From April 2011 to March 2012 there has been a 12% rise in the number of children adopted from care in England and Wales. 3,450 children were the subject of an adoption order.

These are heartening statistics because experience shows that the vast majority of  children placed for adoption then benefit from the stability and security of  a new family for the rest of their lives.  

However, large numbers of  children remain in foster care where the long term plan for them is for adoption. Some of these children are waiting because they are difficult to place due to their age, the fact that they are part of  a sibling group, or their disability.  The problem of  delay from the time a decision is made that a child cannot remain with his or her natural family through to the time of an adoption order being made is also a persistent one.   

The rise in children adopted is therefore most encouraging, but further progress needs to be made in respect of recruitment of adopters, speeding up Court processes and improving the process of  assessing and then supporting adopters.