Surrey County Council is looking for 21 families to adopt children who are currently waiting for a home.
The council is particularly keen to hear from people who could offer a home for older children, sibling groups or children with specific health issues.
The call is being made to coincide with National Adoption Week, which runs from Monday 31 October to 6 November.
Cabinet Member for Children and Families Mary Angell said: “As part of National Adoption Week, our aim is to raise awareness of the children in Surrey waiting for adoption.
“We want to reassure residents that applications from people from all walks of life are welcome. What we really need are people who can offer children a loving and supportive family for life.”
Mrs Angell added: “Initially, we’re just asking people to come forward and find out more about adoption. If you think you might have what it takes, please pick up the phone today.”
Surrey couple Steven and Louise* know first-hand the pressures around adoption.
Louise said: “We were devastated when we discovered we’d never have a family of our own, but soon made the decision to adopt.
“We explored adopting from China, because we thought that was the only way to get a newborn. After a few years of form filling and tears, it became obvious that we would be waiting a long time to be matched with a baby.
“We then approached Surrey County Council to be considered for a UK adoption. Four months after being approved we received a call to tell us that we had been matched with an 18 month old boy. We were ecstatic.”
The little boy had been exposed to drugs and alcohol while in the womb and had been born prematurely, so there were uncertainties around his development. A couple of months later Charlie went to live with Steven and Louise. His baby brother, who was also waiting for an adoptive family, joined him a few months later.
Steven added: “We’re now one big happy family and whilst there are still concerns around Charlie’s development, he is coming on in leaps and bounds.”
Residents who would like to provide a home to a child like Charlie can call the adoption team on 08000 96 96 26. More information is also available at www.surreycc.gov.uk/adoption.
* Names have been changed. Steven and Louise are willing to talk to the media anonymously.
Notes to editors
National Adoption Week is organised by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) and aims to raise awareness of adoption and encourage potential parents to come forward. There are an estimated 4,000 children across the UK needing adoption every year, many of whom will have suffered trauma in their short lives.
There will be an informal open afternoon for people to find out more about adoption at The Village Centre, Englefield Green TW20 0QY TW20 on Friday 4 November 2011 between 2pm and 4pm.
Any adoptive family interested in becoming an Adoption Champion should contact Lynn Page on 01932 794340.
For more general information about National Adoption Week visit www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk.