Statistics showed that 3,700 children were adopted in the year ending 31 March 2006. This was a 34 per cent increase since 1999, but a 3 per cent fall on the previous year. This meant that the government target (for an increase in adoptions of 50 per cent by 2006 from 1999 levels) was missed.
Source: Children Looked After in England (Including Adoptions and Care Leavers), 2005-06, Statistical First Release 44/2006, Department for Education and Skills (0870 000 2288)
Two linked reports by the social care inspectorate said that adopted children wanted more information about their birth family and why they were adopted.
Source: About Adoption, Commission for Social Care Inspection (0845 015 0120) | Adoption: Messages from inspections of adoption agencies, Commission for Social Care Inspection
The Northern Ireland Executive began consultation on reform of the law on adoption. Key proposals included: new legislation placing the child at the centre of the process; provision of pre- and post-adoption support; comprehensive standards and training for agencies to ensure they got the best results for children; timescales to avoid unnecessary delays; and extending joint adoption to civil partners and unmarried couples.
Source: Adopting the Future, Northern Ireland Executive (028 9052 0500)
The Children and Adoption Act 2006 was given Royal assent, following a third reading. The Act provided for stronger court powers to enforce child contact orders.
Source: Children and Adoption Act 2006, Department for Education and Skills, TSO (0870 600 5522)
An article reported a study that examined the outcomes of a sample of older looked-after children who had all been the subject of an adoption 'best interest' decision. It highlighted the negative impact on placement outcomes, and the increased financial costs, of poor assessment and delays in planning and action.
Source: Julie Selwyn, Lesley Frazer and David Quinton, 'Paved with good intentions: the pathway to adoption and the costs of delay', British Journal of Social Work, Volume 36 Number 4
A report by a committee of MSPs supported a Bill intended to reform and extend the adoption system in Scotland.
Source: Stage 1 Report on the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill, 8th Report 2006, SP Paper 612, Scottish Parliament Education Committee, available from Blackwell's Bookshop (0131 622 8283)
An article reported a study which found a significant level of interest in adoption on the part of foster carers. Fears of losing financial help and support were cited as reasons by more than half of all foster carers who had considered but not pursued adoption.
Source: Derek Kirton, Jennifer Beecham and Kate Ogilvie, 'Adoption by foster carers: a profile of interest and outcomes', Child & Family Social Work, Volume 11 Issue 2
A report summarized responses to a consultation on reform of the adoption law in Scotland.
Source: Sue Granville and Shona Mulholland, Safe and Secure Homes for Our Most Vulnerable Children: Analysis of the consultation on the Adoption Bill, Scottish Executive (0131 556 8400)
The Scottish Executive published a Bill to reform the adoption system. The Bill would modernize the law to secure more stability and permanence in the lives of vulnerable children; increase children's rights and security; and provide better support for adopted children and families.
Source: Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Executive, available from Blackwell's Bookshop (0131 622 8283)
The Children and Adoption Bill was given a second reading. The Bill was designed to strengthen court powers to enforce child contact orders, but also emphasized that in making contact orders, the welfare of the child concerned was to be the courts paramount consideration.
Source: Children and Adoption Bill [HL], Department for Education and Skills, TSO (0870 600 5522) | House of Commons Hansard, Debate 2 March 2006, columns 417-494, TSO
Statistics were published on marriages and divorces in 2003, and adoptions in 2004, in England and Wales.
Source: Marriage, Divorce and Adoption Statistics: Review of the Registrar General on marriages and divorces in 2003, and adoptions in 2004, in England and Wales, Series FM2 31, Office for National Statistics (web publication only)
A study sought to identify and categorize variations in practice and policy in linking and matching in adoption cases across England and Wales, and to estimate broad costs for some of the related adoption activities. There was significant variation in adoption practice across agencies and there was also much innovation in practice, although relatively little of it was directed at matching.
Source: Cherilyn Dance, Danielle Ouwejan, Jeni Beecham and Elaine Farmer, Adoption Agency Linking and Matching Practice In England and Wales: Survey findings, Research Brief RBX-16-08, Department for Children, Schools and Families (0845 602 2260)