The National Church Leaders Forum and Churches Together in England’s Racial Justice Working Group unite in rallying churches to support parents on their adoption journey, as new data shows that 1 in 4 Black Africans have had help from faith groups to raise their children.
The latest ‘You Can Adopt Campaign’ aims to encourage more people from Black and Mixed-heritage backgrounds to adopt by highlighting the range of support available to help adopters along their journey.
In support of the campaign The National Church Leaders Forum and Churches Together in England’s Racial Justice Working Group have joined the You Can Adopt Support Coalition. A brand-new group of charities, organisations and employers which has been convened to show a widespread commitment to supporting and encouraging prospective adopters looking to adopt children that wait the longest. The growing coalition includes dedicated charities such as Family Fund, and Fertility Network and employers that offer a range of inclusive rights and benefits for adopters including John Lewis.
New data shows that 63% of Black African parents living in the UK say they have had help from non-family members to raise their children. The data also shows the important role that faith can play as 1 in 4 Black Africans stated that they have had help from faith groups to raise their children.
There are almost 2000 children in England waiting for adoption, with children from Black and Mixed heritage backgrounds being among those in the greatest need of adopters. They can wait two months longer than other groups to be adopted, and an average of 26 months in total. That’s more than 2 years and that time can increase for children who are over 5 years old.
Families are at the heart of the Church, so churches and their leaders are perfectly positioned to offer crucial support to adoptive parents during the entire adoption process through spiritual counsel, prayer, and encouragement.
Pearl, who adopted her daughter Amara says, “My faith played an integral role in my decision to adopt because I wholeheartedly believe that God intended me to be Amara’s mother before my husband and I even considered adoption. I share a profound bond with Amara, and the depth of the connection is no different than had I been her biological mother.”
Churches also have the opportunity to raise awareness about the needs of children in care, ultimately helping to find children a permanent, stable and nurturing home where they can thrive.
Churches can facilitate dedicated workshops with adoption experts, equipping congregations with knowledge and insights to explore the possibilities of providing a loving home for vulnerable children. Churches can also offer practical support by providing access to books, leaflets and other resources that offer advice for the various stages of the adoption journey.
Bishop Aldred of the National Church Leaders Forum quotes Matthew 18:5 “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me”. He continues, “Children are a blessing from God, whether biological or adopted and as adoptees in God’s spiritual family, we must extend that blessing to children in need. The Church family is one of support and solace during the adoption journey. We wholeheartedly endorse supporting adoptive parents and their children.”
Shermara Fletcher Churches Together in England’s Racial Justice Working Group says, “Adoption is a beautiful reflection of God’s love. While it can be demanding and stressful at times, prayer, scripture and the church family provide comfort, encouragement and a vital support network. Churches Together in England’s Racial Justice Working Group proudly join the coalition to aid those on the adoption journey”.
Find out how you can change a child’s life by adopting visit: www.youcanadopt.co.uk/blackadopters