At the end of National Adoption Week a Cornish mum has said that adopting was one of the best things she has ever done.

Debbie – not her real name – adopted her daughter ten years ago and with thanks from the Family Plus Team; she has seen her daughter flourish and become a confident young lady.

Debbie said: “The best advice we can give to potential adopters is to be prepared for a 'Different Kind of Parenting'. We aren't going to dress this up; adopting a child is a huge undertaking and will affect all aspects of your life and your families; just like having your own child.

“We already had a daughter and this changed the dynamics and the experience tremendously. Our blueprint for parenting wasn’t right for our new daughter; she hadn't read the blueprint! So our path has been full of wrong turns and road blocks.”

Taking home a child for the first time is a nerve racking and exciting time for parents, but it's also a chance to change a child’s life forever.

“There were times when we wondered what the heck we had done but you must never lose sight of WHY you are doing this and not take things personally," said Debbie.

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Debbie said the support available in Cornwall for parents who adopt a child had really helped her: “It was like a breath of fresh air when we contacted Cornwall Council’s Family Plus Team and we were introduced to our Therapeutic Family Support Worker from the Family Plus Team. They are totally committed to us as a family unit, and have made us all feel worthy, transforming our lives and, most importantly, introducing our daughter to therapy which has tackled the paper chain of her life and started to mend the many broken links.

“With the help of the Family Plus Team our daughter is turning into a lovely 16 year old young lady. She likes herself now thanks to the support we have been given. Has been given the chance to address and explore lots of gaps in her life and is starting to finally accept her situation and move on. She doesn't feel the need to proportion blame any more. Family Plus Team have played an important part in this.”

At the end of National Adoption Week Cornwall has 27 young people waiting to be adopted; they are a range of ages and some are in sibling groups.

Portfolio holder for children and wellbeing, councillor Sally Hawken, said: “Adopted children can be among the most complex and vulnerable in society as they have often suffered serious neglect or abuse in their early lives. But adoption can transform their lives and our aim is to support the young people and the adoptive parents throughout their journey.”

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The focus of National Adoption week has been about challenging the misconceptions that people have about adopting. It doesn’t matter about your marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender, disability or employment status. None of these are a barrier to adopting a child; each application is based on its own merit.

Debbie concluded: “Our future is looking bright but most importantly our daughter is also looking forward to HER future and her life. This is the ultimate goal of being a parent and even more so, adoptive parents. She filled a gap in our lives. She didn't choose her beginnings but she is now looking forward to a future with us.”