Gove takes on adoption bureaucracy

By Oliver Hotham

The coalition’s proposals to tackle bureaucracy slowing down the adoption system are being published today.

The Department of Education is seeking to improve on the 3,050 children who were adopted last year – and the fact that only a third of adopters were satisfied with the system.

Its proposals include greater accountability for the local authorities responsible for adoption, cutting the time taken to get approval down to six months, and a national "gateway for adoption".

Education secretary Michael Gove said that the "case for urgent and radical reform of the adoption system is clear".

"Adoption gives vulnerable children the greatest possible stability and security, in a permanent loving family and it can bring great joy and reward to adoptive parents," he continued.

"For too long, children in care have been let down by local authorities and the family justice system."

The government will measure the efficiently of local authorities by measuring the average time taken for a child to be adopted once put into care, the proportion of children who wait longer for adoption than they should, and the average time taken for an adopter to be found.

It is also proposing new measures to encourage couples to adopt.

Research has shown that for every year a child in care is not adopted, his or her's chance of finding parents decreases by 20%.