– Shadow children and young people's minister Lisa Nandy
"More does need to be done to enable adoptive families to get the right amount of support and advice, especially post-adoption.
We will look carefully at these proposals when the Government brings forward legislation.
Adoption is incredibly rewarding and we want to see more parents come forward.
But the Government must ensure it also provides sufficient support for foster families and children in residential care too.
The Children's minister Edward Timpson has spoken about the government's new adoption proposals, which include more "activity days" to enable prospective parents to make "a real connection" with a child.
He told ITV News: "At the moment the system is not delivering so that 's why we need to do more.
"We need to make sure that those who come forward and want to adopt feel confident that they are going to be welcomed with open arms".
The government's advisor on adoption and former chief executive of the children's charity Barnardo's has tweeted about new proposals aimed at helping potential adopters.
Adoption parties recognise the chemistry that is important in matching adopters to a child. 4 parties held in England have been encouraging.From @martinnarey on Twitter:
– Chief executive of the British Association of Adoption and Fostering, David Holmes
Now, more than ever, we need more people to consider if adoption could be right for them - we must find families for the thousands of children who are waiting whilst ensuring that adoption support is available to meet the needs of all.
Former chief of Barnardo's, Martin Narey, is now the Government's adoption adviser. He says new evidence from the US - and more recently the UK - suggests giving adopters the initiative improves matches:
"Of course, that does not mean that adopters can simply choose their child, they still need professional advice on such a vital decision. But it's clear and indeed I have observed that there is a chemistry between adopters and children which can provide a foundation for a very successful adoption."
– Children's Minister, Edward Timpson
We know that children do well in an adoptive family and I hope this comprehensive package of support will lead to more and more people having the confidence to come forward and provide a chance for these children to thrive and reach their potential.
This support will also provide more help to those who are already adopting children who have been in care. I urge everyone this Christmas to think seriously about opening up their home to a child awaiting adoption.
The Government is urging people celebrating Christmas to "think seriously about opening up their home to a child awaiting adoption". Among the measures being proposed are:
- More "activity days" where prospective parents can make "a real connection" with a child on the register which have proved very successful especially with those considered harder to place
- The right to take time off work to meet the children they are set to adopt before they move in to help smooth the transition
- Trials of personal budgets to give parents more choice over support services
- Include adopted children among those qualifying for free education at the age of two for 2014
- A telephone helpline manned by adopters and an online service
Potential adopters are set to be given a more active role in selecting a child and granted the same maternity and paternity paid leave arrangements as biological mothers and fathers.
The Government wants to make changes to the current system in an attempt to find hundreds more volunteers to home 4,000 youngsters on a national register.