Statement regarding the publication of the Adoption Leaderhip Board’s guidance on adoption decision making
BAAF welcomes the publication of the Adoption Leadership Board (ALB) guidance on adoption decision making and planning in the light of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal judgments.
The dramatic fall in adoption plans for highly vulnerable children is of great concern. The judgements themselves make it clear that where adoption is being considered by local authorities and the courts then this must be based on an appropriate exploration of the various options in securing permanency for the child where this means a lifelong, secure and stable family life. Those options include returning the child to their parents, placement with family members, or placement with people unrelated to the child. These placements can be secured through a number of legal orders. Where a plan is agreed, it must be evidence based and thorough in its argument with the child’s needs and welfare at the centre of that plan. Nobody would expect less when the issues are so profound.
The U.K. has a proud track record in focussing on and delivering permanency planning for children. Parenting and family life are core to this and if that can only be secured through adoption, then that is the plan that must be made and delivered. That is the issue at the heart of this guidance and why it is to be welcomed.