'2000 children waiting longer' for adoption due to pandemic, says charity boss

21 October 2021, 14:03

By Tim Dodd

On National Adoption Week, boss of children's charity Coram Dr Carol Homden explains the effect the pandemic has had upon the 2000 children they have waiting to be adopted.

There are almost 3,000 children in need of an adoptive family in the UK and adoptions in England have fallen by a third in the past four years. 

James asked: "How has the pandemic, as your mountains are steep at the best of times... added to the adoption equation?"

Ms Homden replied: "Well I'm afraid it's slowed things down for children. So it's been very difficult for the courts and our local authority colleagues to conduct all of the assessments and the casework that they need to do, and it's been very difficult for adoption agencies like Coram to ensure that children can be matched and meet their new loving families.

"So I'm afraid that currently we have just over 2000 children waiting and they are waiting longer. We all need to work together to make sure that is changed."

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James replied: "Modern adoption is quite different from adoption 50 years ago. What are some of the more recent developments?"

Ms Homden explained that around 50 years ago adoption became a service for the "children of the care system".

"With the changes of social attitude to illegitimacy and so on, the era of children being given up by mothers under pressure had really gone," she said.

"We are looking in the modern era at supporting children who need that support for their own protection because of the very significant challenges to their birth families."

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