A paper reviewed the evidence on adoption of children with disabilities.
Source: The Adoption of Disabled Children, British Association for Adoption and Fostering
The Children and Families Bill was given a third reading. The Bill was designed to (among other things): reform the adoption system; introduce greater flexibility in parental leave arrangements; reform the system of special educational needs; strengthen the role of the children's rights watchdog; cut delays in the family justice system; and reduce regulation of the childcare sector. However, plans to allow nurseries and childminders in England to increase the ratio of children to carers were dropped.
Source: Children and Families Bill, Department for Education, TSO | Debate 11 June 2013, columns 175-294, House of Commons Hansard, TSO
A study examined how post-adoption support teams and services were structured in England, and sought to identify barriers and facilitators to effective provision. The findings highlighted the difficulties faced by adoptive parents in requesting support.
Source: Lisa Holmes, Samantha McDermid, and Clare Lushey, Post Adoption Support: A rapid response survey of local authorities in England, Working Paper 19, Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre
The coalition government published a summary of responses to a consultation on proposals designed to make adopting and fostering a faster and more efficient process. It said that the responses had been helpful in identifying practical difficulties with some of the proposed time limits in the adoption and fostering assessment processes, and in highlighting potential for delay in the proposed fostering approval process.
Source: Consultation on Adoption and Fostering: Tackling Delay Government Response, Department for Education
Notes: Consultation document (September 2012)
Local authorities in England submitted plans aimed at reforming the adoption system. Local councils would work more closely together to help match suitable adopters with children in other parts of the country. Targeted support work would focus on speeding up the process of matching children who had spent the longest in care with adoptive parents. The measures were put forward as an alternative to coalition government proposals to remove councils from the process of recruiting adopters altogether.
Source: Press release 4 April 2013, Local Government Association
A report by a committee of peers said that adoptive parents should receive more support to help them care for vulnerable children, because children adopted from care had often experienced neglect and abuse and therefore might have a range of complex needs. Local authorities and other service providers should be placed under a legal obligation to provide post-adoption support to children and adopters.
Source: Adoption: Post-Legislative Scrutiny, 2nd Report (Session 201213), HL 127, House of Lords Select Committee on Adoption Legislation, TSO
Links: Report | Committee press release | ADCS press release | BAAF press release | Barnardos press release | BASW press release | LGA press release | BBC report | Community Care report | Guardian report | Public Finance report | Telegraph report
A study found that children adopted by gay or lesbian couples were just as likely to thrive as those adopted by heterosexual couples. Fears raised by some people over same sex-adoption, including bullying from peers and concerns that a children's own gender identity might be skewed, were unfounded.
Source: Nicola Hill, Proud Parents: Lesbian and gay fostering and adoption experiences, BAAF Adoption and Fostering
A study examined the strengths of the existing adoption process, with a view to establishing what changes, if any, were required to ensure that the processes of local authority and court case handling and decision-making were consistent with the principles underpinning the legal framework of adoption in England. It confirmed routine local authority and judicial compliance with the required procedural and legal framework, but found that quality assurance of child protection and care planning was 'insufficiently robust'.
Source: Barry Luckock and Karen Broadhurst, Adoption Cases Reviewed: An indicative study of process and practice, Research Report 270, Department for Education
A new book examined the long-term effects and outcomes for children adopted from orphanages and other institutions in Hong Kong. Mid-life mental health outcomes, well-being, and life satisfaction were not significantly different to comparator groups: nor was there evidence of severe difficulties in adult social relationships or poor self-esteem. But virtually all those in the study reported some experience of racism or prejudice in both childhood and adulthood: this ranged from playground name-calling during childhood to serious racist attacks.
Source: Julia Feast, Margaret Grant, Alan Rushton, John Simmonds, and Carolyn Sampeys, Adversity, Adoption and Afterwards: A mid-life follow-up study of women adopted from Hong Kong, BAAF Adoption and Fostering
The Children and Families Bill was published, and subsequently given a second reading. The Bill was designed to (among other things): reform the adoption system; introduce greater flexibility in parental leave arrangements; reform the system of special educational needs; strengthen the role of the children's rights watchdog; cut delays in the family justice system; and reduce regulation of the childcare sector.
Source: Children and Families Bill, Department for Education, TSO
Links: Bill | Explanatory notes | Hansard (second reading) | Background document | DE press release | Speech | HOC research brief | Barnardos press release | CBI press release | CSW press release | EDCM press release | Fawcett Society press release | FPI press release | Labour Party press release | Mencap press release | NAHT press release | Nasen press release | NIACE press release | NUT press release | OCC press release | Scope press release | Working Families press release | Community Care report | Nursery World report | Telegraph report
The coalition government published a plan aimed at tackling the 'national crisis' in adopter recruitment in England. It said that it would take a new legislative power allowing it to privatize adoption services: but it would not be used if local authorities were able to bring forward alternative proposals that would deliver a similarly radical shift in the system's capacity. A £150 million early intervention grant for 2013-14 would be returned in full to local authorities in the form of the adoption reform grant, to help to secure reform of the adoption system.
Source: An Action Plan for Adoption: Tackling delay, Department for Education
An article examined recent efforts to reform adoption in England. It said that they were an attempt to curtail the powers of adoption professionals and their established practices of assessing and responding to risk. The evidence base for many of the reforms was limited and represented a 'manufactured crisis' used to justify radical changes, which, in turn, posed significant risks to wider policy and practice in child welfare.
Source: Derek Kirton Reader, '"Kinship by design" in England: reconfiguring adoption from Blair to the coalition', Child & Family Social Work, Volume 18 Issue 1
An article examined the mental health of the birth relatives of adopted children.
Source: Elsbeth Neil, 'The mental distress of the birth relatives of adopted children: "disease" or "unease"? Findings from a UK study', Health and Social Care in the Community, Volume 21 Issue 2