18 May 2012
Government easing of adoption process is encouragement for Church
Easing of the adoption process announced in the Queen's speech should be encouraging to the Christian community as a new initiative is announced to make long-term care for children an integral part of church culture.
The announcement came just ahead of Foster Care Fortnight, 14 – 27 May, the annual campaign to raise the awareness of fostering.
A series of UK-wide consultations has been announced to encourage Christians to give their views on how the Church can help find homes for the thousands of children currently stuck in the care system. Estimates show 6,800 children are waiting to be adopted and 8,750 more foster families are needed in the UK.1
Organised by Care for the Family in association with the Evangelical Alliance, it is hoped the consultations will lead to more Christian families adopting or fostering children.
Krish Kandiah, executive director: churches in mission for the Evangelical Alliance, said: "We want church leaders, those working in the care system and adoptive parents or foster carers, to come to one of the consultations and to share their ideas about what the Church could do to help these children find their forever families. We want this initiative to start to change Christian culture across the UK to make adopting and fostering an integral part of the life of the church."
Mark Molden, chief executive of Care for the Family, commented: “The consultations offer a valuable opportunity for us to learn from Christians across the UK who have direct experience of the adoption and fostering process and what it really takes to care for these most vulnerable of children. We must take care to avoid over-simplifying what is a complex and life-changing decision but, if we can work with churches to increase the number of couples making an informed choice to adopt or foster a child, then more children will find a stable and loving home for the first time in their lives.”
1. The government says that approximately 6,800 children have been identified for adoption but have not been adopted (http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/education-17313369). The Foster Network estimates that fostering services in the UK need to recruit a further 8,750 foster families during 2012 (http://www.fostering.net/about-fostering/recruitment-targets).
Consultations take place in June:
Cardiff – Tuesday, 19 June
Belfast – Wednesday, 20 June
Glasgow – Thursday, 21 June
Manchester – Tuesday, 26 June
Birmingham – Wednesday, 27 June
London – Thursday, 28 June
For more information visit www.careforthefamily.org.uk/adopt
Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance, formed in 1846, is the largest body serving evangelical Christians in the UK, and has a membership including denominations, churches, organisations and individuals. The mission of the Evangelical Alliance is to unite evangelicals to present Christ credibly as good news for spiritual and social transformation. According to a Tearfund survey (Churchgoing in the UK, 2007), there are approximately 2 million evangelical Christians in the UK. For more information please visit www.eauk.org
Care for the Family is a national charity which aims to strengthen family life throughout the UK and help those facing family difficulties. Over the past 21 years, over 350,000 people have attended the charity’s events, workshops and family-building breaks. Many more families find support through its resources and other initiatives – including stepfamilies, bereaved parents, families where children have additional needs, those parenting alone and those widowed young. For more information please visit www.careforthefamily.org.uk