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You are in: London > Faith > Communities > black london > Black families and adoption - the debate.

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Black families and adoption - the debate.

On 30th September BBC London held a debate looking at why the number of black children needing adoptive families is disproportionately high. It was hosted by Valley Fontaine and Dotun Adebayo.

When adoption agencies in London say they're looking for more families willing to offer a home to children, predominantly they mean black families.

"At the age of 3, Essex County Council became my parents."

David Akinsanya, fostered as a child and now a respite foster carer.

Why is it that black children are disproportionately represented in the care system?  What is the best solution, when sensitivity about cross-racial and cross-cultural adoption is running high?

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BBC London 94.9 ran a debate on the subject as part of the Family Wanted series on September 30th 2007.  The two-hour show was broadcast live on 94.9, from our East London base at Rich Mix in Shoreditch.

The debate was entitled, 'In The Best Interest of the Child'.  On the panel were:

SHEGUN OLUSANYA, an adoptive parent. 

Shegun is married and 2 years ago adopted  Joshua.  He and his wife, Seyi are Nigerian.  They are unable to have children and decided to adopt.  Shegun says that in African communities adoption is not common, but after a conversation with his brother-in-law in America (who adopted three children) he decided to give it a go and hasn't looked back.

DAVID AKINSANYA, fostered as a child and now a respite foster parent. 

David was  the son of a white mother and a Nigerian father.  His parents arranged for private foster care when he was 10 days old.  It was unsuccessful so, at the age of three, Essex County Council became David's parents.  David now offers weekend respite care to fostered children.

DENISE HART, senior social worker with National Children's Home Black Families. 

Denise has been in adoption social work for 13 years.  She’s worked all over London, finding families and supporting them through adoption and post adoption. 

Among the issues up for discussion were:

  • Why a disproportionate number of black children are waiting for adoption in London.
  • Why transracial adoption is so controversial.
  • What can be done to encourage more African and African-Caribbean people to consider adoption.
  • Whether British people should be adopting children from other countries.
Family Wanted logo

Are you looking for more information about adoption or fostering?

The link to the Family Wanted BBC web-pages at the top of this page will give you further information. 


last updated: 11/02/2008 at 15:38
created: 16/09/2007

You are in: London > Faith > Communities > black london > Black families and adoption - the debate.

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