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The Office for National Statistics has released statistics for adoptions in England and Wales in 2012 which show the number of adoptions increasing.
In 2012, the number of adoptions was 5,206, an increase of 9.8% since 2011 when there were 4,740 adoptions.
It is the largest annual increase in adoptions over the last 15 years, the period for which adoption statistics by date of court order are available.
Commentators attribute the increase to efforts being made to improve the court timescales for making decisions about children needing adoption, an increased emphasis on recruiting adopters for the children who are still waiting and a proactive approach to reducing delays in matching and placing children with adoptive families who can meet their needs and offer them the security of a permanent home.
Elaine Dibben, British Association for Adoption & Fostering Adoption's (BAAF) Development Consultant said: "The figures also show we still need to make stringent efforts to ensure that young children (under 1 year) are placed in their permanent families without delay so they can begin to make the secure attachments that are important to their emotional health and well being and also to keep a focus on older children, who may be seen as harder to place but nevertheless would benefit from the security that adoption can offer.
"There are still about 3 times as many children waiting for adoption than there are adopters available so we need to continue our efforts to encourage more adopters to come forward-particularly for children over the age of 5, those being placed with their siblings and children with disabilities and to ensure that adoption support services they may need will be available to them."
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