Adopted child sits with parents who are of a different race.

Local authorities urged to break down barriers to adoption

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, is using National Adoption Week to urge local authorities to break down barriers that are met by prospective adopters when they start the process to adopt a child.

Mr Williamson took an opportunity to remind local authorities of the £6.5m provided to local authorities to support adoptive parents that were facing greater stress during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Education Secretary also announced a further £2.8 million in funding for Voluntary Adoption Agencies. The money will allow them to continue to deliver their adoption activities during the pandemic, including recruiting adopters to be matched with children waiting.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“When it comes to adoption, what we have seen over a number of years is something I can only call narrow mindedness or even snobbery.

“For example, some local authorities make it harder to adopt if you rent your home rather than own it, or if you’re not a perfect ethnic match. These outdated messages are putting off people who would otherwise come forward when the only qualification you need is the ability to love and care for a child.

“I am urging local authorities to help us break down these barriers so that we can unite more children with the families they deserve so much.”

The Department for Education stressed that while safeguards must remain in place, there are barriers that prevent perfectly good prospective parents from even applying.

The Education Secretary warned that we must end the “obsession with finding the perfect ethnic match for children,” with possible adopters being deterred because there are no ethnic matches waiting to be adopted.

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