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Changes to the laws on adoption

changes to the laws on adoption
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This year has seen changes to the laws on adoption change with a new Children and Families Act being passed by parliament. Aiming to speed up the process and increase the level of support that adoptive parents receive, the Act has been welcomed by children’s charities.

Work/family balance

The new legislation will make life easier for adoptive parents by extending the right to request flexible working to all employees. From April 2015 adopters will also be able to share parental leave around their children’s birth or placement.

Financial help

From spring next year adopters will be given the same leave and pay as birth parents. This means they will be entitled to 90% of their salary for the first six weeks of leave taken as well as time off work to attend introductory appointments. Parents-to-be in surrogate or ‘foster to adopt’ arrangements will also qualify for the extra leave and pay. Eligibility for the Pupil Premium has also been extended to include pupils adopted from care.

Families with adopted children will also benefit from £19.3million of government funding in the form of an Adoption Support Fund, which will pay for therapeutic services for adopted children who need help dealing with past experiences. The fund is being trialled in select areas and is due to be implemented across the country in 2015.

Adoption register

The new laws also allow prospective adoptive parents to browse the adoption register of children looking for a home. However, this part of the legislation is being piloted before being rolled out nationwide. The Adoption Register is an online database of children and prospective parents looking for a match and helps connect families that might live in different local authority areas.

Improving the system

Other government initiatives to improve the adoption system include a faster approvals process, where new adopters can be approved within six months. £17million has also been allocated to increase the capacity of voluntary organisations and recruit more adoptive parents.

changes to the laws on adoption

Letter

National Adoption Week occurs each November and this year Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson has taken the time to write to adoptive parents personally thanking them for the dedication and compassion they show when looking after some of the country’s most vulnerable children. The MP wrote: “I want to thank everyone who has adopted a child for the endless commitment, dedication and love they bring to some of our most vulnerable children.

“As someone who grew up with 2 adopted brothers, I understand all too well the challenges that many families face on a daily basis – and I want to reassure them that myself and the government are there to support them every single step of the way.

That’s why we have introduced a quicker approvals process to remove delay and frustration for both children waiting and potential adopters. We have also introduced a new Adoption Support Fund to help children who have lived through terrible experiences settle with their new family, and extended the pupil premium so they get the support they need to thrive at school.  “https://www.gov.uk/government/news/20-million-funding-to-help-children-adopted-from-care” HYPERLINK “https://www.gov.uk/government/news/20-million-funding-to-help-children-adopted-from-care”to all adopted children ”

 

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About Maria Brett

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About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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