SSAFA supporting Forces Families this National Adoption Week
Military families who would like to adopt a child should not be discriminated against due to misconceptions about their lifestyle, says SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.
In the lead up to National Adoption Week 2016, which runs from 17th-23rd October, SSAFA is keen to break-down the barriers that can exist for military families looking to become adoptive parents.
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SSAFA, provides lifelong support to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force and has been placing children for adoption with military families for over 20 years. The charity placed 27 children with adoptive parents in the Armed Forces in 2015 and strongly believes that far from being unsuitable, the support serving personnel get from the Armed Forces in fact makes them ideal adoptive parents. SSAFA’s specialist adoption service is the only national adoption provider which caters specifically for members of the Armed Forces - and the charity hopes to encourage more military families to sign up. When Georgie and her husband Spencer, a Warrant Officer in the Army, discovered early on in their relationship that they were unable to have children, the couple contacted two LAs about the possibility of adopting but Spencer’s job in the Armed Forces seemed to be an issue. After the rejection, Georgie and Spencer were told about SSAFA and went straight to the charity to pursue their dream of adoption.
Georgie says, “SSAFA’s specialised adoption service was a godsend for us, we’ve been very lucky. Our SSAFA social worker booked us into a preparation course and introduced us to a couple from the military who had adopted a little boy. They were able to chat about their experiences and give us lots of advice, which was really helpful.”
SSAFA Adoption Service Team Manager Jill Farrelly comments: “Aside from believing that military families cannot offer a child a stable home due to their postings, some people believe that military families might have inappropriate views about discipline and we’ve even heard extreme stories of couples being asked by workers in Local Authorities if they have weapons in their home. Here at SSAFA we are very familiar with the lifestyle of Armed Forces families and believe that the strong sense of community within the military and the practical, ‘can-do’ attitude of serving personnel make them great candidates for adoption. Regular house moves and misconceptions surrounding these families can make it difficult for some serving personnel to progress with traditional adoption applications, however as a national adoption provider we are able to support adopters through the entire process no matter how many postings and deployments- staying with them from the start all the way through to when their child is placed with them.
“Our dedicated staff ensures that serving personnel have the same opportunity to be assessed for adoption as anyone else, with SSAFA’s adoption staff working hand in hand with their employers to ensure housing and educational needs for the children are met.”
SSAFA is actively looking for people who can offer children, including groups of two or more siblings, a loving and supportive family for life. Applications are welcomed from anyone irrespective of age, race, ethnicity, marital status, sexual orientation or gender.
If you would like to find out more please contact the SSAFA Adoption Service on 020 7463 9326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org