MPs' plan for parents who adopt to be paid

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The Independent Online
PARENTS WOULD be paid up to pounds 120 a week to adopt children under a proposal to be put forward today by a cross-party group of MPs.

The group, led by Julian Brazier, Tory MP for Canterbury, will urge the Health minister John Hutton, who is keen to increase the number of adoptions, to fight for Treasury funds to ensure that families who adopt receive similar allowances to what foster parents are paid.

Opponents will say that people might offer to adopt children for the wrong reasons. But the pro-adoption group of MPs will argue that paying parents who adopt would save taxpayers' money in the long run, as it would relocate thousands of children from council-run homes to permanent families.

The group thinks that many working-class people who would make excellent adoptive parents are deterred by the cost, particularly when a child has special needs.

Mr Brazier said the current adoption laws were framed for babies rather than older children. "When we ask people to take on older children with very damaged histories into their homes, it really does seem very unfair that a child moves from a relatively generous package when they are fostered to a home that receives no money and, in many cases, no assistance either."