Government reforms to adoption have been welcomed by the politician responsible for children’s welfare at Bucks County Council.
This week the government announced that prospective adopters can click onto new maps to see who could help them find a child to adopt.
It will allow them to check online which agencies can best help them to adopt a child, instead of being limited to their local areas.
Whitehall is also giving councils £50 million as they prepare to implement reforms and work with voluntary adoption agencies and each other to recruit more adopters for the 6,000 children waiting for a loving home nationwide.
Angela Macpherson, cabinet member for children services, welcomed the changes, saying: “Our aim for all children is to give them the best possible life chances, which means offering the opportunity to adopt to the widest possible range of people.
“Adoption is life changing for adoptive parents and children, creating a family for a child who needs love and stability to achieve their potential.
“Where adoption is in a child’s best interests we want to make sure that they can be matched with a family as soon as possible. At the moment some children have to wait too long and we urgently need more people to come forward so that they can make sure these children can have the family life they deserve.”
With more than 60 children in Buckinghamshire waiting to find permanent homes, potential parents are being encouraged to come forward to provide a family and stability for what are some of the county’s most vulnerable children.
In the last year, the council has seen an increase in both the numbers of children approved for adoption and the number of approved adopters, but with an average of 11 children coming into its care every month, the council still needs to recruit more new adopters for the many children currently waiting for families.
Bucks residents Sharon and Richard struggled for years with fertility treatment and so looked to adopt.
Sharon said: “As with many adopters, adoption was the next natural step for us to consider after years of fertility treatment.
“We realised that we both felt the same – something was missing from our lives and that something was a child.
“It was a long and arduous journey and there were many times when we wondered why we were putting ourselves through it but in the back of our minds we kept thinking ‘stick with it – it’ll be worth it in the end’. And it was.
“Meeting our little boy, who was then two-and-a-half years old, for the first time was amazing!
“He called us Mummy and Daddy from the outset and despite introductions being extended, he settled from the minute we brought him home.
“The first night was a very surreal experience – we sat on the sofa looking up at the ceiling saying wow – this is it – we’re finally parents!”
Buckinghamshire County Council says it is keen to hear from married couples, single people, unmarried couples and same sex couples who want to adopt.
Adopters must be over 21 and many people successfully adopt into their 40s and early 50s.
Childless couples and those with children, including those with older children, are welcome to apply.
Anyone interested in adopting a child, should call the First Step Team on 0800 160 1900 email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/adoption