Ten babies needing forever homes in RotherhamPublished Wednesday, 6th April 2016
Babies do not come up for adoption often these days, but in Rotherham there are unusually 10 looking for a loving home.
Now the hunt is on to find parents for these babies and Rotherham Council is hoping people will come forward to change the lives of these children forever.
One couple have spoken about their experiences as new adoptive parents in order to encourage other people to come forward - university manager Andrew Heeley-Randerson, 32, who along with his husband Edward, 31, adopted a baby boy in their home town of Rotherham 18 months ago. And now the pair has double the experience of babies, as last year they celebrated fatherhood again when they adopted their son’s baby sister.
"When people tell you it is going to be a life changing experience you never really believe them," he said. "But now it is what I always say to people because it really is true.
"People who say to me they are not bothered if they ever have children remind me of myself before I adopted. But once I became a parent the old cliché of ‘you don’t know what you are missing’ really did ring true, because you really don’t. You just can’t describe it."
Decades ago couples wishing to adopt were usually able to take home a very young baby.
This was the time of stigmas still existing for unmarried mothers, who were often shamed into giving up their babies just a few weeks after they were born.
But as the years rolled on, having a baby out of wedlock became less of an issue for British society, meaning fewer and fewer babies becoming available for people to adopt.
Babies are still a rarity these days, as local authorities instead tend to have slightly older children or groups of children waiting for adoption.
However, in a rare coincidence Rotherham Council has 10 young babies in its care all looking for loving forever homes.
Ranging from new born through to several months old, the youngsters are all desperately in need of people to come forward to adopt them.
"Meeting the baby we had been matched to for the first time was definitely nerve wracking!" added Andrew: "We hadn’t either of us been around babies much so it was all very new. You get to know the child they match you with over a period of time, and when we were finally left alone with him I remember this feeling of overwhelming responsibility coming over me. Here we were now entirely in charge of this small person!
"But what amazed me was the emotional attachment. This developed so fast. We knew we wanted him to be part of our lives very quickly. When we had to take him back to his foster family at the end of his visits we found we were both tearful, being parted from him was an emotional wrench.
"When you get that final piece of paper to say this child is now legally yours it is just so overwhelming. We are just so glad we did it.
"And then within a few months we found ourselves doing it all over again – as we went through the process once more to adopt his sister. Now we are the proud parents of a two-year-old and a one-year-old and my life has never felt as complete as it does now. We are a proper family.
"And the support we have had from Rotherham Council has just been brilliant. They really understood us and we can’t thank them enough for making our family complete."
If you too want to have a life changing experience like that of Andrew and Edward, and think you have what it takes to change the life of a child who desperately needs a forever home, then please contact the Adoption Team.
"We want to encourage as many people as possible to contact us in order for us to be able to match the children we have in our care with forever families," said Ian Thomas, Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services at Rotherham Council. "Children deserve to be brought up in a loving environment with a secure roof over their heads and be part of a family who puts them first, but sadly this is not always the case for all children. It is our duty to make sure the babies and children in our care who haven’t had the best start in life are given the same chance as everyone else, and that is why we are searching for their potential parents. These are real children who need you. The more people who come forward to talk to us the more chance we have of securing them a good future for the rest of their lives."