3:28 am, Fri 03 May 2013
There could be up to 4.6 million people in England who say they would consider adopting at some point in the future, research has shown.
A study commissioned by the Government found that many people are being held back from adoption or fostering due to concerns about the process of being approved.
Under new plans to overhaul the adoption and fostering system:
There will be a two-stage approval process for adopters, which the Government insists will make the system swifter and mean the majority of adopters are approved to within six months
A "fast-track" system for previously approved foster carers and adopters
Legal obligations on adoption agencies to refer would-be adopters to the Adoption Register within three months of approval
The plans will aim to make sure that the information on children waiting to be adopted is kept up to date
2:25 am, Fri 03 May 2013
A new "adoption passport" will set out the help that adopters could be eligible for, including paid adoption leave, priority access and social housing.
The guide will be available on the
For too long children have been left waiting - in many cases over two years - for the stable, loving homes whilst prospective adopters have been dissuaded from offering those children the security they need.
So we're overhauling the system to encourage more people to adopt, and making it swifter, more effective and robust.
– Edward Timpson, Children's Minister
1:25 am, Fri 03 May 2013
A guide for would-be adopters listing benefits and support has been published by the Government amid concerns that hundreds of thousands are turned off by the process.
The "adoption passport" is part of an ongoing bid to speed up the process due to fears that children are waiting too long to find a new home.
Some children can be left waiting three years for an adoptive family
Credit: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire
Latest figures show that children in England are left in care for nearly 21 months on average before being adopted.
In some cases, youngsters can wait three years before moving in with an adoptive family.