Government urges Councils to prioritise adoption

The Government are urging councils to prioritise adoption practices to ensure that potential adoptive families are not wrongly turned down from providing a stable loving home to vulnerable young people.

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is leading calls for local authorities not to shy away from putting children forward for adoption and urged them to look into their existing practices after a fall in the number of assessments recommending adoption as the best option for a vulnerable child.

The latest data shows that there are around 2,700 children currently waiting to be adopted, with almost 40 per cent having waited over 18 months.

As part of the Government’s commitment to prioritise adoption, the Department for Education has published new guidance for councils making it clear that age, income, sexual orientation and marital status should not be used as reasons to turn away prospective adopters.

Instead, councils are being urged to prioritise adopters’ ability to provide a stable, loving home and whether they would provide the best environment for a young person to flourish.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Adoption can transform the lives of children waiting in care for a permanent, loving home.

“I applaud the hard work and commitment of the social workers who dedicate themselves to giving children the kind of home environment that many of us take for granted and urge them not to shy away from putting children forward for adoption.

“As long as adoptive parents can offer love, care and the stable home every child in care deserves, I want them to be considered. This government will continue building on the increased support we are giving new adoptive families by making it clear to every council that if they think it is in the best interest of the child, I will back them 100 per cent in recommending adoption.”

For further information on any aspect of family law, please contact Simon Nellar on 01904 528383 or email