Gavin Williamson has accused some councils of ‘snobbery’ when it comes to the adoption selection process.
In a speech to mark National Adoption Week, the education secretary said ‘too many local authorities are putting up’ barriers.
‘The reality in too many places is still that if you’re not that middle class person, you will be given a much harder time when it comes to being approved for adoption,’ said Mr Williamson.
‘That has to change. The only qualification that people need to worry about is whether or not they can love and care for a child.’
Earlier this week, the charity Adoption UK appealed for more members of the Black community to come forward as potential adopters.
Mr Williamson added the government’s children’s social care review will launch soon, and will ‘raise the bar for these children at the earliest opportunity and improve their life prospects’.
Responding to the education secretary’s comments, the chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, Cllr Judith Blake said: ‘Finding the right match for a child is not simple, and councils and their partners rightly take a holistic view of children in their care to make sure they thrive in their forever home and do not go through the trauma of an adoption breakdown.
‘For many children, placement with a family of the same ethnic background is exceptionally important for cultural and identity reasons, and this must not be overlooked,’ added Cllr Blake.
‘We must also remember that adoption is not right for every child in care and for this reason we must continue to invest in the full range of permanency options, including foster care, kinship care and children’s homes. We call on the government to use the forthcoming Spending Review to fully resource children’s social care to ensure every child can be found a loving, stable home, whatever their needs.’
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