Cornish teenager appeals for more people to think about adoption

A teenager from Cornwall is calling on anyone thinking about adopting, to come forward at the start of National Adoption Week. Jasmine was adopted when she was just three years old and she has been sharing her story, to try and encourage other people to make a difference to a young person in the county.

The Fostering and Adoption service, part of Together for Families at Cornwall Council, currently has 27 children looking for a permanent home. They are a range of ages and some are in sibling groups; Figures have shown that sibling groups wait longer than single children to be placed with a forever family.

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Jasmine who has spent more than 10 years with a loving family, has spoken of the relief at being adopted and the questions it raised: “I was quite young, so I don’t remember too much about my birth family, but I do know there were some neglect issues, so I had to go into care. 

“I was moved into foster home, where I stayed with a family with a couple and their children and I became very close to them, very quickly. I was then adopted when I turned three, and I was lucky because my mum and dad also adopted my brother.”

Jasmine says the questions are still there, but she knows she has lots of support at home: “The family I have now are really loving and caring; it’s a huge family environment and we do simple things like have a Sunday roast. My aunt, my Nan and my cousins all live nearby, so there is always some you can talk to.”

Jasmine says she still has worries, but the family support with them: “When you are in care, you don’t know how long something is going to last, so you put everything into that moment.

“As I’ve been removed from my birth family and then the foster family, there were still worries that when I was adopted it wasn’t real. It’s only for a short time, even now that I’m older, I still have lots of what if questions in my mind; what if I wasn’t adopted, what if I wasn’t removed from my family or what if I was only brought here for a short time?

“That is really hard to deal with in your brain; as an adoptee I don’t always let myself trust situations or things and I don’t put my full effort into things because I don’t know how long they will last. 

“But now, I couldn’t of wished for anything more – My family are amazing, yes all families have their struggles, but there is a special bond and there is so much support available for people in my position.

Jasmine concluded by saying that it takes a lot of love to adopt someone, but it’s a chance to make a real difference: “I would say that anyone thinking about adopting needs to love the young person unconditionally, it won’t be easy because they will have issues and they may have more struggles than a normal teenager and you just need to be aware of that.”

Cllr Sally Hawken, Cabinet Member for Children & Wellbeing, Cornwall Council said, “There are many children who are waiting to be adopted but some are harder to find a loving home for than others. We do our best to keep sibling groups together because this is what they want, but this can make it very difficult to find the right adoptive family for them. While we need forever parents for all of our children who are waiting, we really would love to hear from people who feel they can offer a home to brothers and sisters to help them all thrive and experience a loving childhood.”

All Agencies want potential adopters to know that:

  • There are children who are waiting to be adopted now;
  • The adoption process will prepare you for becoming an adopter within as little as six months;
  • Anyone over 21 can adopt and there is no upper age limit;
  • Single people can adopt;
  • We welcome applications from LGBTQ and intersex people;
  • Adopters can be of any religion or none;
  • Many adopters have disabilities;
  • Adopters will be fully trained before the child is placed;
  • Adopters are supported throughout the process and beyond the adoption order.

During National Adoption Week there are a number of information events being held across the South West to inform and discuss the process of becoming an adopter and the vulnerable children who are currently waiting.