ADOPTION rules are to be changed to make finding permanent homes for children in care swifter, simpler and more flexible, Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced.
An Adoption Action Plan to be published next month is set to sweep away practices which prevent children being adopted by parents of different ethnic backgrounds, as well as bureaucratic hurdles which force would-be adopters to wait for years.
Mr Gove – who was adopted at four months – said it was “disgraceful” that black children are three times less likely to be adopted from care than white ones and “outrageous” for them to be denied a loving home because of a “misguided” belief that race is the most important factor in considering potential adoptive parents.
Speaking in London, Mr Gove made clear that he wants dramatic changes to “radically” increase the supply of adoptive parents and reduce the length of time children stay in care.
“We are determined that adoption should happen more often and should happen more speedily,” said the Education Secretary.
“By changing our attitude towards adoption, reducing the unnecessary bureaucracy of the assessment process and freeing up professionals to rely on their own judgment, I feel confident that we will be able to create a more efficient and effective adoption system.”