Shropshire Star comment: Dispelling myths around adoption

Children come up for adoption for all sorts of reasons, and people choose to adopt for all sorts of reasons.

But what is common is the promise the vital building block of stability has to offer for children who find ‘forever homes’.

This week is National Adoption Week to raise awareness – although there are so many children looking for suitable homes that every week needs to be an adoption week.

Unfortunately there is a nationwide shortage of people approved to adopt when measured up against the thousands of children waiting to be adopted. Some people may simply never have seriously considered it, or may have thought about it but been put off by the notion that the process is difficult and tortuous.

Or their thinking may be influenced by myths and preconceptions about who can, and who cannot, adopt.

So there is great value in having high profile people speak out about the value of adoption and their own positive experiences.

For Olympic sporting heroine Tessa Sanderson becoming an adoptive parent has been like winning gold all over again – she says as much. She was 58 when she and her husband adopted twins. Bang goes one of those myths about being “too old to adopt”.

“We are not perfect parents, but we are committed to helping our children recover from their early experiences,” says Tessa.

Bang goes another of the myths, that to be accepted as an adopter you have to be somehow a “perfect parent”.

You do not have to be perfect, although naturally you have to be suitable, and what constitutes being suitable may depend on the particular needs of the child.

There can never be a guarantee that things will be easy, although that is the same bringing up any child. Yet those like Tessa who have adopted, and those who were adopted and are now adults, are the most persuasive advocates.

In a world in which so much is selfish, here is an opportunity to do something noble and with rich rewards.

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