A FESTIVE campaign to encourage more people in Somerset to adopt – whatever their circumstances – has been launched by the county council.

The authority says age, marital status, sexuality, low income or a criminal record are among reasons which people incorrectly think may bar them from adopting.

Research from the British Association for Adoption and Fostering reveals that one in five people believed being over 40 prevents them from being eligible.

Council adoption chief Cllr Frances Nicholson said: “The truth is that none of these things rule a person out of adoption.

“Lots of people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles adopt in Somerset.”

The survey also reveals a quarter of people incorrectly believe having a low household income would rule a person out.

Over two-thirds thought any criminal conviction from the past would stop them and one in five believed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people cannot adopt.

To find out more visit adoptioninsomerset.org.uk or call 0800-587-9900.