PM not in tune with the public on adoption

Published Nov 02, 2015

James_3ba8f93ef5c350a6ebb0b02f02a31266.jpgPlans announced today by the Prime Minister to streamline adoption services were attacked by UKIP's Home Affairs spokesman, Diane James MEP.

"This is a real test of compassionate conservatism, and it looks like the Prime Minister is completely out of tune with public opinion on this subject.

Cameron's intervention into this debate comes a mere week after the launch of the UKIP paper "Opening Up The Family Courts" which called for an expansion of Special Guardianship Orders – designed to place children in care with relatives like Grandparents as a first resort.

Instead the Government say they want to accelerate the process, and set stricter targets for adoption.

Ms James went on, "Show me evidence where a performance based target driven strategy has delivered? This is a desperately sensitive area where the child's needs must be paramount. Common sense says family links should predominate".

Douglas Carswell MP added, "If we accelerate the adoption process, we need to ensure it is still subject to proper scrutiny. Taking children away from their parents by force is a big deal, and we need to get it right. Evidence needs to be tested in an open court and the evidence of experts open to challenge. This does not happen today.

"Setting targets means unintended consequences. 70,000 children are in care, and not enough are adopted. Yet setting adoption targets puts pressure on the system to break up families. It means more easy-to-place infants and toddlers being taken off mum, not necessarily more adoptions of challenging teenagers.

"The Government is proposing to speed up adoption without due legal process: 'We want to see more early placement for adoption, so children move in with their prospective new family sooner, without having to wait for the full process to complete.'

"Might this lead to more miscarriages of justice like what happened to the Coxes, whose child was removed and legally adopted before medical evidence proved the natural parents were blameless?"

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