Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool - A Life Less Ordinary campaign image

New adoption campaign to find parents for children who have waited the longest

An adoption campaign to find parents for children in Lancashire and Blackpool who face the greatest delays in finding a permanent home has launched today (Wednesday 29 June).

The national campaign, called A Life Less Ordinary, is being run by You Can Adopt and supported locally by Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool.

A Life Less Ordinary aims to find the right adopters for specific groups of children that face the greatest delays in finding a home.

These include children aged five or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from an ethnic minority background. 

The most recent figures show that children from these groups represent 63% of the 270 children currently waiting to be placed with a family in the North West. A further 100 children from these groups in the North West have been waiting for 18 months or longer to be placed. 

A Life Less Ordinary showcases the many benefits of adopting these children, highlights the support available to adopters and adopted children and offers advice about adopting children from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Mark Owers, Chair of the National Adoption Recruitment Steering Group, said: “While some groups of children may be seen as ‘harder to place’, they are not harder to love. That’s why we’re shining a light on those children who typically wait longest to be adopted – such as brother and sister groups, older children, children of colour and children with additional needs.

"We urgently need to bust the myths and misconceptions that may exist around adopting these children and find parents who can give them a loving, stable, permanent home.

"Most potential adopters already have the skills and attributes they need to change the course of these children’s lives. While it might not always be easy, support is available, and adoption is so rewarding.”

A new survey has revealed that, while 30% of people in the North West would consider adopting, the majority (87%) would prefer to adopt a single child aged 1 to 4.

Victoria Gent, Chair of adoption Lancashire and Blackpool, said: "It's absolutely vital we find loving homes for children who have been waiting to be adopted for longer.

"We want to change perceptions by showing people the benefits of adopting children over 5, those living with a disability, children from an ethnic minority background and brother and sister groups.

"There are enough prospective parents and by coming forward and adopting from these groups, they could make a huge difference to a child's life.

"We know adoption can be daunting, but if you’re interested in adopting a child from one of these harder-to-place groups, call our friendly team for advice and support."

Nessa is a single adopter of two boys. Miles is now 9 and has global developmental delay and learning disabilities. Bobby is 3 and previously suffered a non-accidental injury before being adopted. Due to this, he is partially sighted. He also has epilepsy, cerebral palsy and global developmental delay. 

Nessa said: "Miles is a lovely boy who has loads of energy. He's in mainstream school and has recently been given his Education Health and Care Plan. He now has one-to-one support in school to help him.

"When my social worker told me about Bobby and I read his report, I didn't think I could look after a poorly baby with all of his needs. However, I spoke to his social worker and I'm glad I took the decision to adopt him.

"Bobby is now walking, he is a climber, goes up and down stairs and plays on climbing frames. His favourite is the slide.

"He can say loads of words including mama, Miles and his carers name. He understands around 90% of what you say to him.

"Both my boys love each other and I don't regret taking them on, in fact I'm glad the social workers "pushed" my boundaries because both are not hard to look after and are a pleasure."

For more information about A Life Less Ordinary, and to view a short film about the campaign visit


Notes to editors

  • Data referred to in this news release comes from Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGL) Quarterly Data Collection, Q3 2021/22 and a survey conducted by Opinion Matters with 2,015 adults aged 16 and over in England between 13 and 17 May 2022.

Additional figures

Nationally, compared to children without these characteristics: 

  • Children over 5 wait 13 months longer to be adopted from care
  • Children with a disability wait 11 months longer
  • Children in brother and sister groups wait 11 months longer

Of the 1,220 children waiting (who typically wait longest to be adopted):

  • 25% (470n) are aged 5 years and over
  • 17% (320n) are from an Ethnic Minority (excludes white minorities)
  • 6% (110n) have a disability
  • 43% (820n) are in a brother/sister group

Additional quote from Lancashire County Council

County Councillor Cosima Towneley, Lancashire County Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: "I would very much like to encourage anyone thinking of stepping forward to foster or adopt a child to consider older children and those that have been waiting longer. 

"Adoption is daunting at any level, but the A Life Less Ordinary Campaign gives lots of useful information and the Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool team will be happy to discuss any aspects of adoption with you, including the ongoing support available for parents and children."

 Additional Quote from Blackpool Council

Cllr Jim Hobson, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, said: “Every child is unique and will come with their own unique personalities, behaviours and traits, which is why we want people to consider children and young people who have been waiting to be adopted for longer.

“There are many children in Lancashire and Blackpool who need a loving family as they grow up, and adopting is such an enriching thing to do.

“If you’ve thought about it in the past, we can help you make it a reality. Please get in touch if you feel like you could make a difference.”