Have you ever considered starting a family but discounted it because the road to having children seems just too hard? This week, Liberate met with the States of Jersey Fostering and Adoption Services and what we discovered might surprise you.
There is no barrier to anyone adopting or fostering children in Jersey. The only criteria is you must be over 25 years old to apply to adopt or foster. You do not have to be in employment, you do not have to be married or in a civil partnership, you do not have to be British. Applications from anyone will be considered and you would never be rejected on the grounds of your identity.
Crucially, Fostering and Adoption are looking for people who:
- have a stable home life
- are flexible with their time
- are good listeners
- are able to provide guidance and reassurance
LGBT couples worry that their unmarried partnership and sexual orientation will count against them when they come before a Fostering and Adoption Panel. This is not the case. The first same-sex adoption happened in Jersey over 10 years ago. Fostering and Adoption confirmed that single LGBT people, LGBT people who are living together (i.e. not married or in a civil partnership), as well as LGBT married couples (from 2017) or those in a civil partnership, would all be considered suitable parents to apply to adopt or foster a child. The law has also changed recently to allow couples who are living together to adopt jointly.
Currently, Fostering and Adoption are looking for more foster parents than adopters. Fostering can be a hugely rewarding. It is a way of providing stable family life for children and young people who are unable to live with their parents for a period of time. Placements can last for days, months or even years. Many children return home to their families but others may receive long-term support through continued fostering, adoption, residential care or by being helped to live independently.
Fostering week is in May and we will be working with Fostering and Adoption to promote their open days.