A mum is backing an appeal by Kirklees Council to find homes for at least seven babies.

Claire, 39, and her 52-year-old husband, Richard, have just adopted their fourth child through a national scheme.

The scheme, called Fostering for Adoption, allows children to move into the home of prospective parents at the earliest possible stage.

Claire said they were matched with a six-week-old girl earlier this year. Unlike with the traditional adoption route, they were able to live with the baby straight away.

The couple had previously adopted three children through Kirklees Council – two sisters in 2009 who are now aged nine and eleven, followed by a boy in 2011 now aged six.

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Claire said: “Previously, once we’d been matched with our children we then had to go through a handing over process, which involved gradual contact over several weeks before they could come and live with us.

“This time, because we’d chosen the Fostering for Adoption route, we could take our daughter home with us until the courts decided on her plan of care. It just made so much more sense that she could live with the people who were very likely to become her adoptive parents and we were able to bond with her straight away. Those extra months with her were precious and made a real difference.”

Claire, 39, and her 52-year-old husband, Richard, have just adopted their fourth child through a national scheme

While there is a small chance that under the Fostering for Adoption scheme a child may be reunited with their birth family, the vast majority go on to be adopted.

Under the initiative Kirklees Council has successfully placed 13 children, many from birth, with loving families and need to find homes for at least seven babies over the coming months.

Sarah Callaghan, Kirklees Council’s Director of Children’s Services, said: “Our adoption team would be able to talk through your options to decide if this is right for you and offer advice and support throughout.

“These new measures are still in their infancy, but experience tells us that the benefits of consistent care for the child from the earliest stage of their life are immeasurable.

“If you’re interested in finding out more please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on 0800 0183001 or visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/fosteringforadoption .”