Couple in plea for adopters to come forward

Coun Andrew Halewood and Mrs Blanch Halewood are encouraging potential adopters to come forward. Photo by Anthony Hodgins
Coun Andrew Halewood and Mrs Blanch Halewood are encouraging potential adopters to come forward. Photo by Anthony Hodgins

An upper Calder Valley couple is urging prospective parents to consider adopting as it was “the best thing they have ever done”.

Building up to National Adoption Week, running from November 4 to November 10, Hebden Royd Town Councillor Andrew Halewood and his wife Blanch - who adopted brother and sister Louise and John nine years ago - are urging residents to get involved.

Describing their lives as complete after adopting, Andrew and Blanch - who tried natural conception and IVF before having their minds opened to the idea of adoption - are calling out for more adopters who can help “make it real”, and help Calderdale Council step up its recruitment campaign.

Andrew said: “If you’d told me when I was in my early 40s that I’d be an adopter, I wouldn’t have believed you. But I’m so glad that Blanch and I kept an open mind and went down the adoption route. I can honestly say it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.

“I urge people not to let any myths or niggles put them off enquiring about adoption. You could make such a special difference to children who’ve had a tough start in life - and in return they can make an amazing difference to you.”

To mark National Adoption Week, Calderdale Council’s adoption team is having an information stall at Hebden Bridge Market on Thursday, November 7, between 11am and 1pm. They will share their expertise and answer people’s questions to help them make an informed decision, and talk about the great support they can give before, during and after the adoption process.

Calderdale Council’s Leader, Coun Tim Swift, said: “Up and down the country there is a shortage of adoptive families, and Calderdale is no exception.

“So at the start of the year, and again in August, we launched our campaign, ‘Adoption: help them make it real’ to urge people to consider giving a loving home to our borough’s most vulnerable children.

“Since August, more people than ever before have been to our adoption information evenings and 46 potential adopters have come forward. This is really pleasing, but we always need more people to register their interest, as at any one time we have around 40 children in need of a permanent loving home.”