Adoption agencies should implement the national adoption
standards by April 2003, health minister Jacqui Smith has
The standards form part of the government’s aim to speed
up the time it takes for children to find new families, and was
backed by adopted television personality Louis Emerick.
Emerick said: “I know from personal experience that adoption can
change lives. We tend to just hear about when social workers get it
wrong – I know that much more often they get it right and it
makes all the difference to thousands of children each year.”
The health minister also launched an adopter recruitment toolkit
to help adoption agencies take forward local media activities for
recruiting prospective adopters. The toolkit has been developed in
consultation with an expert working group in the adoption
Smith said: “The new standards are one part of our overall
programme to improve adoption services that was set out in our
white paper a year ago. The Adoption and Children Bill is currently
being debated in parliament, and we recently launched the new
national adoption register for England and Wales.
“Together these measures will continue to ensure that children
are put at the heart of the adoption process,” she added.
The national adoption standards were announced in August
together with draft practice guidance to support the standards.
There is currently a standing committee of the House of Commons
discussing the Adoption and Children Bill.