WITH the Paralympics beginning on 7th September, Reading based adoption charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is raising awareness of the children with a disability waiting to be adopted.
PACT provides outstanding adoption (Ofsted 2014) services to local families along with award-winning therapeutic support and also runs community projects for vulnerable women in Reading and children affected by domestic abuse in Oxfordshire and West Berkshire.
PACT specialises in finding families for ‘harder to place’ children who wait longer to be adopted, these children can be aged five and over, part of a sibling group, of BME heritage or have additional needs or disabilities. At the last count, more than 70% of the children waiting to be adopted in England were classed as ‘harder to place’. †
PACT CEO Jan Fishwick said: “PACT has helped a number of families adopt children with physical, genetic or learning impairments including Downs Syndrome and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and would like to find more loving homes for disabled children – who often wait the longest.”
PACT adopter Joanne* has adopted three children who all have additional needs. She said: “It is a misconception that these kids are challenging. It’s different, they need you so much more than an ordinary child and the opportunity to bond is readily available.”
Iraqi-born Ahmed Kelly was adopted aged seven by an Australian woman after being born with severely deformed limbs and abandoned on the doorstep of a Baghdad orphanage as a baby. After a top four finish at London 2012, Kelly will compete for Australia in the Rio 2016 Paralympic swimming events and is currently ranked first in Australia in the 100m breaststroke.
To find out more about adopting with PACT visit www.pactcharity.org or call 0300 456 4800.
† Statistics from: http://corambaaf.org.uk/res/statengland
*Joanne’s name has been changed to protect her identity. A case study for her is available on request.