The Children Let Down by Britain; as the Bbc's Ground-Breaking Adoption Series Provokes a Huge Response, the Mail Gives Its Readers a Chance to Help Others in Need of a Loving Home
THESE innocent, haunting faces are among the 68,000 children in care in Britain today ... children let down by an adoption system denounced by Ministers last week as 'politically correct, bureaucratic' and desperately in need of reform.
In the Seventies, 20,000 young people were adopted annually. Today that figure has dropped to only 3,000 stifled by overzealous officials, all too willing, it seems, to find reasons to block couples hoping to adopt. The plight of just some of these children was highlighted recently by the BBC in a groundbreaking series. The daytime show told the stories of 31 youngsters and appealed for adoptive families for them.
The response was staggering: 16,000 viewers rang a hotline asking for information. The booklet they were sent also carried the pictures and stories of dozens of other children who were not fortunate enough to appear in the shows.
Today, the Daily Mail tells their haunting stories in the hope that they, too, can find secure and permanent family homes... * READERS who want to find out more should ring 0800 077077 to be sent a BBC booklet containing further information on these children.
NICOLA, 8, loves swimming and drawing and is very affectionate.
She has learning difficulties and attends a special school, but is making good progress. Nicola would like a permanent family who can give her the love, stability and support she needs.
LEE, 10, is lively, popular and friendly. He loves football and is good at sports. He is doing well at junior school but, because of irregular school attendance in the past, needs help with reading and writing. Lee lives in a children's home. He needs a family where he is an only child or the youngest by several years.
SYDNEY, 10, is a very appealing, healthy boy. His foster carers say that he is rewarding to care for, but can also be a bit of a challenge. Sydney would love a permanent home, but a long-term foster parent would also be considered. He gets on better with adults or young people who are older than himself.
CHRISTIAN, 11, is an affectionate, active little boy who desperately wants to be part of a family. He enjoys golf and horse riding and attends a special school to help him with his learning difficulties. He needs a long-term family who ideally have no children, and live in the North of England so he can keep in contact with his relatives.
LUKE, 10, loves swimming, computers and riding his bike. He attends mainstream school, with additional support to make up for gaps in his education. This affectionate youngster lives in a children's home, but needs to be adopted by two parents, preferably in the South-East, who will be able to teach him to trust again.
FREDDY, 4, is an energetic blue-eyed boy a whirlwind with a great sense of humour. Although blossoming in foster care, he needs an adoptive family to give him plenty of love and help him maintain contact with relatives. He is developmentally delayed in certain areas but enjoys the mainstream nursery he attends.
LEFT: JAMIE, 7, and LUKE, 6 are affectionate brothers who love football and bike riding. They also enjoy computers and video games.
Jamie is doing well at school and has lots of friends, while Luke is confident and a real entertainer. They need an energetic family where they will be the youngest by several years.
RIGHT: DANIEL, 11, and DESREEN, 9, are brother and sister. Daniel loves climbing, swimming and running.
Desreen likes fashion. They need a two-parent black family to adopt or long-term foster them, promote Daniel's educational needs and help Desreen with her self-esteem.
LIAM, 9, LUKE, 8, KEZ, 7, and KAYNE, 6, would love to be adopted as a family.
Kez is good-natured and popular.
Kayne is friendly and loves cuddles. Luke loves running and climbing, but needs help with his schoolwork. …