Christian charity launches drive to encourage more black and minority ethnic people to adopt

(Photo: Pexels/Agung Pandit Wiguna)

Black and minority ethnic communities are more open to the idea of adopting a child but hesitate because of concerns about official background checks, finances, and the opinion of friends and family, new research has found.

In a ComRes survey of 8,000 British adults, around one in five BAME adults (21%) said they had either considered or were considering adoption, compared with just 10% of white adults. 

But the survey, commissioned by Christian charity Home for Good, found that BAME adults were twice as likely as white adults to say they were concerned about checks into their history by the Government or authorities (4% vs 2%) and significantly more likely than white adults to be concerned about adoption because they felt nervous about the treatment from social workers (8% vs 5%). 

While half of white adults said they would not consider adoption, this figure fell dramatically to just 27% among BAME adults, and even further to just 20% of black adults.  

Yet BAME adults were five times more likely than white adults to report uncertainty about adoption because of concerns that their friends, family or wider community would not approve (5% vs 1%), and they were significantly more likely to have financial worries around adoption (26% vs 12%).

They were also much more likely to be worried about the challenges of parenting an adopted child than white adults (13% vs 7%) and whether they had enough space in their home (13% vs 9%). 

The research coincides with National Adoption Week this week and the launch of Home for Good's new campaign to increase the number of BAME adopters.

Home for Good founder Dr Krish Kandiah says, "I have heard many people of colour argue that one of the effects of the Windrush scandal has been an increased fear of agencies having access to their files and some say that this is putting others from their communities off pursuing adoption.

"This new data seems to suggest that there is significant apprehension within the BAME community about stepping forward to adopt for many reasons. There is more that needs to be done to engage these communities and ensure that our social work system is both faith and culturally literate."

Home for Good said that there was a "significant" shortage of BAME adopters at the same time as black children continue to be overrepresented in the care system. 

READ MORE: Black children are the least likely to be adopted: this needs to change

Although black children account for 3% of the total population in England, 7% of the children in care are black. 

Despite this, only 2% of children adopted from the care system last year were black. 

Jan Fishwick, Chief Executive of the adoption agency PACT, said, "It's a sad reality that some children have fewer options when it comes to finding adopters for them.

"These children are often referred to as 'hard to place' or those that 'wait the longest' of these, BAME children and black boys in particular are a group that are often overlooked.

"We are so pleased that Home for Good is launching the Change His Future campaign to find more adopters so that children do not face long waits for an adoptive family."

Dr Kandiah said his own experience of adopting a mixed-race child had been life changing.

"Adopting our daughter has been the most wonderful experience. For everything we have given to her, she has given back to us ten-fold," he said.

"She has changed my outlook on life, and we wouldn't change it for the world. I too was apprehensive, but I would encourage people to think about the scale of the need and to consider the part they can play in changing the futures of children waiting for adoption."