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Adoption Rates

Volume 528: debated on Monday 23 May 2011

The Government and I are very concerned that adoption has lost momentum in recent years, and that is why we have launched a programme of reform. This has included setting up a ministerial advisory group, writing to directors of children’s services and lead members, publishing revised guidance, and launching an adoption data pack to support and challenge local authorities. We are also funding two voluntary sector projects to improve adoption practices and helping to promote adoption through National Adoption Week.

I thank the Minister for his answer and his support for the great work done by adoptive parents, and I welcome the Government’s work to increase adoption. He will be aware, however, of concerns about the security of the personal information of adoptive parents. Does he accept that without appropriate safeguards, parents may be discouraged from adopting? Will he take this opportunity to assure me and others that he is taking all possible steps to ensure that adopters’ personal information is properly protected?

I echo my hon. Friend’s support for the fantastic dedication of prospective adopters and people who take on that great responsibility. I know of his great interest in this area. He is absolutely right. I do not want to see anything that stands in the way of people coming forward and offering themselves to give safe adoptive placements to vulnerable children. He has raised this issue with me before in an Adjournment debate. I give him an undertaking that we will see if there are any problems in this area that are undermining the system.