An urgent appeal to recruit 50 new adoptive families by next April has been launched by Northamptonshire County Council.
There are now around 1,000 looked after children in Northamptonshire and the county council needs to find permanent, loving homes for children waiting to be adopted.
There is a particular need to find families for older children and sibling groups.
Chris Connelly, from Northamptonshire, adopted two girls with his partner in 2014 and has urged others to sign up.
He said: “We adopted our girls when they were five and seven years old. We really can’t remember life without them, we’ve seen them blossom into happy, confident little girls and know this is because of the support and love we have given them.
“I’d say to anyone who is considering adoption or fostering to go for it! Go to an open evening, these are so good as you will meet the team as well as foster carers and adoptive parents who will answer all your questions.
“It really will be the best decision you ever make, and you will feel such pride knowing you have given a child a better chance at life.”
The time it takes for a new adopter to be approved is now just six months on average.
Adopters can be single, married or co-habiting as a same sex or heterosexual couple. They have to be over the age of 21 and there is no legal upper age limit, although adopters need to be able to provide a stable home for a child until adulthood and beyond.
Adoptive parents will benefit from a range of support services including peer support groups, a dedicated phone line and support for adopted children.
County council cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Matthew Golby said: “Adopting a child is one of the most life-changing and rewarding things you can do. I would encourage anyone who has considered adoption to contact our team to find out more.
“With a high number of young children coming into care, if you’ve been thinking about adoption, we need you more than ever to get in touch.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about adopting with Northamptonshire County Council can come along to an open evening where you can talk to a member of the adoption team and meet parents who have adopted.
The event takes place on Wednesday 14th September from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at John Dryden House in The Lakes, Northampton.
Information is also available by calling 0300 126 1008 or visiting www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/adoption.