REGIONAL adoption agency, Adopt South, has marked five years of service in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, and Southampton.

The collaborative created from local authority adoption services has enhanced opportunities for children seeking adoptive parents since its establishment in 2019.

Since its inception, Adopt South has settled 542 children with families, maintained 79 sibling groups intact through group adoption, and sanctioned 517 families to adopt.

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It introduced a mentorship scheme for applicants and set up support groups for single and LGBT+ adopters.

Rachel Reynolds, head of Adopt South, said: "On behalf of the whole team at Adopt South, I’d like to thank everyone who has wholeheartedly supported us over the last five years both in our working practice and by sharing the need for more forever families with friends and family, and to reassure both adopters and children that we will continue to be innovative, supportive and inclusive.” 

"Our journey over the past five years has been inspiring and humbling as our dedicated teams have worked in new and exciting ways to deliver better outcomes for our children, with great success due to our shared vision and hard work.

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"We have run campaigns focusing on specific children who are harder to place because they are sibling groups or who have disabilities, and each of these campaigns has resulted in a surge in enquiries not only about these children, but from dozens of potential parents who may never have thought they could be considered as adopters.   

"We have constantly kept Adopt South in people’s minds through a combination of high-profile events such as the Great South Run, where we have a team of runners every year, and through building links with our communities by partnering with sporting organisations and faith groups. During Covid, we didn’t slow down.

"We took our engagement online, with virtual Q&A Sessions and busy online support groups, and we have embraced technology such as Virtual reality training to help potential parents understand a child’s point of view."