Changes to the adoption system will involve allowing prospective adoptive parents the right to take time off work to meet the children they are adopting, as well as increasing paid leave to bring it in line with that offered to biological parents.
The measures were outlined in a proposal put forward today by the Government, aimed at improving the adoption process.
According to today’s statement, the measures are designed to encourage more parents to adopt and to “ensure potential adopters are welcomed with open arms, given a much more active role, including in the matching process, and greater support with this life-changing decision”.
Among other suggested steps, such as encouraging prospective parents to meet children waiting for adoption, and launching a helpline and a National Gateway for Adoption service, the Government has set out plans to offer more assistance to those in work who want to become adoptive parents.
These include the introduction of time off work for people adopting a child, to enable them to meet children prior to adoption in order to help the transition for parents and children.
In addition, the Government has confirmed that it will offer more paid leave when people adopt a child, which it said will bring it in line with the maternity and paternity leave offered to biological parents.
Edward Timpson, children and families minister, said: “We are doing all we can to make sure children in care with a plan for adoption are able to have a loving and stable adoptive family as soon as possible. We know that children do well in an adoptive family and I hope this comprehensive package of support will lead to more and more people having the confidence to come forward and provide a chance for these children to thrive and reach their potential.
“This support will also provide more help to those who are already adopting children who have been in care. I urge everyone this Christmas to think seriously about opening up their home to a child awaiting adoption.”