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PACT

'It’s a reality that black children are disproportionately represented in our care system. While black ethnic groups make up 5.5% of the general population, they make up 18% of looked after children.'

‘I am absolutely determined to do what I can to make my girls proud of who they are, and I know I can help them with that.’

These are the words of Marcia, mum to two girls Summer and Rachel, who she adopted with her husband Ian in October 2015.

It’s a reality that black children are disproportionately represented in our care system. While black ethnic groups make up 5.5% of the general population, they make up 18% of looked after children.

All children waiting for adoption are likely to experience delay and instability but BME children also must confront the issue of identity – their ethnicity, their culture, and maybe their language. This can impact on their personal relationships, their education, and their future as a parent themselves.

Meet three couples who adopted through the charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) which assesses and approved adoptive parents in London and the southeast.

Emma and Fahmi, a mixed-race couple with a birth child.

Their first daughter, Aliya*, was born a year into their relationship and 15 years later they adopted their second child, Samir* when he was 15 months old.

When they had trouble conceiving, it was discovered that Emma suffered from second child infertility. They tried some different fertility treatments, but none were successful. Emma found the whole thing physically and emotionally draining. When the last treatment failed, she felt hopeless.

She said: “Aliya was only 12 at the time and I remember her being so mattered of fact about it. She said: ‘Don’t worry mum, there is always adoption to look at’, and that is where our journey really began.” They spoke about adoption as a family and decided they wanted to adopt a dual heritage baby.


After Samir came to live with them, Aliya mentioned to a relative that she loved finally having someone in the family who looked like her. Emma said: “This comment has stayed with us. We had never thought of her feeling so different but when we thought about it, all her family members were either white or black.

It was lovely for her to feel that she had someone else the same as she and I think this has made her bond with her little brother that much stronger.”


Eddie said: 'It was always important for me that the children I adopted saw themselves reflected in us, their parents. The fact that the boys' father and my father are from the same tribe in Nigeria created an instant connection. It means we can honour their heritage and promote it authentically, which ultimately enhances their sense of identity.’

Ruth, of Trinidadian descent and her husband who is white British adopted their daughter when she was 14months old.





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