Adoption on the rise in Somerset

PUBLISHED: 09:59 06 October 2011 | UPDATED: 11:48 06 October 2011


ADOPTION numbers in Somerset are rising in contrast to national trends, with an increase of almost 50 per cent.

Last year 19 children were adopted through North Somerset Council and 33 children were adopted via Somerset County Council. This means there was almost a 50 per cent increase on the previous year. North Somerset received 70 inquiries from potential adopters and 68 of those were adopting from within the country, and two were from abroad.

Cllr John Osman, Somerset County Council cabinet member for children and young people, said: “I am pleased that our service is giving more and more children a better life. However, we have children, particularly sibling groups, waiting to find new families.”

Almost 80 per cent of children that go into care in Somerset are matched with new parents within two years, in comparison to the national average of 2.7 years.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “We are always looking for more people who are thinking about adoption and we would urge them to get in contact with our adoption team on 01275 838236.”

Last week, the Government’s Children’s Minister Tim Loughton and ministerial adviser Martin Narey criticised the adoption process, saying it is too long, bureaucratic and full of red tape.

Cllr Osman said: “I welcome the challenge to shorten the time it takes for an adopter to be approved and a child to be matched. Too many prospective adopters are put off by the long and emotional process; if it is shortened we can match more children more quickly.”

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