The Government has
declared same race placement policies in adoption 'not child-centred and unacceptable’ and
Parliament has confronted the issue head on.
Section 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 has repealed the 'due
consideration' requirement in s 1(5) of the Adoption and Children Act
The authors explain how s 1(5) has been used to legitimise a race
matching ideology held by many social workers and other professionals involved
in adoption. This has led to foster
carers and prospective adopters being rejected on the grounds of lack of an
ethnic match. It has also allowed other
ideological viewpoints to take hold in some adoption agencies.
For example, prospective adopters who have
expressed a ‘colour blind’ philosophy, namely the belief that one's racial
origins do not determine what kind of person you will become, have been
criticised, marginalised and rejected. Such an approach to adoption
decision-making is unsupported by research evidence and has no place in a
system which should impartial, inclusive and tolerant of different beliefs and
perspectives. The new law, properly construed and applied, should bring about a
fundamental change to decision-making in adoption firmly rooted in securing the
welfare of the child. The full version of this article appears in the September 2014 issue of Family Law.
Online subscribers can access the full article here.