I am very glad to give prominence to this article in last nnight's edition of my local newspaper, the Reading Evening Post, which seeks to explode the myth that boys are harder to bring up and therefore to adopt. One of my sisters adopted one and fostered a surprising number of others during her lifetime.
Laura Herbert writes:-
"Boys could wait longer to be adopted as they are perceived as being more trouble and harder to parent, according to a new study.
The research commissioned by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) is part of its National Adoption Week, which started on Monday. Results in the South East show one in five people think boys are tougher to parent than girls, while 45 per cent of people thought there was a nationwide perception of boys being more trouble. Just over half of those asked felt the media played a big part in the perception of boys and believed it portrayed them in an overly negative way.
However, Reading-based adoption and fostering agency Parents and Children Together (PACT) disagreed with the results. Sarah Pepys, director of adoption at PACT, said: “When someone is approved to adopt, they receive several family-finding magazines in which they see the picture and summarised lives of just a handful of the children in local authority care every month needing new ‘forever families’.
“A glance at the pages of any one of these does indeed show there are more boys than girls seeking adoption but they would also see a disproportionate number of children who are special for a different reason; maybe they belong to a sibling group, or they are older or have special needs.”
Ms Pepys added: “We at PACT work hard with our prospective parents to identify what aspects of a child’s personality or background they could most comfortably deal with.
“We have found that many families seek to have girls placed and are therefore keen to recruit families for those little boys for whom placements have not yet been found. “We are very keen for families interested in adopting boys to contact us to find placements for those waiting.”
Since its launch in 1997, National Adoption Week aims to encourage more families to come forward to adopt children who wait the longest. A majority of them are older children, children with disabilities, brothers and sisters, and children from some black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
For more information about adoption and fostering visit www.baaf.org.uk or contact PACT on 0800 731 1845 or visit www.pactcharity.org.
Source: Reading Evening Post - Laura Herbert - 12/11/2008