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Parents hoping to adopt will get more say on choosing a childOverhaul would see adoption process sped upParents would be able to choose child for first timePrime Minister backs scheme 'as a personal issue'
09:17 GMT, 24 December 2012
Overhaul: David Cameron wants to change the rules so parents who have been approved for adoption no longer have to wait months or even years for social workers to find them a child
Would-be parents seeking to adopt will be given a greater say in choosing their child, under new proposals backed by the Prime Minister.
David Cameron wants to overhaul the process so that parents who have been approved for adoption no longer have to wait months or even years for social workers to find them a child.
Under a series of reforms parents will for the first time be able to access a national register of children waiting for adoption. They will also have the power to request a particular child is considered.
The current system gives parents no say in which children are pursued on their behalf.
A further shake-up will see meetings between prospective parents and children on the adoption list with time off work given for the ‘matching events’.
Mr Cameron is anxious to speed up the adoption process, Downing Street confirmed last night.
He wants more people to choose to adopt and believes that giving parents more power to choose will make the system more appealing.
A spokesman said Mr Cameron had taken on adoption reforms ‘as a personal issue’.
Mr Cameron said: ’The passion in the government for sorting out the furred arteries of the adoption system is very very strong.
‘There’s a very strong belief that children do best when they have a chance to grow up in a loving home.
‘Of course we can do more to improve the care system but it’s never going to double as a loving adoptive home.’
Reforms: The new proposals would allow parents to access a national register of children waiting for adoption (pictured posed by models)
He added: ’There is no silver bullet. There is no one single thing you can do but what were trying to do is look at very part of the process and think ‘Well how can we speed it up.'
Martin Narey, the Government’s Adoption Adviser, said: 'Immense and well intentioned social work effort goes into matching children to adopters. But there is in the US and now UK evidence that effective matches can be achieved by allowing adopters to take the initiative.
'Of course, that does not mean that adopters can simply choose their child, they still need professional advice on such a vital decision. But it is clear – and indeed I have observed – that there is a chemistry between adopters and children which can provide a foundation for a very successful adoption.'
David Holmes, Chief Executive of the British Association of Adoption and Fostering, said:
'The British Association for Adoption and Fostering warmly welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcements today about enhanced adoption support. Adoption support is so important in ensuring that adoptions are given the very best chance of succeeding.
'We also welcome the support for our Adoption Activity Days pilots which have resulted in a number of children being linked with their new forever families. Now, more than ever, we need more people to consider if adoption could be right for them – we must find families for the thousands of children who are waiting whilst ensuring that adoption support is available to meet the needs of all.'