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Inter-country Adoptions

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average time taken to process inter-country adoptions was in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. (113037)

There is no centrally held information on the average length of time it takes to complete an inter-country adoption, which covers the time of the initial approach of the prospective adopters to an adoption agency until the point of legal recognition of the adoption in the UK.

The length of time taken to effect an inter-country adoption is dependent on the complexity of the individual case. A range of bodies is involved in the process, including foreign authorities, adoption agencies, and embassies. The process of identifying a prospective ‘match’ between would-be adopters and a foreign child is usually the lengthiest element of the process, which takes a period of several months but can take more than a year.