It’s great to see the media actively reporting on the urgent need to reform our failing adoption system.
Having the power to change laws so that more children can be placed in loving homes is surely the most wonderful achievement. It’s one I am hoping our government will act on very soon and I eagerly await an announcement from David Cameron during National Adoption Week which starts on 31 October.
One of the greatest media advocates for adoption reform has been The Times, and particularly its Social Affairs correspondent Rosemary Bennett. The paper’s headline yesterday could have been spoken by me, “‘Set up a national agency’ to run adoption services”. These are words I have actively been promiting for our Adoption with Humanity campaign as we believe a National Adoption Agency is desperately needed to provide an efficient adoption service in the UK.
However, this time, the words were said by Dr Chris Hanvey, head of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, who is appalled by the “disgraceful” small number of children adopted each year in the UK.
He accuses adoption services of succumbing to prejudice, and ignoring the fact that the younger a child is adopted, the more successful it is likely to be.
Writing in The Times Thunderer column, he says: ” It is time to set up a national adoption agency, answerable annually to Parliament for its performance and committed, through a regional network to develop standardised measures aimed at boosting the number of number of children adopted each year.
“A national service would have a number of advantages. It would allow a greater flow of information on adopters, and children waiting to be matched, preventing local authorities for hanging on to ‘their’ adopters. If organised on a regional basis it could abolish local authority adoption panels, which are subject to the vagaries of individual members.”
Thank you for speaking out Dr Hanvey. I hope those who can bring about adoption reforms will take note of your wise words which we believe in too.