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Adoption numbers see a welcome increase

Adoption and fostering charity TACT has welcomed the announcement from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that the number of adoptions made in the UK in 2012 had risen by nearly 10%. This follows an increase in 2011 of 6%.

The figures show that:

  • In 2012, the number of adoptions in England and Wales was 5,206, an increase of 9.8% since 2011 when there were 4,740 adoptions.
  • In 2012, most children adopted (63%) were aged between one and four years, rising from 62% in 2011.
  • Adoptions in Scotland remained relatively constant between 2011 and 2012, with 496 adoptions in 2011 and 494 in 2012 (figures for 2012 are preliminary).

The latest rise reflects an on-going government commitment in England and Wales to increase adoption in the UK. Reforms such as the new six month two tier adoption process have already been introduced and are being used by Local Authorities and Voluntary Adoption Agencies (VAAs) such as TACT. Other reforms, such as the new ‘Fostering to Adopt’ scheme, are contained in the Children and Families Bill currently before parliament. The government has also recently announced a £16 million funding programme to start up, expand and support VAAs.

While welcoming the increase, TACT interim Chief Executive David Bradley said there was also a need for caution. He said:

“This increase reflects the government’s commitment to finding new loving families for some of our most vulnerable children. However, we need to be careful that the speeded up process does not lead to increased risk of adoption breakdown. If significant needs are missed or overlooked the consequences for the family could be catastrophic. TACT also maintains that the need for effective family support after adoption remains the most pressing need, and largely remains un-addressed in the Government’s reform programme.”

Contact our Family Solicitors in Aberdeen

If you need help with a family law matter, including disputes involving children and child custody, contact our specialist solicitors on 01224 370 028 or fill in our enquiry form today.

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