You can adopt. The strapline for this year’s National Adoption Week is clear. But for many potential adopters, the question still remains, ‘can I though…really?

Reassurance alone isn’t enough. When it comes to a life-changing journey, people need both practical and emotional support to feel ready to take the leap from research into action. And with the rate of children in the UK looked after by local authorities on the rise, coupled with decreasing numbers of children eventually adopted, it’s more important than ever that we support those who can make a difference.

It’s not a matter of people not wanting to adopt. It’s a matter of the right people not thinking that they’re right enough to do this. And it’s simply not true.

The need to adopt a new system

The prospect of starting the journey into adoption is scary. It’s hard to dispel the notion that all adopters are saints and superheroes. Almost everyone harbours concerns about having enough, being enough and doing enough.

Prospective adopters often find that when researching options and opportunities, they’re faced with extensive requirements and little information about the support available to help navigate their overall adoption journey. It can be an overwhelming and daunting experience that places obstacles and barriers in the way.

Once told they need specific experience requirements, many fear they won’t have the time available to meet all the obligations. But it’s knowing that there are varied, easily accessible options to meet requirements that turns the ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can.

The right information at the right time

Together with Buckinghamshire County Council’s Adoption Service, we’ve developed and launched Adoption Ready — a simple online tool to help people interested in adoption learn more, prepare to take the next steps and begin their adoption journey.

Collaboratively designed with adopters and staff, Adoption Ready provides clear, honest and practical advice in a format and fidelity that reflects the needs and concerns of potential adopters. By answering a series of simple questions, users create a personalised readiness plan with practical things they can do to prepare to adopt and links to further resources.

Adoption Ready supports people to build their capability whilst checking their eligibility. We want to stop the problem of the right people ruling themselves out for the wrong reasons. With the launch of Adoption Ready, we hope that more prospective adopters will contact Buckinghamshire’s Adoption Service to find the knowledge and support they need. Adoption Ready will help parents looking to give a child a home take their first steps on their journey.

You can adopt. And here’s how you can make a start.

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