Monday 31 October 2011

Give a Child a Home

The Prime Minister said "It is shocking that of the 3,600 children under the age of one in care - only sixty were adopted last year".  David Cameron is launching Give a Child a Home today at the start of National Adoption Week.  This campaign aims to encourage people to foster and adopt.

The PM's speech at the Conservative Party Conference earlier this month voiced concern that "we've got people flying all over the world to adopt babies, while the care system at home agonises about placing black children with white families."  This promoted healthy debate with the public supporting interracial adoption.

The need for adopters is vast.  An adoption match should be as good as possible, but surely what the PM is concerned about are cases where a child's adoption is delayed purely because a perfect ethnic match cannot be found.  The search needs to be broadened to include prospective adopters of other ethnicities.  Not every prospective adopter would feel able or willing to do this, but many are and have done. 

Our society, even over the last 20 years, has become noticeably more multicultural.  Mixed race families are common place.  Our education system celebrates the many different cultures and promotes acceptance of people's ethnicity.  It is right for adoptions to reflect this.

Although some will argue the Government's initiative to publish performance tables in itself won't help increase the number of children being placed promptly into loving and nurturing families; however raising the profile of the need for people to become adopters and foster carers is definitely for the good of our country's most vulnerable children.

[FYI I'm Reading Borough Council's representative on the Berkshire Adoption Panel]