News story

PM unveils foster-first policy for prospective adoptive parents

"We're trying our very best to avoid the disruption that can be so damaging to a child's development"

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

External site: Proposals for earlier placement of children with their potential adopters

The Prime Minister today announced plans to reduce radically the time it takes for a baby to move in with their permanent family.

The Government will take action to put children’s interests first and legislate to make fostering by potential adopters standard practice in many cases, so that those in care are placed with carers who have the potential to become their adoptive parents, rather than in temporary homes.

The Government wants to see more babies and children becoming part of a permanent family sooner so they can reap the benefits of growing up in a stable and loving environment. The Prime Minister has already expressed concern that just 60 babies under one year of age were adopted in 2010/11.

 The Prime Minister 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 wellbeing.

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.

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Published 6 July 2012