People in the Midlands who want to adopt a child experience the longest wait times in the country.
The Ministry of Justice has revealed that the average amount of time it takes for a Court in England and Wales to issue an adoption order is around ten weeks. However those in the Midlands must wait around 18 weeks before they are named a child’s legal parents. In 2016/17 courts in the region approved 1,228 such orders.
Londoners also have to wait a long time, with the average adoption case taking a little over 17 weeks to be completed. By contrast, courts in the south east take just 0.1 weeks to approve adoptions.
These orders give those who have a child placed in their care full parental rights and responsibilities. Adults can apply for them once the child in question has lived with them for at least ten weeks.
Earlier this year, the Department for Education revealed that the Family Courts are now four times more likely to refuse an adoption application than they were four years ago. Last year 250 applications were turned down, compared with just 60 back in 2012.
This noticeable drop in such a short period of time could be linked to a 2013 judgment by Family Division President Sir James Munby. He said that too many local authorities were not exploring all possible alternatives to adoption before proceeding with their applications.
Photo by Camilo Rueda López via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.