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MIXED RACE ADOPTION

The BBC has reported on the issue of social workers waiting too long to find a racial match for potential parents keen to adopt. There are so many children from ethnic minorities who would benefit from adoption but typically is takes three times as long to place them.

Although, social workers have long been urged to seek racial matches, the government is now updating guidance on adoption in England “to stress that consideration of a child’s race should not be a barrier to finding a home.” Says Children’s Minister, Tim Loughton: “In some cases social workers placed too great an emphasis on finding the ‘perfect match’ . . . We know that a child tends to do better if adopted by a family who share their ethnic and cultural heritage . . . It is much better that a child is adopted by loving parents than left waiting for their future to be decided.” Mr Loughton said it was “unacceptable” that the number of children placed for adoption had dropped by 15% this year.

Says the BBC: “Official figures show that 2,300 children were placed for adoption last year, compared with 2,500 the previous year, and down from 3,400 in 2005. In about 20% of cases identified as suitable for adoption, no placement is found.”

Useful links: Adoption UK offers support, training and advice on all aspects of adoption and adoptive parenting: www.adoptionuk.org
British Association for Adoption and Fostering: www.baaf.org.uk
Fostering Information Line: www.fostering.org.uk