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Remove adoption barriers but keep the safeguards

Michael Gove has been sending out system-wide messages about his views on adoption. He wantsto increase the numbers of adoptions, while decreasing the time for adoptions to take place, with fewer artificial barriers. Since he himself was adopted at the age of four months, his views carry some weight.

Let's make allowances for the costs of fostering

Almost all of us love our children - even though they are occasionally difficult, temperamental or just obstreperous. We love them for what they are, whether that includes abilities or disabilities, and we would not have it any other way. Of all I have done, I am proudest of my children and what they have achieved - although, of course, it was not just me!

An end to adoption delay benefits all concerned

When I became a director of children's services, adoption was new to me. I spent time with social workers and a family court judge, and met several families going through the process. I was forcibly struck by the incongruity between the genuinely good intentions of all the professionals concerned and the lived experience of families and children.

New adoption guidance should ease the strain

The decision that a child cannot remain with his or her birth parents is life-changing. And it is always sensitive and difficult, with some sections of the press talking as though social workers are deliberately and callously ripping families apart.

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