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Plan to force mergers and speed up adoption rates

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.

Plan to force mergers and speed up adoption rates. Credit: PA

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 'speed up' adoption will be in Queen's Speech

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.

Measures to speed up the adoption process will be outlined in the Queen's Speech. Credit: Lukas Coch / AAP/PA Images

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.

– Children and families minister, Edward Timpson

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.


Charity: 6,000 children are waiting to be adopted

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.

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