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A speedier adoption process

The Prime Minister is to set out proposed changes to legislation to ensure that, when adoption is in a child’s best interests, they are placed in loving homes as soon as possible.

 

The average time between a child entering care and moving in with their adoptive family is one year and nine months but the Government believes this is too long.

Evidence shows that every week of delay in giving young children a stable, long-term home harms their development and means they are more likely to develop behavioural and attachment problems.

Ahead of the Government’s Adoption Action Plan, the Prime Minister has outlined how to speed up the process for vulnerable children.

The three key measures are:

  • Local authorities will be required to reduce delays in all cases and will not be able to delay an adoption for the perfect match if there are other suitable adopters available. The ethnicity of a child and the prospective adopters will, in most cases, come second to the speed of placing a child in a loving home.
  • Proposed changes to legislation will make it easier for children to be fostered by approved prospective adopters while the courts consider the case for adoption. This will mean they stay in one home with the same parents, first as foster carers, and then as adopted parents if the court agrees to adoption.
  • If a match has not been found locally within three months of a child being recommended for adoption, LAs will have to refer them to the national Adoption Register so they can find a match in a wider pool of prospective adopters.

 

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