Inter-racial adoption - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 29 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06351

Authors: Manjit Gheera

Topic: Children and families, Children's social services

The issue of race in matching children in care with prospective adoptive parents is one that has been raised in Parliament and in the press on a number of occasions. The Adoption and Children Act 2002 currently provides that, although a child’s racial and cultural origins are relevant factors to be considered by adoption agencies when making decisions about an adoption placement, they are not overriding considerations. However, concerns that race was preventing children being placed with suitable families of different backgrounds prompted the Coalition Government to issue revised statutory guidance to make it clear that a child’s ethnicity should not be a barrier to adoption. Subsequently, provision to repeal the requirement for adoption agencies to give due consideration to a child’s religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background when making a decision in relation to the adoption of a child was included in the Children and Families Act 2014. The provision is not yet in force.

This note provides information on the development of the policy on inter-racial adoption.

This note applies to England.

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