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Could you give a child a loving home? In part two of the Birmingham Mail's adoption campaign, ZOE CHAMBERLAIN busts myths and misconceptions - and says don't rule yourself out.

Byline: ZOE CHAMBERLAIN

EVER thought about adopting then ruled yourself out, believing you wouldn't make it through the assessment process? The Birmingham Mail has teamed up with Action for Children in an adoption campaign to help find mums and dads for vulnerable children across the West Midlands.

According to the experts at the charity, there are many myths surrounding adoption that simply are not true today.

Jacqueline Georghiou, head of adoption for Action for Children, says: "There is no such thing as a typical adopter.

"Ultimately, we are looking for families who can offer support, guidance and a positive family environment in which the children feel secure, cared for and valued.

"We look forward to hearing from someone just like you!" We asked Jacqueline to dispel some of the myths surrounding adoption: Who adopts children today? MANY different people adopt children. Adoptive families come from a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances.

Some families have a mum and a dad, some families just a mum or just a dad. Some families have two mums or two dads.

There is no such thing as a typical adopter. Every family is unique.

Can I Adopt if I am Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender? AT Action for Children we welcome LGBT adopters. You can be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

We have an increasing number of LGBT adopters within our organisation.

We would very much like to welcome more.

What matters to us is that you genuinely care about children and feel you could give a child a caring and loving permanent home.

Can I adopt if I am single? YOU can be single, married, in a civil partnership or living with a partner.

A good support network of family or close friends is essential for all applicants.

Can I adopt if I am a single male? BOTH women and men can be great adopters.

It is important to have relevant childcare experience and have an understanding of children's needs.

Can I adopt if I do not have any children? YES you can. The important thing is that you can offer support, guidance and a positive caring family environment to help children feel secure and valued.

There will be challenges, but with support and guidance from the adoption team, other adopters and different professionals you will meet these challenges and you will gain tremendous satisfaction from giving a child a forever home.

Do I need a qualification to adopt? NO formal qualifications are necessary but all adopters will need to have had some experience of caring for their own or other people's children.

Action for Children offers training and support to enhance your skills as well as providing you with an opportunity to develop new ones.

What matters most is that you have the time and space, commitment, patience, energy and above all the desire to give a child a permanent place in your family.

Do you need adopters from my ethnicity? WE welcome adopters whatever your ethnicity as long as you are willing to promote a child's ethnicity and cultural heritage.

We believe it is best for children to live with adopters who reflect and understand a child's heritage, ethnic origin, culture and language, and so we need adopters from all types of backgrounds.

Am I the right age to foster or adopt? YOU need to be at least 21 years of age to adopt a child but there is no upper age limit as long as applicants are in good health.

Can I adopt if I live in a rented accommodation? YOU will need to have a spare bedroom if you wish to adopt a child.

You do not necessarily need to own your house.

As long as each child can have their own bedroom you can adopt.

Your home will need to meet Health & Safety regulations and the National Minimum Fostering and Adoption Standards in terms of hygiene, play and homework space. This will be checked over during the assessment process.

Can I foster or adopt if I smoke? YES, although children under five years of age will not be placed with applicants who smoke.

For more stories on families and adoption, visit our Brummie Mummies facebook page Imams' bid to expose IS 'lies' MUSLIM leaders are trying to reduce the potential for Islamic State terrorists to recruit vulnerable Britons by creating a digital magazine to rebuff claims by IS - also known as Daesh. Shaykha Safia Shahid, a contributing author to Haqiqah magazine, said: "Today, imams from across Britain have come together to send a clear message. Daesh has no claim and legitimacy to the beautiful and compassionate teachings of Islam."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 8, 2015
Words:772
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