TWENTY-EIGHT children across Sunderland are looking for a loving family to adopt them.
As of this week, the 28 youngsters have placement orders, which allows Sunderland City Council to place them for adoption.
Another eight children, who have adoption plans pending before the courts, may need to be found families shortly.
According to figures from the Department of Education initiative First4adoption.org.uk, 50 per cent of prospective Sunderland parents’ applications were decided on in less than six months during 2012 to 2013, while 68 per cent of adopters were matched in less than three months of being approved during the same period.
Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for children’s services, Councillor Pat Smith, has called for more prospective parents in the city to come forward.
Coun Smith said that while it is important that the process is speeded up, it is crucial that the right checks are being carried out to match the right child with the right family.
“It’s very important for people to come forward, but it is also important that we feel that the process is right for the child,” Coun Smith told the Echo.
“I’m all for seeing children go further and be adopted quicker, but we have to make sure the parents are absolutely right for the child.
“Everyone is different and what one set of parents would do would be different to what other people would do.
“I would urge prospective parents to look into everything and take in the information available.
“From a local authority point of view, we are also finding new innovative ways to make it easier for the children to be adopted, but it has to be the right thing for the child and the right thing for the parents.”
In County Durham, 56 per cent of applications were decided on in less than six months and 64 per cent of adopters were matched in less than three months of being approved during 2012 to 13.
Meanwhile, 450 new foster families are needed across the North East this year.