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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

12 DEC 2012

Adoption: a step forward?

Gillian Geddes

Barrister, 2-3 Hind Court

Lesley Newth-West

Adoption Manager:

Following the government's recent announcement of its planned, radical and high priority improvement of the adoption system, 'An Action Plan for Adoption: Tackling Delay' which started in March 2012, Gillian Geddes and Lesley Newth-West examine the government's concerns about the adoption system.  Is it 'bloated and inefficient'?  Do we need 'a procedure which can be completed at speed, and which will not drive so many would-be adopters away'?  Should practitioners 'slim down pre-adoption assessment'?  Is there really 'a misguided belief that race is more important than any other factor'?

The authors look at the current system, examining how it progressed to where it is now, the statistics and practices, and the reasons for the delays in the adoption process.  They consider the accuracy of the government's criticisms and its perception of the adoption system as it has been up until this year, and whether the government's analysis of current processes and of the available options for permanency has been sufficiently wide.  The article evaluates the Action Plan and asks, is this the right approach for children, and if not, what is really needed now?

The full version of this article appears in the December 2012 issue of Family Law.

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