A Wiltshire couple who adopted two children are encouraging other people to do the same and provide a loving family environment for young people in care across the county.
This week is National Adoption Week, and north Wiltshire couple Daryl and Hayley are hoping it will persuade other families to help the 13 children in the county currently seeking a new life.
The couple, whose name and address cannot be given for legal reasons, adopted a brother and sister two years ago and have never looked back.
Daryl, 41, said: “We thought about having children of our own, but there are children out there who need a new home, and we had the room and hopefully the ability to look after them.
“You need a mixture of compassion and patience. All children can wind you up a bit at times, but adopted children can have problems from their past.
“You have to put yourself in their shoes and think, ‘how would I feel if this was me?’ You have to be there for them.
“There is support from the council, and there are regular events where you can meet other parents, and your youngsters can meet others in similar situations. It is great to have that there.
“It took about nine months to sink in for everyone that our two were with us permanently, but the day our boy said to Hayley’s mum ‘we are here forever now’, that was a wonderful feeling.
“Their achievements, whatever they are, make you proud, ours are doing well at primary school. And you remember that you have given them opportunities they might not have had before.
“We think of them as our children and wouldn’t ever look back. I would recommend adoption to anyone considering it, it is hard work but very rewarding.”
Last year there were 19 adoptions in Wiltshire, and today there are seven boys and six girls, aged 0-8 years, needing adoptive families.
The council was criticised by Ofsted for the length of time such children spend in temporary foster care following an inspection of its children’s services back in March.
Adoption team manager Andrea Viner said: “Wiltshire is fortunate to have a healthy number of people coming forward to adopt, but the number of children coming into care and needing placements has increased which means we need more adoptive families.
“There are no blanket bans in adoption, so don’t think we’ll turn you down because you’re over 40, single, or don’t own a home.
“What we need is people who can offer a child or sibling group a loving, stable and supportive family for life.
“We need people who can help a child recover from the reasons why they came into care in the first place and can help them to grow and thrive in a new family.
“Initially, we are asking people to come forward and find out more about adoption.
“If you think you might have what it takes, we would love to hear from you.”
Call 01225 715555, visit www.wiltshirefosteringandadoption.org or www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk.