More young children being adopted

 

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of children adopted in Britain last year were aged between one and four, official figures showed today.

The 2011 figure was an increase on the previous year, when one to four-year-olds made up 58% of adoptions in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics said.

There was also a 6% increase in the overall level of adoptions, with 4,734 in 2011 compared with 4,481 in 2010.

The percentage of children adopted who were born outside marriage increased slightly to 82% last year, up from 80% in 2010.

Adoptions also increased in Scotland between 2010 and 2011 by 6%, from 466 in 2010 to 494 in 2011.

No figures were available for Northern Ireland.

In a reverse of last year's figures, 49% of children adopted in 2011 were male and 51% were female. Since 1998, the number of male and female adoptions has been fairly even, the ONS said.

The proportion of adopted children aged one to four has steadily increased since 1998.

Last year's figure of 62% is almost double the proportion of 34% in 1998.

Meanwhile, the proportions of adoptions of other age groups has decreased.

The percentage of under-ones being adopted was 5% in 1998, down to 2% in 2011.

For children aged between five and nine, the proportion has decreased from more than a third (36%) in 1998 to just under a quarter (23%) in 2011.

The percentage of children between 10 and 14 being adopted has more than halved from over one in five (21%) in 1998 to one in 10 (10%) in 2011.

The percentage of adopted children aged 15-17 has decreased to 2%, from 5% in 1998.

In total, the number of babies under one year old adopted decreased from 95 in 2010 to 76 in 2011, the ONS said.

Last month, Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled plans to radically speed up the amount of time it takes to place children with potential adopters.

Youngsters will be able to move in with their possible future permanent families before lengthy legal procedures are finalised, Mr Cameron said.

Mr Cameron hopes the Fostering For Adoption scheme will give children a better start in life by ensuring they have a stable home as quickly as possible.

Under the plans, men and women who have been cleared as adopters can become a child's foster parent until they are legally allowed to adopt them. Now, local authorities generally wait until court orders are made before beginning their search for a permanent home.

The move will not pre-empt any legal ruling, meaning the youngsters could be returned to their birth parents or other carers.

But the Government hopes it will mean the interests of the children are put first.

A Department for Education spokesman said they were committed to overhauling the adoption system to make it more effective.

He said: "Adoption can be a lifeline for vulnerable children and we are determined to see more children considered for adoption, particularly those who may previously have been overlooked.

"We are committed to overhauling the entire adoption system to give more vulnerable children the chance of a loving, stable home with adoptive parents. That's why we are changing the law and calling for urgent action - both from local authorities and from potential adopters - to reduce barriers and delay in the adoption process.

"We want to create a more effective and user-friendly adoption system - a system which is truly fit for purpose."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Developer - London - £45k

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Application Support & Development ...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003