Adoptions in England and Wales rise almost ten per cent

Father and sonThe number of children adopted in England and Wales rose by almost ten percent in the year to 2012, new figures show.

There were 5,206 adoptions in that year the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced, a jump of 9.8 per cent over the previous year.

According to the ONS, this is the sharpest rise in a single year since they began to collate the figures in 1997 and they believe it “could be a consequence of the recent drive to improve the adoptions process in England and in Wales.”

The figures include adoptions from care, ‘kinship care’ adoptions by extended family members, and adoptions by step parents.

The great majority of the children – 85 per cent – were born outside marriage, and a smaller majority (63 per cent) were aged between one and four, almost twice the 1998 figure of 34 per cent.

Hugh Thornbery is the Chief Executive of charity Adoption UK. He said the rise was encouraging.

“It is encouraging the number of adoption orders increased in 2012. Adoption offers positive outcomes for children from the care system, providing them with a permanent family that many of them might not have if they remained.”

But the government should not focus entirely on recruiting new adopters, he added.

“We need to remain committed to recruiting more adoptive parents but it is important to remember that any focus on recruiting adopters must go hand-in-hand with good support packages, both to encourage new adopters and ensure the long-term success of adoptive placements.”

The Department for Education said it welcomed the figures. A spokeswoman explained: “We welcome any rise in the rate of adoption. In England, too many children are waiting too long for loving, stable families. We are overhauling the system – simplifying the process for parents who want to adopt and giving them clear, independent information. We have also been clear that we expect councils to recruit more adopters and provide children with loving homes swiftly.”

Photo by Tawel via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

 

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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2 comments

Dana - August 22, 2013 at 11:31am

The governments drive to adopt as many children from the care system is exonerating them from responsibility. When a child is taken from their home it is said it is for safeguarding. If that same child is adopted how can they possibly know that child is safe?

Many children in care that have been freed for adoption have family that wish to care for them but are found wanting by social services and the courts. This is wrong when you consider that many grandparents who have no involvement with social services are looking after their grandchildren for very much the same reasons that brought other parents to the attention of social service. Those grandparents should be given the opportunity to look after their own kin first.

There is also another school of thought that believes that children are better off left in their own homes than being taken into care. In USA , the NCCPR website has research that bears this out. The Evidence is in. Family preservation is what works!

In the USA they have just discovered a scam by a leading adoption expert and lawyer, with others, who were netting in 100-150 dollars per child over years. When money exchanges hands it very often becomes an adoption racket!
You have to wonder if these government policies are really in the child’s best interests.

It would be interesting to see who makes money from these policies. In years to come, will we see more of the failed adoption stories that are already coming to the fore. Those policy makers that are to blame will be out of government, will have copped the money and be out of sight. No responsibility, no accountability. The ones that will suffer will be the children. As always!

The governments new commodities to be sold as quickly as possible to who knows who. It bothers me that kids fostered run a greater risk of abuse than if left in their own home or with other family members but social services are supposed to look after them. Adopted kids run a greater risk altogether as they drop off the radar altogether! Why are we not supporting family preservation?

Dana - August 22, 2013 at 11:47am

Oh! One other thing.
Where are the statistics for the outcomes of adopted children? From research I have done there is very little. What was found was quite depressing. Many people in America who were once part of the adoption system have now stated that they would do things differently or not at all knowing what they know now. They can be found on u tube, many have run series of informative videos discussing what they once believed as opposed to what they now believe. Do we have to keep reinventing the wheel? Are we so arrogant to think we have got it right when many others, like Russia, have changed their adoption policies in the light of abuse & deaths of Russian children adopted in the USA? Many countries are stealing & trafficking children to feed the demand but just because there is a demand it doesn’t mean that we should become a party to selling kids.
The government focus on what to do with kids once they are in care but should focus on intervention to stop kids coming in to care in the first place. Ultimately they would be safer! Isn’t that what its supposed to be about, keeping kids safe!

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