Interracial adoption could be made easier in Tower Hamlets
ADOPTION chiefs in the East End said skin colour is still considered when placing children with families - as the government announces plans to make interracial adoption easier.
Education secretary Michael Gove said earlier this week that race should no longer be a “deal breaker” in adoption cases.
In an attack on current practices, he said children are being left to languish in care because social workers are trying too hard to fit families to a certain criteria.
Tower Hamlets is one of the country’s most diverse boroughs, with more than half of the population from non-white groups, most of these Bangladeshi.
There are currently 26 children waiting to be adopted in Tower Hamlets.
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During the last financial year, 17 children were recommended for adoption.
Eleven children were adopted during the last calendar year.
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National statistics show adoption rates have reached an all time low and children wait an average of 21 months to be placed.
Ethnic minority children wait around three times longer than white children to find a permanent home.
Tower Hamlets Council said it does not measure the average times adoptions take but added: “It’s our priority to make sure children are matched with families in the shortest possible time.”
When asked if it welcomed the government’s proposals to simplify the process, a spokesperson said: “Children are placed and matched according to their needs in a timely manner; this means identifying the most suitable placement where the child can thrive and meet his/her potential into adulthood.
“Race is one factor that is considered during the adoption process, but a child has many needs and they are all considered before a placement takes place.”
In his revised adoption guidelines, Mr Gove, himself adopted, also said willing adults should not be turned away on the grounds they are too old.