‘Ethnic minorities put off adopting’

The debate on parents’ right to smack their children is among
factors preventing people from some religious and cultural
minorities from adopting, a report commissioned by children’s
charity NCH has claimed.

Social workers at Nottingham, Tower Hamlets and Bradford councils
feel the emphasis in fostering and adoption on no smacking has
caused some adopters to drop out, the study by Bristol University
Hadley Centre for Adoption and Fostering Care Studies found.

Other problems facing agencies looking for families to adopt black,
Asian and mixed parentage children identified in the study include
social workers’ concerns about placing children with individuals
with fundamentalist views and potential adopters’ experiences of
racism in other council departments.

As a result, more than 11,000 ethnic minority children out of a
total 59,700 looked-after children in the UK remained in local
authority care in March 2002.

Researcher Julie Selwyn said: “The debate on smacking and concerns
about fundamentalist views were not strictly ethnic minority
issues, they related to all religions including right-wing
Christianity and went across all cultures.

“Adopters were concerned with the bureaucracy and the amount of
control they believed social workers had over their lives.”

A two-year Department for Education and Skills study into why
children from ethnic minorities spend an average of 300 days longer
than white children in having their adoption and fostering needs
processed is due to begin in January.

Finding Adoptive Families for Black, Asian and Black
Mixed-Parentage Children
from www.nch.org.uk

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