Foster carer reveals ‘wonderful experience’ adopting a child has changed their lives forever

Julie Barton, who adopted a daughter with her husband Kevin seven years ago.
Julie Barton, who adopted a daughter with her husband Kevin seven years ago.
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A Northamptonshire mother who adopted her daughter seven years ago says the experience has enriched the lives of their whole family.

Julie Barton and her husband Kevin initially applied to Northamptonshire County Council to become foster carers. Eight years ago they opened their home to a six-year-old girl on a short-term foster placement after her previous placement fell through.

Twelve months later, she became a permanent member of the Barton family as their adopted daughter.

This week is National Adoption Week and Julie, who also has a birth son, two step-children, two long-term foster daughters and one short-term foster child, says adopting their daughter was a fantastic decision for the whole family.

She said: “We wanted to make a difference to her life. We felt we had the life skills and the parenting skills to enable to her be the best she could possibly be.

“We have watched our daughter do amazing things. When she first came to us, she was very behind at school but, with the support of her wonderful teachers, we have put in a lot of time and effort and she has achieved well beyond her expectations. She is sitting eight GCSEs and is expected to get As to Cs, and she’s hoping to go into sixth form.

“We have seen her grow from a little girl to a brilliant young woman and we are very, very proud. It has been a wonderful experience for our whole family.”

Northamptonshire County Council’s adoption team welcomes applications from people with diverse backgrounds.

There is a particular need for people to consider adopting children with complex needs, sibling groups and older children.

County council cabinet member for families and learning Cllr Matthew Golby said: “There are children in Northamptonshire who are looking for their forever home.

“We have a particular need for people who are willing to adopt a sibling group – which means birth brothers and sisters can stay together – as well as primary school age children and those with complex health needs.

“I would encourage anyone who is thinking about adopting a child to contact our adoption team for more information.”

People can find out more about adopting a child with Northamptonshire County Council by calling 0300 126 1008 or by visiting www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/adoption.