The outgoing chief executive of Barnardo's, Martin Narey, has told The Guardian newspaper Britain is facing a dangerous collapse in adoption rates.
Mr Narey cites the prejudiced attitudes of some local authorities and adoption agencies towards white parents adopting minority ethnic children as one of the reasons, adding that adoption rates of babies needs to increase fourfold, whilst the numbers of older children and toddlers finding new families must also rise.
Mr Narey claims adoption was at a 'historic low' and that the adoption of babies had all but disappeared:
'Only 70 babies were adopted last year compared with 4,000 in 1976,' he said, 'We need that figure to get back into the thousands so we need to quadruple it over the next few years – and quadruple it again.'
Mr Narey blamed the reluctance of agencies to allow white couples to adopt black children as one of the major reasons for the decline, saying:
'The law is very clear. A child should not stay in care for an undue length of time while waiting for adoptive parents of the same ethnicity. But the reality is that black, Asian and mixed-race children wait three times longer than white children."
Narey's comments come in the same week a survey revealed widespread poor practice among adoption agencies. The Adoption UK research found that prospective parents are frequently unfairly rejected or forced to endure waits of up to six months after their initial inquiry, three times longer than legislation demands.'
What do you think?
Have you considered adoption but been thwarted by the authorities?
Or have you successfully adopted a baby or toddler?
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