BAAF comment on 'babies removed to meet adoption targets'

Issue date: 26/01/2007

David Holmes, BAAF Chief Executive, says:

David Holmes, Chief Executive for the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF), says:

"Social services do not take children into care to unnecessarily be adopted. It is dangerous to suggest that this is happening and that the care system is not the right place for children who are at risk if they stay with their birth families.

"Children come into care for many reasons including parental abuse and neglect.

The rise in the numbers of young children coming into care may be explained by a variety of factors including a rise in parental substance misuse.

"Whatever those reasons are, it is important to remember that children cannot be taken into care without legal procedures. It is a very serious decision to take a child into care and this decision is carefully scrutinised by an independent children's guardian and by the court. Furthermore, children are only adopted when it can be shown that it is in their best interest, and again, this decision is scrutinised by an independent guardian, as well as an adoption panel with a majority of members independent of the local authority, and by the court.

"If birth parents believe they have had their child taken into care unfairly, they should lodge a formal complaint with their local authority. I believe that this is rare. I certainly do not believe children are systematically being taken into care to meet adoption targets."

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