Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his plans for a "quicker adoption" process.Read the full story ›
The proposed Schools and Adoption Bill will contain new powers to require local authorities to merge to speed up adoption rates if they do not do so themselves within two years.
The Government said it would encourage town halls to set up their own mergers or outsource services to a single regional agency, while they will also be offered financial support to establish regional services.
Last year, according to the DfE more than 5,000 children were found the permanent home, representing a record increase of 26% over 12 months.
Plans to force councils to merge services in order to speed up adoption rates are to be announced in next week's Queen's Speech.
Adoption is "happening at too small and localised a scale", the Department for Education (DfE) said, and mergers would increase the pool of potential adopters, reducing waiting times.
Every single day a child spends waiting in care for their new family is a further delay to a life full of love and stability. This just isn't good enough.
By coming together and joining forces, councils can make sure more children are matched with families far quicker - regardless of where they live.
Official figures suggest more than 3,000 children are waiting to be matched with new parents, with more than half having spent 18 months in care.
A growing number of parents are fleeing to Ireland from England and Wales, where their children are being threatened with forced adoption.Read the full story ›
With a shortage of parents to adopt siblings, Tracey and Kevin Tyler share their experience of keeping a family together.Read the full story ›
Brothers and sisters are being split up because of a shortage of people willing to adopt siblings together, a charity has warned.Read the full story ›
As a survey revealed that a quarter of gay men see their sexuality as a barrier to becoming parents, Sir Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Action for Children, said:
In the UK there are 6,000 children waiting to be adopted and we know that gay men can make loving fathers.
If more people came forward we would be able to help give loving homes to thousands of children.
We need to make sure that everyone knows that they can adopt - so by next year many more will celebrate their first Father's Day.
A children's charity is appealing to gay men who are interested in adoption as it released the results of a survey that showed a quarter mistakenly see their sexuality as a barrier to becoming parents.
Action for Children said anyone who is interested in adopting should not let common myths put them off, as thousands of children are still seeking loving permanent homes.
The charity's poll of 235 gay men who have adopted or are going through the process, showed that 17% were told that they shouldn't become a parent - mostly by their own family.
A man hoping to adopt for the first time along with his wife has explained the process to Daybreak.
Sam began the process of adoption at the beginning of this year and has already been through screening, preparation, and home visits.
He explained: "It has been made so much more simple. It has taken us from January 2 until today - and we've been to panel already."
He continued: "The social workers were excellent with us...really if you are thinking of doing it, please do it."
The Government has pledged an extra £50 million to help improve adoption services, the children's minister has announced.
Our new adoption leadership board will play an important role ensuring local authorities and adoption agencies stay on track and recruit more adopters - and a further £50 million for councils in 2014 will help them put the building blocks in place to implement our reforms.