Family & Education

More families needed for children awaiting adoption

woman and child Image copyright Getty Images

More than twice as many children in England are waiting to be adopted as there are families willing to adopt, campaigners are warning.

There are 4,140 children who have been recommended for adoption, the latest figures, from the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board, show.

By comparison, there are about 1,700 families approved to adopt and waiting to be matched with children.

The government says it is focusing on finding adopters from all communities.

Of those waiting to be adopted:

  • 57% are waiting to be adopted with siblings
  • 28% are over five years old
  • 20% have an ethnic-minority background
  • 4% have a disability

"Adopted children are among the most complex and vulnerable in society as they have often suffered serious neglect or abuse in their early lives," Adoption UK chief executive Sue Armstrong Brown said.

"But adoption can have a transformative effect on these children and the testimony of adoptive parents is proof that you can successfully parent children who are deemed harder to place, if the right support is in place."

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "To ensure there are enough adopters for those children needing a loving stable home, we have been working closely with regional adoption agencies to focus on finding adopters from a range of communities and backgrounds, especially for those who are sometimes harder to place."

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