- Pastor Yvonne Brooks and Pastor Marjorie Esomowei co-chaired the inaugural Faith & Family: Black Adopters Information Summit, in support of the #YouCanAdopt campaign, on Tuesday 13 July
- The panellists, a number of whom are Christian, included women who adopted as single mothers, mothers in their 50s and mothers who already had birth children
- The event took place against the backdrop of figures that reveal Black children are disproportionately over-represented in our care system (8%)* and experience longer delays in being matched with an adoptive family than their white counterparts
Pastor Yvonne Brooks, co-pastor at New Jerusalem Apostolic Church in Birmingham, and founder of Women of Purpose, and Pastor Marjorie Esomowei, co-pastor of Triumphant Church International and founder of Wisdom For Women International, co-chaired a faith and family summit to encourage adoption within the Black community on Tuesday, 13 July.
The online event was held in support of the #YouCanAdopt Black Adopters campaign, a national initiative that sets out to raise awareness of adoption and debunk the myths around who is eligible to adopt. With the aim to increase the number of potential adopters registering their interest in adoption. Launched in 2020, the campaign is being delivered by a cross-sector of regional adoption agencies, voluntary adoption agencies, and other key adoption stakeholders across England.
At the summit for women, panellists, a number of whom are Christian, spoke candidly about their experiences of adopting, the role their faith played in the adoption journey, why they believe it’s especially important for Black people to consider adoption – as well as sharing advice for prospective adopters.
Speaking at the event, the mother of three, Pearl said: “My faith played an integral role in my decision to adopt. I honestly believe God had already decided that Amara would be my daughter and that I would be her mother before my husband and I even considered adopting a child. I am very proud of the close relationship I have with my daughter. Being her biological mother wouldn’t have made a difference.”
The audience also heard from adoption experts; social worker Sherifa Adenmosun and Head of One Adoption West Yorkshire Sarah Johal, who helped demystify the process and address myths that often prevent people from contemplating adoption.
“Throughout my career, I have heard so many misconceptions about who is eligible to adopt, such as, you can’t adopt if you’re single, over 40, don’t live in a large house, or already have children living with you. All of which is untrue,” explained Sherifa Adenmosun. “There are Black children waiting in the care system that will, unfortunately, wait longer than their white counterparts. These children come from all walks of life, so therefore we need adopters from all walks of life.”
Pastor Yvonne Brooks said: “Numerous members of my congregation have grown their families through adoption and I’ve seen first-hand how it can enrich a child’s life and the life of their new family. I hope members of our community engage with the #YouCanAdopt campaign and explore the possibility of adoption.”
Pastor Marjorie Esomowei said: “Children are a gift from God, a true blessing to any parent whether they are biological or adopted. It was a pleasure to co-chair this summit to help highlight some of the barriers to adoption within the Black community and the positive impact adoption can bring to not only a child but to the wider community.”
Black and mixed-heritage children are also disproportionately overrepresented in the UK’s care system. While Black ethnic groups make up 3%* of the general population, 8%* of the looked after children population is Black.
Black and mixed-heritage children are less likely to be adopted and wait longer to find their adoptive families, than their white counterparts. The key aim of the #YouCanAdopt Black Adopters campaign is to reach potential adoptive parents from Black African and Black Caribbean backgrounds in a bid to address these disproportionalities.
To find out more about adoption visit www.youcanadopt.co.uk/blackadopters today.
Written by: Marcia Dixon Public Relations