The West Midlands needs more black adopters: here are seven truths to help you understand the adoption process

Black family Published: 2nd Sep 2021

We’re working with adoption agencies across the West Midlands to encourage people from black communities to step forward if they’re considering adoption.

There are children all over the West Midlands who are looking for loving homes and parents. For black children, who are overrepresented in the care system across England, making up 8% of those waiting to find permanent homes and waiting longer than their white counterparts, this is even more true.

Theresa Kane, Head of Service for adoption at Birmingham’s Children’s Trust says, “Birmingham is one of the most diverse cities. At Birmingham Children’s Trust we have a diverse workforce that reflects the communities we live and work in. Together, we have developed a depth of understanding and sensitivity of different ethnic and cultural needs. Our experience tells us that listening to your views is key to forming a good relationship that will continue throughout your lifelong adoption journey.”

“Our experience tells us that listening to your views is key to forming a good relationship that will continue throughout your lifelong adoption journey.”

Working together

Birmingham Childrens Trust have black children that we are caring for who need safe and loving families in Birmingham and across the West Midlands. We are reaching out to black communities and have joined the #YouCanAdopt campaign designed to support members of black communities to consider adoption so that children of black Caribbean, black African and of mixed black ethnicity can be placed with families who can support their identity.

One of the reasons there is a lack of black adopters, which contributes to the high numbers of black children remaining in care, is because of commonly held misconceptions about who can adopt.

Theresa says, “There are a number of misconceptions around who can adopt. The truth is, if you want to adopt and you can offer a child a safe and loving home, the chances are you can, and we want to hear from you.”  

Seven truths about adoption

1. You can adopt if you’re single or are in a relationship but unmarried

Single people of whatever gender and those in relationships who are not married are both eligible for adoption. Lots of single people and unmarried couples around the country have become adopters and provided children with stable, loving and secure homes. You can also adopt if you’re in a civil partnership or divorced.

2. You can adopt if you’re LGBTQ+

You can adopt if you're LGBTQ+. Birmingham Children's Trust is an inclusive adoption agency and we have a long history of working with LGBTQ+ members of our community. One in four of our adopters identified as LGBT last year. 

3. You can adopt if you’re older

You might be surprised to know that the opposite is true. You can be too young to adopt (adopters must be aged 21 at least) but there is no upper age limit.

Adoption agencies will assess whether you are well enough to parent and care for a child until they reach independence, but your age alone is no reason to rule out adoption.

4. You can adopt if you work full time or are unemployed

While the adoption process does involve an evaluation of your financial circumstances and employment status, unemployment, a low salary or full-time work does not mean that you’ll be immediately excluded. You can even adopt if you’re in receipt of benefits.

5. You can adopt if you don’t own your own home

You don’t need to be a homeowner to become an approved adopter. Although adoption agencies will require you to provide evidence that you have stable living arrangements, this does not exclude those who are renting.

Some adoption agencies may want you to have a spare bedroom for an adopted child, but this is not always required so speak to agencies before you jump to the conclusion that you can’t adopt.

6. You can adopt if you already have children living at home

If you already have your own children, no matter their age and if they’re living at home or not, you can still adopt. Adoption agencies will require DBS checks to be carried out for children living at home aged 18 or over as is the case for other adults in your household.

7. You can get support through the adoption process – and even after you become a parent

There is lots of support available to help you navigate the adoption process. Becoming an approved adopter is now simpler and quicker than before, typically taking around six months.

At Birmingham Children’s Trust we’ll support you through your adoption process and every step of the way. We offer extensive training to help you get ready to parent an adopted child and life long support. This means that if you, or your child need some support in the future we’re still be here for you.  Find out more about our training and support

Find out more

You can find out more about adopting with Birmingham Children’s Trust on our website or join one of our information events.

Contact us

We would love to hear from you if you are thinking about adoption.

Phone us: 0121 303 7575

Monday to Wednesday - 8:45am to 5:15pm
Thursday - 8:45am to 8:00pm
Friday - 8:45am to 4:15pm

To find out more about the #YouCanAdopt campaign visit www.youcanadopt.co.uk/blackadopters