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Adoption UK Lobbying Priorities

At Adoption UK we campaign for change on behalf of our more than 11,000 members because our vision is a world where children who are unable to live with their birth parents can find security and happiness with permanent families who have the right support to build bright futures. 

Throughout our history we have achieved campaigning success across the UK. We have set new lobbying priorities from November 2014; they are detailed below.

Right to support

We are calling on policy makers across the UK to change the law to give all adoptive families the right to appropriate adoption support when they need it. 

Why are we calling for this? Most adopted children have experienced abuse and or neglect in their early lives and many require ongoing support to build bright futures. In 2013 81 per cent of adoptive parents said their families’ support needs were identified, yet only 56 per cent were given the support they required. 

Education

We are calling on policy makers across the UK to give every adopted child the right to additional support in school, whenever they need it in their education journey.

Why are we calling for this? 80 per cent of adoptive parents tell us their child needs more support in school than their peers due to their early life experiences. Adopted children’s attainment in school is significantly lower than other students. In 2013 only 49 per cent of adopted children reached their expected levels at Key Stage 2, whilst 75 per cent of their peers achieved expected levels. Support in education can be transformative for an adopted child and enable them to thrive. 

Mental health 

We are calling on policy makers across the UK to ensure adopted children are a priority group in Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). The services they receive must be appropriate to their needs and delivered by adoption aware professionals.

Why are we calling for this? Research shows that at least 50 per cent of adopted children have a diagnosable mental health need. Adopted children’s mental health needs often develop as a result of trauma, neglect or abuse experienced in early life. These vulnerable children must be made a priority group in CAMHS, due to their high likelihood of requiring access. 

Equality

We are calling for an end to the discrimination that adoptive families face.

Why are we calling for this? There is inequality between the rights of those parenting adopted children and those parenting birth children. For example, self-employed adopters are not entitled to the same financial support as self-employed birth mothers via Maternity Allowance. Equality of entitlement must exist between those parenting birth children and those parenting adopted children. 

Dowload a copy of our lobbying priorities here

1 October 2013 - The Government announces that the Pupil Premium initiative is to be extended to include adopted children - Adoption UK's response to Pupil Premium funding extension to adopted children

11 September 2013 - The Government announces a £19.3 million fund for adoption support - Adoption UK's response to National Adoption Support Fund

15- 31 May 2013 - Adoption UK conducts survey for Department for Education on adopters' experiences of accessing adoption support. Download our findings here. 

24 December 2012 - Our statement on the Government's announcement on support packages - Adoption UK welcomes adoption support packages but fears lack of resources may slow progress

6 December 2012 - Our response to the Government's consultation on adoption and fostering proposals - Adoption and Fostering: tackling delay - Adoption UK consultation response form

13 November 2012 - We are thrilled to welcome Government plans to give adopters equal rights in maternity pay and leave - Adoption UK thrilled at Government plans to give adopters equal rights

October 2012 - The Care Inquiry - On 1 October eight leading charities, including Adoption UK, have joined forces to launch an inquiry into how best to provide stable and permanent homes for children in England who cannot live with their birth families. Download all of The Care Inquiries reports.

Government announces plans to overhaul adoption assessment process

14 March 2012 - the Government published an Action Plan on Adoption that aims to overhaul the adoption system in England for children and prospective adopters, including plans to reform the recruitment, training and assessment process.

The Action Plan will also introduce performance measures for local authorities, a new national gateway for adoption that will provide a first point of contact for anyone interested in adoption and an "in principle" backing of the need to improve the system of adoption support.

In producing the Action Plan on Adoption, the Government was assisted by an Expert Working Group that included Jonathan Pearce, our then Chief Executive.