Mixed-race adoption policy change


There has been much talk of a Mix-race adoption policy whilst I agree in principal with a luke warm welcome the councils will have a long way to go on this subject matter. The council must in the first instance contiune to seek foster perants from BAME communites if it then can not then by all means go down the line of using white couples.

White couples should be allowed to adopt black and ethnic minority children under new guidelines for social workers in England.

Local authorities will be warned not to delay placing a child with a suitable family of a different ethnicity.

Many children from ethnic minorities do not get adopted because social workers have been keen to place them with families of the same background.

The move will be confirmed by Education Secretary Michael Gove on Tuesday.

Actions monitored

The law will not change but the new guidance will state that as long as prospective adopters show that they are able to care for the child then race should not be a factor.

They will also say that preventing families from adopting children of a different ethnic group is “unacceptable”.

Each local authority will be closely monitored and those that persistently ignore the advice could have their adoption services contracted out to voluntary agencies.

Current advice states that social workers must give “due consideration to the child’s religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background”, but does not specify whether race should be regarded as outweighing other factors.

Children’s minister Tim Loughton announced in November last year that the government would be updating its guidance on adoption.

Currently, single people, married couples and cohabiting couples can all adopt.

Same sex couples can adopt in England, Wales and Scotland, but not in Northern Ireland.

Adopters in England and Wales must be aged over 21 (18 if one of a couple is the birth parent). There is no upper age limit, but the placing authority must be confident anyone adopting a child will have the energy required and be in good enough health to offer a stable home.

Likewise, if they can prove they have the energy, people will not be disqualified for being disabled, overweight or having a medical condition.

People must also show that the can financially support a child.

A criminal record will not automatically prevent someone from adopting unless they, or someone in their household, has been convicted or cautioned for offences against a child.


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