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Last Updated: Monday, 3 November, 2003, 17:38 GMT
Adoptive homes sought for boys
A child
Of 40 children waiting for homes, 30 of them are school-age boys
A shortage of people willing to adopt school-age boys is causing concern to Northamptonshire County Council.

More than 30 boys between the ages of four and 16 were waiting for homes at the start of National Adoption Week.

Andy Clarke, adoption and fostering recruitment manager with the adoption department, told BBC News Online that it is usually easier to place girls than boys.

"It is a trend. I think one of the key things really, is that most people want the typical cute baby girl, we find it harder to place boys.

"There are more older children than small ones. We explain to families that there are very few babies up for adoption."

Fear of red tape

The Northamptonshire Parents for Children project has had some success creating videos of the older children who need homes and displaying their artwork on posters.

Mr Clarke said: "That works, because it opens up people's minds."

He said prospective parents sometimes dismiss adoption because they fear a difficult process or do not want to open up their lives to close scrutiny.

"I think people are scared by the formality, or they may see the process as intrusive, but if it was your child going to live with another family, in a different part of the country, forever, wouldn't you want to know they're being checked out?"

The council is looking for adoptive parents who are over 21 and from every race and cultural background - and they can be single, living with a partner or married.

Last year the council approved 39 adopters and placed 55 children.

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