Get Adoption UK’s view on some key issues in the adoption field.
8 Aug 2012
New data produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows an increase in the number of adoptions taking place in England and Wales.
In 2011, 4734 adoptions occurred – a rise of 6 per cent from 4481the previous year. This is the first time that the ONS has published these statistics for both countries.
Janet Smith, Adoption UK Director of Adoption Support, said: “It is encouraging that the number of adoption orders increased in 2011. Adoption offers positive outcomes for children from the care system, providing them with a permanent family that many of them might not have if they remained in the care system.”
“We must be mindful that the ONS figures on adoption include not just children adopted from the care system but also adoptions by relatives and step-parents, whereas Government statistics do not.”
“We need to remain committed to recruiting more adoptive parents but it is important to remember that any focus on recruiting adopters must go hand-in-hand with good support packages, including financial ones, both to encourage new adopters and ensure the long-term success of adoptive placements.”
The findings also revealed a slight increase in the number of children adopted who were born outside of marriage/civil partnerships. This increase is part of a continuing rise over recent years: in 2011, 82 per cent of children adopted were born outside of marriage/civil partnerships compared to 68 per cent in 1998.
The report concludes that while the proportion of babies born outside of marriage/civil partnerships has also steadily risen during this period it is disproportionate to the number of those that are adopted suggesting that children born outside of marriage are more likely to be adopted that those born within marriage.
Looking at the age of adopted children, the statistics reveal that the number of adoptions of children aged between one and four years has steadily increased since 1998 whilst the number of adoptions from other age groups has decreased. The majority of adopted children come from the one to four years range with 62 per cent of adoptions occurring in this group last year.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to conclude from this data whether this means that fewer young babies are being put up for adoption or that the adoption process is taking longer for young babies.
Full statistics can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_275078.pdf