Misinformation needs to be countered to tackle problem
Myth and misinformation has created an adoption crisis in Scotland warns a leading charity.
Last year the number of applications to adopt children fell by 16%.
Speaking at the launch of Adoption Week, Stephen Small, director of St Andrew’s Children’s Society, said the record had to be put straight if more were to be encouraged to adopt.
“When single people get in touch with us for the first time one their first questions is often: ‘Can I adopt if single?’ This is just one of the many myths about adoption that we would like to set the record straight about.
“For some ‘myths’ certain conditions would need to be met. For example, there would need to be a two-year age gap between the birth child and the adopted child.”
The charity is hosting three adoption information events to tackle myths surrounding the issue.
These include the myths that people cannot adopt if they are single; in a relationship but not married; if they are part of the LGBT+ community; if they already have children; do not own their own home or have a disability or health issue.
Figures from the National Registers of Scotland show there were 543 adoptions in Scotland in 2017, with 359 made by people who had no relation to the child.
The Edinburgh-based charity has targeted Scotland’s LGBT nightclubs to boost the number of gay and single adopters.
Michael, a member of the LGBT community, adopted his six-year-old son through the charity.
He said: “Being an adoptive parent is the most incredible thing. I’m now a dad – I always wanted to be one but never thought I would be.”
The charity is the only agency in Scotland offering SafeBase parenting training to adopters and foster carers. This focuses on analysing and finding solutions to problems and behavioural issues which may arise in a child’s life following the upheaval of settling into life with a new family.