Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Home News

Children wait up to 3 years to be adopted


Children in England are left in care for nearly 21 months on average before being adopted, figures show.

In some areas, they wait almost three years before moving in with an adoptive family and 63 councils in England are failing to meet the Government’s threshold on how long a child should wait.

The latest adoption scorecards published by the Department for Education (DfE) shows the performance of each local authority in finding children new adoptive homes. Children now face a 636-day wait on average, equivalent to almost 21 months, between entering care and moving in with an adoptive family.

But there are wide variations across the country. Kensington and Chelsea in west London has the longest waiting times, with children in care for an average 1,082 days – almost three years. Children’s minister Edward Timpson said: “The slowest councils must do better.”

Kensington and Chelsea Council said: “The figures released by the DfE focus on time but they are not able to present a sophisticated picture of the complexities involved in certain adoption cases.”