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
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A bronze drum, alongside a plaque for Fusilier Rigby, will be located at Middleton Memorial Gardens.
The desk, where the author wrote Great Expectations and his last, unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, will go on permanent display.
We spring forward an hour at 1am on Sunday, to mark the start of British Summer Time.