Give a child in need a loving new home

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Caring Sheffield people are being urged to consider adopting a child in need of a loving family.

Since March this year, 24 city children have been matched up with loving parents but Sheffield Council has said more are still in need of an adoptive family.

One of the success stories is Sheffield couple Clare, aged 39, and Peter, 41, from West Street in Sheffield city centre.

They had been trying for a baby for six years but after three stressful and unsuccessful rounds of IVF, they decided they could not face a fourth.

The couple were desperate for a baby and, by January 2015, after grieving for the fact they could not have their own baby and undergoing counselling, they felt they were ready to give adoption a go.

The whole process took around eight months and included an intensive three-day course, where they were prepared for what it was really like to adopt.

Clare and Peter were matched with 18-month-old Jack by November.

“When we first met Jack it was three maybe even four days before he would even look at me or Peter. After two weeks we had a breakthrough when he handed us a piece of Lego,” Clare said.

“It took four weeks of visits with him at his foster carer’s home before we had built up his trust enough so that he was ready to move to his new home with us.

“We were really worried about how he would settle, but on his first night he slept for 12 hours, and when his foster carer came to visit after two days it couldn’t have gone better. I was worried that he would want to go back home with her.

“But all he wanted to do was show off his new toys to his foster carer, Aunty Anna.

“Now after nine months he’s like a different boy. He loves being outside, being with his dog Juno and visiting my brother’s farm, where he can see pigs, sheep, and cows.

“We’ve been able to give him opportunities that he would have never experienced. His eyes nearly popped out of his head when we took him on a cable car.

“It hasn’t all been plain sailing though and it’s taken us all time to build up our relationship and trust.

“Because of a difficult start in life he has a heightened sense of awareness and is very independent. We had to work hard to give Jack a sense of belonging through a consistent routine.

“We’ve had fantastic support from our social worker, Jack’s foster carer and our support network of family and friends.

“I meet up every week with some other mums who have adopted children.

“ They really understand what everyday life is like and have been invaluable.”

Coun Jackie Drayton, Sheffield Council cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “I really hope that Clare and Peter’s story inspires other people to adopt.

“We encourage and support applications from a wide variety of people with different backgrounds.

“We need to find forever homes for children of all ages and all backgrounds, single children or sibling groups.

“The adoption process can take time but our role is to make sure that we create families that are right together, right for those people who are adopting and right for the child or young person and to ensure it will their forever family.”

n An information evening will be held on Wednesday, December 7. To book or for more information ring 0114 273 5010, where adoption specialists can help.