Letter: Reform of adoption

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Jack Straw is entirely right to insist that local authorities encourage, rather than discourage, adoption. Your report says, "80 per cent of adoptions are judged a success." Judged by whom? The same social workers who make adoption such a difficult, agonising, and guilt-laden process today?

The alternative is council care, with the prospects that that offers - lives at an exacerbated risk of unemployment, drug dependency, homelessness, crime, and imprisonment. I suspect that if it was measured against that alternative, the real success rate of adoption would be seen to be nearer to 98 or 99 per cent.

What is more, the chances of success of an adoption are much higher when the child is adopted very young, as a baby. The drawn-out and bureaucratic nature of today's adoption process renders that almost impossible, making subsequent adaptation by parents and child all the harder.


(Haltemprice and Howden, C)

House of Commons