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06 July 2012

Radical Plans Unveiled To Speed Up Adoption Process

The Prime Minister is to announce plans to radically speed up the adoption process.

Within the new plans possible future permanent families will foster children before lengthy legal procedures are finalised.

Cameron hopes the Fostering for Adoption scheme will give children a better start in life by ensuring they have a stable home as quickly as possible.

Currently, local authorities generally wait until court orders are made before beginning their search for a permanent home, under the new plans however, men and women who have been cleared as adopters can become a child's foster parent until they are legally allowed to adopt them.

The move will not pre-empt any legal ruling, meaning the youngsters could be returned to their birth parents or other carers, but the government hopes it will mean the interests of the children are put first.

Figures show that babies put into care aged under one month, half were eventually adopted, but it took an average of more than 15 months for them to move in with their permanent family.

Cameron said: "Children's needs must be at the very heart of the adoption process - it's shocking that we have a system where 50% of one-month-old babies who come to the care system go on to be adopted but wait 15 months to be placed in a permanent, loving home.

"That's why today I'm changing the law and calling for urgent action – both from local authorities and from potential adopters - to get the system moving.

"These new plans will see babies placed with approved adopters who will foster first, and help provide a stable home at a much earlier stage in a child's life.

"This way, we're trying our very best to avoid the disruption that can be so damaging to a child's development and so detrimental to their future well-being.

"I'm determined that we act now to give these children the very best start in life. These babies deserve what every child deserves: a permanent, secure and happy home environment to grow up in."

(H/GK)





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