This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Mr Booker is completely wrong to suggest in his article (13 February 2011) that I have taken no interest in the issues he raised at our private meeting, that he first publicised, not me. I spoke at length with him about his concerns, and have been pursuing ways of introducing more effective safeguards within the Department for Education and with the head of the court system, Sir Nicholas Wall.
What I said to Mr Booker at our meeting is that his campaign, based on a limited number of worrying cases, is undermining and misrepresenting the entire care system and adoption in general. This is deeply damaging to hard-working professionals protecting our most vulnerable children, and to those children who desperately need a stable family.
I am the first to admit there are issues that need to be addressed - that is why we are carrying out independent reviews of both the family justice and child protection systems.
Sensationalist stories about exceptional cases distort the reality of the thousands of children waiting in care for a loving, stable home with adoptive families, and the thousands for whom adoption has been a lifesaver.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families
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