I have a plan

More than twice as many children are waiting to be adopted as there are families willing to adopt, campaigners have warned.

Figures from the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB) show there are 4,140 youngsters across England where a decision has been made by authorities that they should be adopted.

In comparison, there are about 1,700 families who are approved to adopt and waiting to be matched with children.

There are 2,760 children where a placement order has been made for adoption but they have not yet been placed.

Relax the process by which potential parents are cleared for adoption.

13 comments on “I have a plan

  1. Depends. Which is a worse outcome for the child – being placed with a dodgy family, or staying in a dodgy care home? What metric do you use to measure the outcome?

  2. My wife and I were looking at adoption but the process (in Italy but most probably broadly similar) was designed to be as humiliating as possible, going to take years and cost oodles, so we got another dog instead. Who is extremely happy.

    Let’s face it white people, UKIP voters and people who eat bacon for breakfast are excluded automatically, so there is always going to be a bit of a problem.

    Seems to me the problem is not so much the critera for suitability, but who administers the process, like most of the rest of the shite which functions badly or not at all.

    And that of course depends on who is negatively affected by it’s not functioning.

  3. A friend who, with his wife, finally managed to adopt a child opined that “if you had to jump through as many bloody silly hoops in order to procreate naturally rather than adopt, mankind would have died out shortly after social workers were invented”.

  4. ‘Authorities.’

    There’s your problem.

    ‘In comparison, there are about 1,700 families who are approved to adopt and waiting to be matched with children.’

    Why are they waiting?

    A: Authorities.

  5. I have some knowledge of this – and the hurdles are considerably less than they were 6 years ago. The biggest problem isn’t getting people cleared (although some of the checks are a little ridiculous), it’s finding people that want to adopt.

  6. I’m glad we didn’t need to adopt. But if nature hadn’t provided I’d have run a mile from the idea. We were discussing odds just a few posts up.

  7. By the by, does anyone else feel that whoever coined the name “the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board” could usefully be tar-and-feathered?

  8. @dearieme it doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it?

    You’ll note that around 1,700 families have been approved to adopt – they then go through the matching process where they find a child that they think will fit their needs, and whose social worker thinks that they will fit the child’s needs. This can be a lengthy process. Around 1 in 3 cases takes less than a month, but around half take more than 6 months, and that can be down to the adopters as much as anything else.

    Numbers look about right. I have only limited access to some of the data on this, but it’s at least close to what I can see.

    What they don’t mention is the characteristics that make the children harder to place. The three main characteristics that make it difficult are:
    – around half of the children waiting to be matched are in sibling groups (2 or more that have to be placed together)
    – around 1 in 10 are over 5 (which is a big no to a lot of adopters – a lot of people want a baby)
    – around 1 in 6 has three or more identified needs (this includes things like HIV, aggressive behaviour, physical or mental disability, etc).

    Ethnicity is not much of an issue: around 1 in 4 children don’t present as white british but around 1 in 7 adopters is not white british, so this is not that far off where it should be if children were always to be placed within their ethnic group, and that’s a lot less of a requirement now than it used to be.

  9. The fact that adoption means the birth parents can now maintain contact, so it can be more like extended fostering, doesn’t help; family and being a parent is much more than biology. Also wonder what impact the divorce rate is having on adoption, how many less stable families are there that could consider adoption.
    I was adopted at age 6, was many years later that I came to realise that’s like winning the lottery. I was also lucky enough to have been in a residential care home that was not implicated in the historic abuse inquiries.

  10. Most of the time, contact with birth parents is indirect. They send a letter to the council once a year and it gets forwarded to the adoptive parents, and vice versa. It’s very rare for a child to be taken away but direct contact maintained after adoption.

    There is a higher likelihood of direct contact with siblings (usually if they’ve been adopted) or sometimes extended family – but this takes place at a neutral location, I don’t think they ever know where the adopted parents live.

  11. My little sister and brother-in-law have fostered several children, some of whom they adopted (the eldest of the the first three, half-brother to the other two, was too old by the time they started the adoption process).

    It’s not the stupid restrictions on the couples wanting to adopt that should be the first line of attack (it should be the second) – it is the restrictions on those wanting to foster. My local County Council keeps sending me emails encouraging me to foster children and then has enormous requirements and tiny hoops through which to jump.

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