Latest Adoption Leadership Board figures released

Published: 30.06.15

England Adoption Leadership Board (ALB) figures reveal dramatic decline in children with adoption orders.
Latest Adoption Leadership Board figures released

Adoption UK’s Chief Executive, Hugh Thornbery commented on recent figures released by the ALB which clearly shows a continuing dramatic decline in the number of children being considered for adoption.

Mr Thornbery said: “When a decision is taken to remove a child from their birth parents and no other realistic options exist we know that adoption provides the best chance in life for that child.  Children adopted from care, despite the traumatic start in life that most have, do much better than those that remain in care. 

The fact that over the last year there has been such a continuing marked decline in the use of adoption is therefore worrying.  Much has been achieved over the last few years in improving the adoption system so that it works in the best interest of children. I continue to hear that many children are being denied the option of adoption as a consequence of court judgements that did not change the law.  The fact that this decline appears to be variable across the country suggests that there is an inconsistent response to the judgements.  The pattern of the decline and the extent of it suggest that a range of factors are at play impacting inconsistently on decision making for individual children.”

Since December 31, 2014 2,960 children were waiting, a 37% decrease from 31 March 2014 when there were 4,680 children waiting with a placement order not yet placed with an adoptive family. 

Mr Thornbery explained:

“This is good news although I am concerned at the rise in the number of reversal decisions – where a child has his/her plan for adoption changed.  This happened in 1,450 cases last year, often as a consequence of not being able to find a suitable family.  It is essential therefore that we do not lose the impetus on people coming forward to adopt.  There remain too many children still waiting too long for a family.”

Mr Thornbery concluded by saying: “It would be a tragedy if all the progress we have made over the last five years in ensuring that adoption happens for those children for whom it is exactly the right option, are lost and we end up back where we started.  Children will be those who bear the main cost of this.”

For the full report https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adoption-leadership-board-quarterly-data-reports