New rules to speed up the adoption system are due to come into force in July, the Government has announced.
Building on the successes of 2013, which saw a record 15% increase in adoptions, the recently announced changes will reduce delays for black and ethnic minority children and give adopters a much more active role in finding children they might be suitable to adopt.
The package represents another giant leap in overhauling the adoption system, says the Government, and includes:
- removing barriers by ensuring ethnicity is not prioritised over other factors - such as the ability to provide a stable, loving home,
- scrapping restrictions on the register so approved adopters can actively search for children they could provide a family for,
- introducing new rules requiring councils to actively consider fostering for adoption places where appropriate - allowing children to move in with their adoptive family much earlier, and
- placing a mandatory requirement on all councils to tell prospective adopters about their entitlements.
Research published last year by the Department for Education shows that over 4 million people in England are likely to consider adopting at some point in the future, yet up and down the country there are still 6,000 children waiting for safe, new homes.
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