A lack of prospective adopters, delays in the legal system and a
shunning of the permanence agenda could all be to blame for a
dramatic fall in the number of adoption applications in Scotland
last year, writes Derren Hayes.
In 2002, there were just 360 adoption applications for the whole
of Scotland, compared with 418 the previous year, a drop of 14 per
cent. This continues the falling trend of the past 20 years, during
which time applications have been cut by two thirds.
Ian Millar, consultant for Baaf Adoption and Fostering Scotland,
said: “There are not scores of families queuing up to become
adopters, and many of those that do will want to take on young
The delayed second phase of the review of Scotland’s
adoption system, which the executive launched last month, will look
at legislation on the issue, especially focusing on the use and
validity of freeing orders. It is due to report its findings next
Millar said there was also anticipation in Scotland that the
review would recommend some form of “link up” between
agencies north of the border and the adoption register in England,
which aims to provide contact between children and prospective
adopters across the country.