Adoption in the 21st Century and the Bridget Lindley Memorial Lecture – March 2021

Family Justice Council

In March, the Family Justice Council held a series of online seminars on Adoption in the 21st Century, culminating in the Bridget Lindley Memorial Lecture which this year was given by Baroness Hale.

The seminars explored adoption in England and Wales and wider, and looked at special guardianship orders, trends in adoption, tracing family members and contact with birth parents.  They also considered the Wales Adoption Cohort Study on early placement success and heard the perspectives of both an adoptive parent and an adopted child.  Speakers included Dr Brian Sloan, Judge Anni Højmark, John Simmonds, Professor Julie Selwyn, Dr Julie Doughty, Professor Beth Neil, Amanda Boorman, Lucy Reed and members of the Family Justice Young People’s Board.

The Bridget Lindley Memorial Lecture was given by Baroness Hale of Richmond, former President of the Supreme Court, who spoke about what we mean by a family now.  She looked at the role of the law in family life and the changing landscape of the legal framework over the decades. The lecture culminated in an interesting discussion between Baroness Hale and Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division and Chair of the Family Justice Council.

All the events generated a range of questions and issues which will be considered further.

A summary of all the events and video recordings of the seminars are attached.

An audio recording of the Bridget Lindley Lecture is available to listen to (external link).