From the 19th November to 24th November 2018 is Adoption Week in Scotland which provides a platform for discussion about adoption giving information and hopefully inspiration.
The landscape of adoption has changed so much in recent times. Gone are the days where unwanted pregnancies meant sometimes babies were relinquished for adoption. This very rarely happens now. The norm is that most adopted children are adopted from care. The children have been placed in care because they are unable to grow up in their birth families for a variety of reasons. Adopted children now tend to be older on average three or four years old. They may also be in specific groups like sibling groups, those with additional needs or from minority ethnic backgrounds.
The Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 in force since 2009 has also changed who can adopt in Scotland. You can now adopt if you are single, in a relationship, married or in a civil partnership with or without children. You can adopt if you are male, female, straight, lesbian, gay, trans or bisexual. You can be a homeowner or be renting. Age limits for adopters have been scrapped allowing older people to consider building a family by adoption.
There are certain requirements to be met to ensure that every child gets the support and stability they deserve. To be approved as an adoptive parent you must:
- Be over 21 years of age
- Have stopped fertility treatment if you have been trying to conceive
- Have a spare room at home which could be a spare bedroom, or a room you are not currently using as a bedroom, such as a study.
Also as part of the adoption assessment a prospective adopter’s health, financial circumstances and employment status will always be explored. However health conditions, low income or being unemployed will not in themselves automatically exclude a person from being approved to adopt.
Adoption is not for the fearful, as a child who has been traumatised in early life can have lifelong difficulties.
There are lots of events going on throughout the country co-ordinated by Adoption UK and AFA Scotland