Adoption applications on the increase? Is the process to be simplified?

On Friday the 11th of January 2013 the Government published a map of England which showed the number of children who have been approved for adoption in each area of the UK that are waiting to be adopted. A new telephone hotline has been set up by the Government, funded by the Department of Education and run by a group of 3 charities which will be manned by individuals experienced in the adoption process and who will be able to give both practical advice and support in all areas of the adoption process. The telephone hotline number is 0300 222 0022.

The Government has started both initiatives with the aim of supporting prospective adopters throughout the process and wants to ensure that delays are reduced as much as possible.

The Government also plan to set up a national “Gateway to Adoption” website later this year which it is hoped will be used as a single access point for adoption agencies and members of the public wishing to adopt and it is hoped that  this will streamline the whole process. Currently Government research shows that the quality of support and advice that prospective adopters receive from adoption agencies or Local Authorities differs greatly depending on which area of the UK they live.

Adoption UK, Chief Executive, Hugh Thornbery has welcomed the Government’s new initiatives, stating, “We hope this transparency will help address the shortage of prospective adopters in England and reduce the growing number of children in care who are waiting for a stable, permanent and secure home in the form of an adoptive placement”.

It is hoped that in particular the hotline will provide adopters with support and advice both during the adoption process as well as once the child / children have been placed. Sadly one in five adoptions in the UK breaks down.

BAAF The British Agency for Adoption and Fostering have also welcomed the new initiatives disclosing figures which show that the number of children approved for adoption rose from 3,000 in 2010 to more than 4,000 in 2012.