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The myths of “world class” adoption

I am wondering whether somebody in government decided it was time to write a good news piece about adoption. They knew it would be a struggle. They assigned the research to some well-heeled Oxbridge graduates who were told to find ‘good news’. And this is the result. Apparently we have an adoption system in the UK that is ‘world class’. Well who knew?

Honestly I despair when I read this stuff. It’s bad enough a government that massages employment figures, but at least everyone knows they’re lying because they know their friends do not have jobs. With adoption it’s not something the majority of the population have experience with, so this kind of posturing makes me angry because, in an area of very little information, it presents itself as the definitive facts. But the facts are these:

- The percentage rise stated in the article is compared to a year when adoption is at its lowest ever point in history. Now, call me churlish but I don’t think that demonstrates a functioning adoption system let alone ‘world class’.

- 99% of children older than 9 do not get adopted.The increase refers to young children and babies. It’s a fact that nobody wants to adopt children as they get older and actually this was the worst year for adoption of older children.

- The total number of children in care rose to 68,840 last year, an increase of 7% on 2010 levels -which was the highest

- The average age of adoption is three years and five months. That is nothing to be proud of.

We live in a highly industrialized country and yet 68, 840 children are being looked after by the government. I use the term ‘looked after’ loosely of course. In reality the government, we, are doing the bare minimum for kids in care and those awaiting adoption. I am not sure that is world class.


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