Sam is six years old – and he’s full of life and energy. He loves football, cricket and riding his bike, as well as gardening and making cakes!

Sadly, Sam has already had lots of moves in his young life between family and foster carers. This is because he’s been exposed to mental health and substance misuse issues in his birth family and they can no longer care for him.

Sam’s doing really well with his foster carers; he worries a lot, but this is easing as he starts to trust them and his school teachers more.

Sam (not his real name) is typical of the kind of child Buckinghamshire Council needs to find an adoptive family for. Starting this week, we’re taking part in the national #YouCanAdopt campaign to do our best to make sure local families aren’t ruling themselves out of adopting without finding out more.

National research shows many people still have misconceptions about adoption which might be holding them back. For example, some think that people who are single or older, or those who are LGBTQ+ can’t adopt – this is not the case. Others think the process takes a long time – typically it’s around 6 months.

Buckinghamshire Council has its own unique tool – our Adoption Readiness Checker – to help families learn more about the process so they can take the first steps towards adoption. We also offer full training and support every step of the way, including after the adoption is complete.

Councillor Tony Green is Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Youth Provision.

He says:

“The #YouCanAdopt campaign seeks to debunk some of the many myths that still surround adoption. The truth is, if you can offer a child a loving and stable home, the chances are that you will be eligible to adopt. Like in many other places, here in Buckinghamshire we have some children who wait longer for an adoptive family. These tend to be older children, sibling groups, or children whose past experiences may mean they have some emotional and behavioural challenges. We also always need adopters we can match to children from Black and Ethnic Minority backgrounds.

We typically have around 25 children at any one time who need adoptive families in Buckinghamshire. These children have been through so much in their young lives already so if you’re considering adoption, then do take the next steps to find out more, either through one of our online information events or check our Adoption Readiness Checker available online at www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/adoption.”