20 Feb 2013
Figures released by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety show that 60 children were adopted in Northern Ireland during the year ending March 31, 2012 compared to 50 in 2010.
The majority of these children (65 per cent) were adopted as a single child adoption, while 35 per cent were adopted as part of a sibling group, with up to four children in each sibling group. All adopters were either married couple adopters or single female adopters.
The length of time it takes to adopt in Northern Ireland has not changed dramatically. As in 2009/10, from the last entry into care, the average length of time for a child to be adopted in 2011/12 was three years and five months; with the average duration from when it is decided that adoption is in the best interest of the child to adoption remaining at two years and four months.
The age of children adopted from care ranged from nine months to almost eleven years. The majority were aged between five and nine, in contrast to previous years when the majority of the children were aged between one and four. In comparison, around three quarters of the children adopted from care in England and Wales in 2012 were in the age group one to four.