Devon

Charity struggles to find adoptive families in Cornwall

Image caption Katie Allen adopted her daughter Kiah five years ago

An independent adoption charity based in the South West said the number of people applying to it to adopt children in Cornwall is at an all time low.

Families for Children said in 2010 it only managed to find families for four children in the county.

In Dorset the figure was also four but in Devon homes were found for 25 children.

The charity, based in Buckfast, Devon, places children from around the UK with families in the South West.

It said the number of children currently awaiting adoption in the UK is about 4,000.

Cornwall Council said it arranged adoptions for 29 children in 2010.

A spokesperson said the council was "always keen" to encourage more people to consider adoption.

Graham Pellew, from Families for Children, said some people were put off by the "myths" surrounding adoption: "Some people think: 'I'm over 35 so I'm too old' but that rule finished 25 years ago.

Adoption clinics

"People also worry that they don't own their house, but we work with people who both own and rent houses."

Katie Allen is a working single mother from Cornwall who adopted her daughter Kiah five years ago.

She told BBC Spotlight: "Whether you're married, not married, working, not working, all those things don't seem to matter.

"It's about what's in your heart and it's about you really wanting to find a place for someone to come into your life, into your family."

Families for Children, which became an independent charity in 2003, is running a series of adoption "clinics" in Cornwall to highlight the need for adoptive families.

It is also planning to attend festivals and carnivals in the county.

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