The number of children adopted in England has reached its highest level in 20 years.
Almost 4,000 children in care were adopted between April 2012 and March 2013 – the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992, the Department for Education said. The figure also represents a 15 per cent increase on the previous year.
In 2011, David Cameron urged potential adopters and foster parents to come forward as it was announced that just 60 babies were adopted in 2010-11. Since then the figure has marginally increased to 80 in 2011-12 and 90 in 2012-13.
The Government has also announced plans to let children move in with families that are applying to adopt them before lengthy legal procedures are finalised.
It issued new guidance to local authorities making it clear adoption should be considered as an option for more children. Edward Timpson, the minister responsible for children and families, said: “It is hugely encouraging that the number of children adopted from care has risen to the highest level yet – but children are still waiting too long for stable, loving homes.
“More needs to be done to recruit adoptive parents. That’s why we have made the £150m adoption reform grant available for local authorities to spend on recruitment reform.”