherever possible and they still do but they now have a much more realistic attitude about acknowledging that for some families they can’t care for their children safely at home.”

The change in attitude has arisen from a number of high profile abuse cases such as Baby P in England.

But as the number of children requiring adoption has risen, the number of families coming forward has remained unchanged. That is despite a relaxation in the laws allowing unmarried couples and same sex couples to apply.

Stephanie says an improvement in fertility treatments has also added to the problem as well as the seemingly lengthy application process.

Stephanie Stone added: “We would like to think that if someone came forward today within about 6 months they would be approved as adoptive parents, if they are suitable to adopt children and having heard about the children there are waiting to be adopted, decide to go forward.”

At the start of National Adoption Week it is hoped raising awareness can help ensure every child in Scotland gets their basic right to a home.