Councils admit to adoption targets

Children|November 18th 2016

Twelve English councils have admitted to setting targets for the adoption of children, legal campaigners have announced.

Established last month, the Transparency Project works to increase public understanding of the legal system through commentary and liaison with TV, radio and newspapers.  The campaigners made Freedom of Information requests to 172 councils. Amongst the responses received, the 12 councils who admitted to targets quoted either an annual number of children in care or a percentage figure.

The Project undertook its research to address long-standing rumours that targets were in place amongst local authority social workers, encouraging a focus on adoption at the expense of other options for children in care.

The campaigners believe such targets could lead to the individual needs and circumstances of each child being overlooked and said that any perception that this was happening could be as harmful as it happening in reality.

Chair Lucy Reed said:

“In law, the decision that a child should be placed for adoption must be solely based on the needs of that individual child. The setting of targets to encourage faster placement of those children for whom adoption has been identified as the right outcome are unobjectionable, but targets to increase the absolute number or proportion of looked after children who are approved for adoption are in tension with the very clear law in this area that ensures that each child and family is treated as unique.”

The Project had hoped to “lay to rest” concerns that the possibility of target-driven non-consensual adoption, she continued.

“Unfortunately our enquiries suggest the picture is more complicated.”

More work was needed, she said, to provide a clearer picture of the situation.

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  1. keith says:

    have those 12 councils been names ? i would like to see them.

  2. Phil turnbull says:

    Suppose to of been abolished…cheshire in 2008 got adoption of my daughter through and in doing so earned £300 000 …target of looked after children being set at 10 for that year with central goverment rewards of total £3 million ….and they wonder why i hate em….

    • keith says:


      did you say they got 300 thousand pounds for adopting your daughter ?
      im wondering how you obtained those figures when they are very likely kept secret from the public.
      i have heard of councils getting £36,000 for every child they get adopted. as for how accurate these figures are i just dont know.
      but the real truth of what money is being made and what gets paid to who needs to be exposed
      and the corruption needs to be investigated by the serious crime office.

    • Michael M says:

      The sickness of the baby stealers’ actions is a clear indication that psychopaths are running this utterly heartbreaking scam.
      Taking a baby for monetary gain? How do they sleep at night? Easy, they do not have an ounce of compassion or empathy, so no conscience.
      How do you fight against the might of the State? Difficult but in my personal experience, a good lawyer (be careful how you choose as many of them are rather too close to the social workers), would be a reasonable to start. Do not accept what they say without an argument or justification. And never give up.

  3. angie says:

    My baby has been stolen forcefully from c section 12 hours old straight to foster care discharged under police pressure and corruptly stolen for forced adoption In 2015 I want my baby back.

    • keith says:

      Hi Angie

      it really is inhumane for the SS to do this to any mother even if they do have problems.
      support is always better than removal but when you have a massive multi million pound Fostering and Adoption racket feeding off Victims like you its very difficult to shut it down. onlt the Govt can do that but as of yet they have done nothing about it.
      Cash for kids is a real industrial racket thats has been going on for a long time but it would seem that nobody wants to talk about it.
      not the police, not the NSPCC, not the Childrens Commissioner, not the Govt. Nobody.

  4. Lucy Reed says:


    Thanks for covering our study.

    I wanted to take the opportunity to correct / clarify a couple of things if you don’t mind :

    Firstly, we aren’t a “campaign group” but a registered charity, whose aims are about increasing transparency rather than being for or against any particular substantive policy around adoption.

    Secondly, whilst we launched a particular project (Family Court Reporting Watch) last month, The Transparency Project has been running since 2014, as a registered charity since 2015.

    Finally, you say that “The campaigners believe such targets could lead to the individual needs and circumstances of each child being overlooked and said that any perception that this was happening could be as harmful as it happening in reality.”. I think it’s important to be clear that whilst we have said we cannot rule this out as a possibility, we have also been clear that our study did not reveal evidence that this was in fact happening. The last part of your sentence is the bit that really concerns The Transparency Project (given our charitable objectives) – that the situation should be so unclear is very unhelpful. We think that families who might be affected by these issues deserve a clear explanation of what is and isn’t happening. Sadly, our study has not been able to provide that and more work is needed.

    I noticed that one of your commenters wanted to know which authorities were using targets. Those who wish to read a more detailed explanation of the study and it’s findings can read it on The Transparency Project blog here :, including the identities of the 12 councils.


    Lucy Reed
    Chair, The Transparency Project

    • keith says:

      hi Lucy

      did you make a request to Sunderland childrens services ? and if so what was their response.

      • Lucy Reed says:

        Hi Keith,
        I checked and although we chased this is one of the authorities we got no reply from.

        • keith says:

          Well well well, i wonder why they didnt reply.
          this is the same childrens services that were slammed for serious failures by ofsted just last year and the control was taken off the council by the Govt in Dec 2015.
          i think they have a lot to hide.

  5. CB says:

    Hi Lucy
    Was a request made to Redcar & Cleveland local Authority?

  6. nigel peter wilby says:

    Have bath & N.E Somerset admitted to adoption targets?

    • keith says:

      i think the TP did publish a list of those that responded to the FOi requests on their website.
      it was only around 12 or so. quite a lot didnt reply.

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