A call has been made for more families to consider adopting children in Dorset at the start of National Adoption Week.
The appeal was made by the county council who have found despite a "relaxation" in adoption laws in 2005, permanent homes are required.
Its children's services department currently approves nine out of ten potential adopters but more are needed.
In particular older children, those with mixed heritage and those with particular needs all want families.
"We know that many people would like to offer a loving and permanent home to a child or children, but they never take the next step," Andrea Orchard, the council's adoption manager, said.
"This may be because they're worried that the process maybe too gruelling or that they might not 'fit the bill'.
"In reality, people from all walks of life go on to be come successful adopters."
The Adoption and Children Act 2002 came into force at the end of 2005 enabling unmarried and same-sex couples to adopt together.
A Dorset resident and adoptive parent, who did not want to be named, said: "Following initial contact with our local adoption and fostering team, things for us moved very quickly and we now have a wonderful new son."
"It was a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, but we would readily race round and join the queue again."
The British Association for Adoption and Fostering has organised the tenth national adoption week from 6 - 12 November, and is campaigning to find homes for 4,000 children in the UK.