Cambridgeshire is bucking the national trend by increasing the number of babies under the age of one placed with adopters.
National statistics have focussed on the number of adoption orders made for children of that age – a legal process which has to be completed to confirm the adoption.
Although no adoption orders were made in relation to this age group in Cambridgeshire last year, 13 children under the age of one were placed with adopters.
Adoptive parents are not able to make their adoption application to Court until the child has been placed with them for a minimum of ten weeks. The timescales following the application are then directed by the Courts.
In total, 39 children of all ages in Cambridgeshire were placed with adoptive families – 25 of which were under the age of two. In total, 26 adoption orders were completed.
For the period from 1 April 2011 to 29 September 2011, Cambridgeshire has already achieved two adoption orders for children under one year and for a further eight for children between one and two years.
The County Council expects this trend to continue following the signing of an agreement with adoption agency Coram earlier this year, which will result in improved decision-making and fewer delays in the adoption process.
Cambridgeshire County Council launched the partnership with Coram – a national children’s charity and specialist voluntary adoption agency – in response to the Government’s call for local authorities to improve their adoption services by.
Cllr David Brown, County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “Cambridgeshire has maintained a pro-active approach to adoption and are conscious of the need to ensure that adoptive placements are achieved for children as young as possible and in a timely way.
“It is difficult to achieve adoption orders for children under one, but Cambridgeshire has been successful in placing children in their adoptive families before they are one year old.”