Public Law Working Group interim report: Recommendations for Best Practice in Respect of Adoption

FamilyFamily CourtFamily DivisionPresident of the Family DivisionSir Andrew McFarlaneReports

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The Adoption Sub-Group of the Public Law Working Group has published its interim report: Recommendations for Best Practice in Respect of Adoption, and encourages anyone who has experience of, or views on, this area to respond to the consultation.

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has welcomed and endorsed the publication of the interim report.

He said: “Professionals from all over the sector have collaborated to produce a very detailed report which looks at the issue of adoption from a number of different perspectives. The group has been led by the judiciary, but it is very much a joint endeavour of its many members who have worked extremely hard on this project. I am most grateful to them all.

“For many children who cannot be brought up within their birth families, adoption can provide the best chance of a secure future, but it is vital for the institution to evolve and adapt if it is to survive. We must listen to the experiences of those who have been adopted and their families and learn from what has worked well and what has not.

“Adoption orders are made in a wide variety of circumstances and this report seeks to address this. The report contains many recommendations, some of which relate to wider policy issues such as openness within adoption and others to more detailed issues of procedure for both domestic and international adoption. Although some recommendations will be easier to achieve than others, all are extremely important because adoption has such a profound impact on the lives of those concerned.

“This report is in draft only, and the group very much hope to have a strong response to the consultation process. It is recognised that there will be differing views about some of the recommendations (as indeed there were within the group itself) but this is very much welcomed as part of the process of robust debate which will help inform us as to the way forward. The consultation period will last for a period of two months until the end of November and it is hoped the report will be published in its final form, with an implementation plan, in the early part of 2024.”