ALB Statement on Recent Trends in Adoption

Tuesday 13 June 2017

The Adoption Leadership Board has published a briefing paper outlining its views on recent trends in adoption and permanency decision-making. Click here to view the paper.

Andrew Christie, Chair of the Adoption Leadership Board, said: “This paper looks at the recent trends in adoption and highlights some significant differences in the number of decisions for adoption in different areas of the country. This suggests there may be different approaches to planning and decision making for children in different parts of the country.”

“More needs to be done to understand why, in some parts of the country, adoption seems to have been ruled out as an option for children where previously this would have been considered along with other options.”

Data collected by the Adoption Leadership Board suggests that while the fall in decisions for adoption and placement orders seems to have halted, this masks a high degree of variation in decision-making at a local and regional level. In many local authorities there has been a fall in adoption decisions of over 50%; while in other areas there has been a significant increase.

The paper also highlights the 560 children with placement orders that have been waiting for 18 months or more since entering care. This strongly suggests that more needs to be done to find suitable adopters to care for those children whose needs are well known and all too familiar – children with complex health needs or disabilities, children from minority ethnic, cultural, religious and language backgrounds, older children and sibling groups.

For further information about this briefing paper, please contact Alex Wylde at