Adoption is usually a deeply private thing, but in an unusual move, a public appeal has been made to help find a family for two special siblings. Emma Pearson examines the reasons behind the controversial publicity.
A light has been shone on the usually private and confidential world of adoptions, with an online video appeal for two children who are looking for parents.
A video has been released online of four-year-old Matthew and three-year-old Holly - two siblings from Lancashire who need adopting.
The video is accompanied by a page detailing the children’s personalities, favourite foods and preferred games.
The world of children in care and the adoption process is usually highly confidential, to protect some of the most vulnerable children in our society.
But in this case, Lancashire specialist adoption agency Caritas Care, in partnership with Adoption Matters, has taken the highly unusual step of issuing a public appeal about Matthew and Holly.
This is not something that we do often, but for children with a complex history and additional needs, we need to be more creative in our approach.
The siblings, though both young children have some health problems and special needs, and need to be placed together in a family.
This, coupled with the fact that they are no longer babies, means that they are likely to be harder to find homes for - hence the unusual step of the public appeal.
Susan Swarbrick, Head of Children’s Services at Preston-based Caritas Care, said: “We recognise this is different and potentially controversial, but our ultimate aim is to find a family for these children, and without this appeal that is a chance that they may not get.
“This is not something that we do often, but for children with a complex history and additional needs, we need to be more creative in our approach.
“We recognise that it is an emotive subject, but this is something we have done very carefully. We are working closely with and have full consent from the local authority, who are legally responsible for and looking after the children, and they fully support this appeal. We want to be sure it is handled sensitively.
“The reason we have taken this approach is that we believe that there may be someone out there who has not previously considered adopting, but when they see the pictures of these children they will realise that they could help.
“A photograph or a video can help create an emotional connection and we think it ensures that people see them as children first, rather than as someone with problems.
“The motivation of this kind of adopter could be completely different – they want to make a difference.
“Often people who want to adopt are people who have not been able to have children naturally, and understandably, frequently they are looking for younger children to adopt.
“We do believe that for Matthew and Holly we need to attract a different type of adopter.
“The message that we want to give is that if people are remotely interested in adopting they should get in touch with us and have a chat.
“Things that people think might be barriers to becoming adoptive parents - such as being single, living in rented accommodation or being in a same sex relationship - need not be a problem.
“All children, including these children are unique and different from each other and so we are taking a unique and different approach to finding a family for them.”
For more information, please contact Caritas Care on 0800 652 6955, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.caritascare-iadopt.org.uk/introducing-matthew-holly/