Research found that more than half of those in England who say they are ‘certain’ or ‘very likely’ to adopt a child describe themselves as ‘actively practising a religion’. However, many religious people don’t come forward to adopt because of myths about who can adopt, claim national adoption information service, First4Adoption and the church-based campaign to promote adoption and fostering, Home for Good.
The two organisations say that actively religious people, while being more likely to consider adopting or fostering, conversely often wrongly believe that their faith will prevent them being approved.
‘In general, that is a myth,’ said adoptive parent and foster carer Krish Kandiah, executive director: churches in mission at the Evangelical Alliance and one of the leaders of the Home for Good campaign. ‘We’ve met hundreds of people of faith who are adopting and fostering. With the Home for Good campaign, our door is being knocked down by local authorities ? there’s no conspiracy to keep Christians out.’
The organisations claim that people of faith should not fear discrimination in the adoption process ? that in fact their religion can actually help. First4Adoption spokesperson Catherine Dowdney says: ‘As part of the process, people have their support networks assessed ? being part of a faith community can work in people’s favour.’
Home for Good and First4Adoption partnered to encourage Christians throughout the UK to consider adopting or fostering children during church services on 3rd November, National Adoption Sunday.
Many of the services were attended by representatives from local authority adoption teams and adoption agencies. Children’s minister Edward Timpson MP attended a church in his constituency to show support and share his own story of his parents’ fostering. He closed by saying: ‘I want you to know that you could do this too.’
Adoption Sunday was taken up by more than 200 churches. This was the first time the Church has been included in National Adoption Sunday and, following the response, it will be participating again in 2014.