Oxfordshire churches launch Adoption Sunday
Churches in Oxfordshire are coming together this weekend to launch the first Adoption Sunday on November 4.
The date coincides with the annual National Adoption Week and is being initiated by churches to help children move from the care system into permanent and loving families through adoption or fostering.
Adoption Sunday is in the pilot stage this year and will be rolled out nationwide in 2013.
It is the idea of Oxfordshire resident and Evangelical Alliance mission director, Krish Kandiah, who wants churches to help the 440 children in the region and the 12,000 across the country find permanent homes.
He believes that the church is an untapped resource that could be more greatly utilised to help support families who adopt or foster children.
Mr Kandiah said: "Being an adopter is an incredibly rewarding but also challenging experience. As an adoptive dad I am so grateful for the help and support our family has received from our church community.
"Our aim through Adoption Sunday is to encourage more people to step forward for adoption and for the church to do its best to support and encourage them. With so many children waiting for adoption we need to do everything we can to help these children, especially those deemed hard to place, to find a home for good.”
Adoption Sunday is supported by the Evangelical Alliance, Care for the Family, and Parents And Children Together (PACT).
Jan Fishwick, chief executive of PACT said: "We are keen to convey that the need for adopters is greater than ever but also that people who adopt rely on good agency and community support networks to help them cope with the inevitable challenges of parenting. PACT is pleased to support this campaign.
"Many of our adopters have a faith and we welcome adoption enquiries from Christians and people from all faiths.”
Adoption Sunday has received the backing of Oxfordshire County Council.
The council's corporate parenting manager, Matthew Edwards said: "We are very pleased to be involved with this initiative.
"We know that adopting or becoming a foster carer will be one of the most life-changing and life-enhancing decisions you ever make."