Couples fear ‘faith barrier’ in adoption system

Most people who seriously consider adoption are ‘actively religious’ a Government survey shows, yet many fear being rejected for their faith.

The survey was carried out on behalf of the Department for Education by adoption group First4Adoption.

The group has joined with church-based organisation Home for Good to encourage religiously-active people to put themselves forward to adopt children.

Encourage

The survey showed 55 per cent of people in England who said they were “certain” or “very likely” to adopt described themselves as “actively practising a religion”.

There are more than 4,600 children in England currently waiting to be adopted, and First4Adoption say “many more adopters are needed”.

The groups have now set up a phone line to “encourage more people from faith communities to consider adopting”.

Held back

The organisations warn: “First4Adoption and Home for Good are concerned that many religiously-active people are held back from adopting because they mistakenly believe that they are not able to adopt.

“As well as many believing the common adoption myths about not being able to adopt if you are over 40, single/unmarried, or already have children, actively-religious people also often wrongly believe that their faith will prevent them being approved to adopt”.

One couple who are Christians and adopted an 18-month-old girl said: “There was no issue at all with our faith.

Help

“We went through the process with our local authority and at no point whatsoever did they raise any question about religion.

“Our faith helps because it gives us a focus in the way we care for the children.”

Home for Good, which is a church-based group, said: “Through our network of 15,000 churches we can offer a fantastic route for finding and supporting adoptive parents.”

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