Seeking happy Peterborough families for kids

St Francis' Children's Society  offices open at  Stuart House. Pictured  is parent  Betty Davies EMN-140412-223116009

St Francis' Children's Society offices open at Stuart House. Pictured is parent Betty Davies EMN-140412-223116009

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Peterborough adults looking for a bundle of joy in their lives can now adopt children through a well-established charity organisation which has set up a base in the city.

The St Francis’ Children’s Society (SFCS) opened the doors to its new home in Stuart House, St John’s Street, on Thursday, 4 December.

St Francis' Children's Society  offices open at  Stuart House. Pictured with MP Stewart  Jackson are  CEO Alison Miller, Dominik Byrne and Juliet Dawson. EMN-140412-221914009

St Francis' Children's Society offices open at Stuart House. Pictured with MP Stewart Jackson are CEO Alison Miller, Dominik Byrne and Juliet Dawson. EMN-140412-221914009

The voluntary agency, which was rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2012, will now look to pair more couples with children who need a home after branching out from Milton Keynes.

The expansion comes a month after National Adoption Week which focused on adopting siblings.

That message is one which Alison Miller, CEO of SFCS, is keen to push as she seeks to find new parents for children of all backgrounds.

She said: “There are a lot of children waiting in the care system who need permanent families.

“It’s lovely to see some happy endings and to see children thrive in brilliant care from adopted families.

“There’s a particular need for people who can take more than one child. It’s fantastic to see brothers and sisters grow up together and maintain that relationship.

“We welcome adopters of all ethnicities, religions and sexual orientation and it doesn’t matter if you’re single or in a relationship.”

With adopters now able to take custody of their children in six months, it’s an easier process for prospective parents.

Once the process is complete, though, Ms Miller maintains the agency will continue to support parents as they get used to their new lives.

She added: “We provide life-long support. They can come back to us if they have questions and we can help with that.”

Peterborough City Council works independently to the charity. The number of adoptions from its service in 2013/14 was 27 and that number is set to rise again this year.

Currently, it has 20 children who can be adopted.

Sue King, team manager from the council’s adoption team, said: Peterborough City Council’s adoption team has had a great response to its campaign for new families this year.

But it is still keen to hear from families who feel they are able to adopt babies who are unable to live with their parents due to their drug and alcohol issues.”

Adults wanting to find out more about adoption and agencies in their area can visit weww.first4adoption.org.ukw

The joy that a little boy brought

A Peterborough mother has spoken of the joy having an adopted son has given her.

Betty Davies and partner Matthew from Yaxley became parents to two-year-old Henley in July last year after going through the adoption process with the St Francis’ Children’s Society.

Now, Betty (39) admits she could not imagine her life without her son.

“Having him was amazing, it’s our dream come true,” she said.

“We could not have children so we thought the best option was adoption. There are children out there who need families and I wanted children.

“You always wonder if it’s going to happen, that’s the scary thing.

“The first day I met him I was a nervous wreck. We stayed in a hotel the night before but I could not get to sleep.

“I was terrified. What if he comes in the room and is scared and cries?

“The first time we met him was very emotional. You try not to cry. He had a book with pictures of us and he recognised us. We were mummy and daddy.”

It did not take long for Henley to become used to his new surroundings, and with St Francis always available to help, Betty admits she will look to adopt again in the near future.

She added: “There are a lot of children out there looking for a family. It’s heartbreaking how many there are.

“Not being able to have kids was difficult, but I knew about adoption so I bounced back quite quickly.”